“Yo Mamma” is an amazingly fun rock & blues song believed to be left from the 1992 Get a Grip sessions. It made it almost all the way to the end of the production process during the albums first attempt at the A&M studios.
The song starts with Joe’s guitar hitting the E chord, with single snare hits and Steven on the harmonica, until the full band joins in for the proper intro with everyone following the main bluesy riff. The verses are fast spoken over the guitar riff, with Tyler doing a great rhythmic rendition of the lyrics with Perry accentuating certain parts to convey extra meaning to the parts left unsaid – like in “I was as lonely as can be, she had a beautiful *“, where the * means “but hole/ass” but is left unsaid by Tyler and replaced by Perry’s guitar. The chorus is great, catchy, funky bluesy and fun. A first bridge features a kind of band jam with great drumming fills. Steven joins with improvised spoken word (one version includes lots of swearing in this section) until the band stops and the chorus kicks back in. The guitar solo sounds great over an steady D chord that leads to a second bridge with great rhythmic lyrics, to end the song with the chorus again.
The lyrics clearly tell the story a guy going out with a beautiful 18 year old girl. By the time she takes him to her house to meet her parents, the mom gives him a horny look and this angers the father. While sneaking out the next morning, he realises he had slept with the girl’s mother during the summer of 1973. Sound like a funny sex story that could have happened to a young Tyler. It evokes visuals similar to the ones in the “Rag Doll” video.
Tyler and Perry made a reference to the song during a radio interview about “Pump”, which begs the question about if the song was actually written during the “Pump” sessions:
Tyler: The other day I put this album on, I run around the block. I was thinking, nothing in this that profound, but it sure its a lot of fun. Its the type of thing I could sing about, hum, you know, doing your mother.
Perry: (laughs quietly)
Tyler: and we almost did,
Tyler: “yo mamma wants to do me”
Perry: daddy wants to do me in,
Tyler: yeah, your mamma wants to do me, your daddy wants to do me in.
The song was apparently kicked off the album because of John Kalodner’s dislike of the sex references in the lyrics, production and songwriting quality of the first approach to the album, despite the bands love for the song. Joe Perry would eventually shine some light on the topic in his autobiography “Rocks: My life in and out of Aerosmith” (2014):
When John Kalodner came to review the tracks, though, he reacted with the line no artist ever wants to hear, especially after having worked diligently for three months: “I don’t hear a single.”
Admittedly, there were some raunchy songs—“Black Cherry” and “Your Momma Wants to Do Me and Your Daddy Wants to Do Me In”—but I liked them and thought they fit into the Aerosmith aesthetic. Kalodner’s judgment pissed us off and we reacted in predictable ways: Steven went off the deep end and I smoldered. Steven called John every name in the book while I sank into silence.
Originally written by Steven Tyler, its clear that Joe really liked it, and rumour has it Joey loved it too (specially the bridge/break section with lots of drum fills) and was pissed when it didn’t make the cut.
The style of the song could have easily fit “Honkin on Bobo”, it is not clear if it was considered for this album. However, during the 2006/2007 sessions for what was expected to be a full album of reworked outtakes, “Yo Mamma” was confirmed to have been revisited and can be seen listed in the studio’s whiteboard of working titles. The album didn’t work and only two songs were included in what would to become the “Devil’s Got a New Disguise” compilation album.
Tyler still likes playing with the phrase “yo mamma” and often uses it in between songs in concerts and has it written on the bottom of one of the mic-stand he used during the 2007 tour.
In a segment of the web series of videos covering the making of “Music from Another Dimension” the band seem to be referencing the bridge section of the song during their 2011 sessions in Boston.
A fan covered the song based in samples leaked, lyrics and independent research.
Yo Mamma chords:
Verse: E – G – A
Pre-Chorus: Cm# – D
A – B – E x2
A – B – Cm#
A – B – E5/D
Bridge 1: E5/D
Bridge 2: Cm# – A – Cm# – B
I met a little girl who was so high class (totally)
I was as lonely as can be she had a beautiful *
She was lonely
She showed me her tattoo it was right there On her breast
Somewhere in a city in the middle of the West
When she asked me to her house
Little did I know she was only
She was just 18 still livin’ with her folks
She was only
And when I met her momma she undressed me With her eyes
Then her daddy gave a “look at me”
That could have paralyzed
‘Cause your mamma wants to do me and your
Daddy wants to do me in
I’m a cat with nine lives I hope that I
Can make it to ten
O’cherry please forgive me for confessin’
My original sin
Because your mamma wants to do me
And your daddy wants to do me in!
(dialogue to chorus)
In the morning as I gingerly tipped toed
Down the stairs, I had this deja voodoo
That maybe I already had been there
Then it all came back to me that night back in 1973
It must have been yo mama Lord have mercy on me…