“Tramp” Joey’s funky grove for Pump

“Tramp” as listed penultimate on the 1989 “B list” of songs during the making of Pump

“Tramp’” is song Aerosmith considered during the 1988/1989 Pump sessions at Little Mountain Studios in Vancouver, Canada, but was never completed. It was mainly written by Peppy Castro and Joey Kramer with input from Steven Tyler, demo lyrics from Eric Troyer. The title of the song can be seen in a scene of the Making of Pump DVD that shows the “B list” of the tracks the band was working on in 1989.

An instrumental version of the track leaked in a bootleg during the late ’90s, only featuring heavy drums, bass and synth in the style of a jam at 84BPM in C Minor (tape transfer in the bootleg version distorted the notes making it almost C# Minor instead).

…there was another one that I wrote with my friend called Peppy Castro, we wrote a song together called “Tramp” that Steven always loved, and we were going to do it, but it never got done. There’s a basic track of it someplace, we did a basic track of it when we were in Little Mountain, doing  Permanent Vacation and Pump, but the song never got to see the light of day. 

Joey Kramer @ Rock N’ Roll Fantasy’s MasterClass virtual series via Zoom 2020/08/31

The song came to be in the early 1980’s after Aerosmith management, Leber & Krebs, signed the band “Balance” and introduced them to Aerosmith. Joey Kramer and Balance lead singer Peppy Castro became good friends and, since Steven and Joe would often leave to write with external songwriters, Tom, Brad and Joey would jam with Peppy at Joey’s house.

Peppy Castro exclusive interview 24/09/2020 via Zoom

Peppy came up with an idea for a song called “Love Kills a Lonely Heart“, meant to be a big 80’s rocker (with a Bon Jovi “You give love a bad name” vibe). Joey loved the song after playing through the track with Peppy. A basic track for “Tramp” was first recorded by Peppy and Joey at Joey’s house in MA. They later re-recorded it at “Hip Pocket studios” in Manhattan. Peppy was glad the demo was recorded but told Joey that Steven, Joe, label and management would most likely not allow a Kramer-written song into an album.

Regardless, Joey took the song to the band, and Steven loved it, which lead him to write one spontaneous word for it, “Tramp”, giving it an iconic Aerosmith track potential. At this point it is unclear if Steven ever finished any further lyrics for the song or if Aerosmith ever put any real work on to it.

The definition of a the word “tramp” refers to a homeless vagabond who wanders from place to place. As slang, it refers to a loose woman who is immoral and sleeps with everyone and anyone.

In 1994, during the Get a Grip tour, Steven singed a few lines during an extended saxophone jam in the middle of “Shut Up and Dance” which could indicate further work on the song.

“Tramp, I guess that you are a Tramp, oh that’s what you are a Tramp”

Steven Tyler during Shut up and Dance jam live @ Pittsburgh 20/02/1994

Eric Troyer eventually completed the lyrics for Peppy’s demo. Peppy went to complete production of a version including his full vocals, funky rhythm guitar and guitar solo by Steve Bondy, which he has maintained un-released. Peppy’s version sounds much cleared, it’s 3:54 minutes long and fades out at the end.

Years later Peppy re-wrote the lyrics to be a spoof on Joey during his 40th birthday in 1990 including lines like “gas is his favorite smell, he loves cars more than anything”.

In February 2021, during Joey’s second Master class, he again talked about the basic track that was recorded by the band during the Pump sessions at Little Mountain.

Peppy Castro version lyrics by Eric Troyer (using Steven’s input on the word “Tramp” for the title):

The gas pump junky,
Always clean to window,
To get a better look at your legs,

All the guys smile,
And watch the little birdies,
Make a grown man beg,

Always looking down,
To find something better,
Just to work your sting,

See a flashing car,
Or a rock and roll star,
You are some kind of wild thing,

Welcome to the hard life baby,
Get some other fool,
Welcome to the real world baby,
Love can be so cruel,

Welcome to the big time,
This ain’t no candy can,
Tomorrow I’ll be over you,
You’ll still be a…

Tramp,
Aww, get back,
Don’t you ever get back no more,
Tramp,
Get back, don’t you ever come back,
Never ever knock on my door,
Tramp,
You think you can just call me honey,
I’ll be under your spell,
Tramp,
When you see me through with a whole lot of money,
You are gone as quick as hell,

Welcome to the hard life baby,
Get some other fool,
Welcome to the big time,
Love can be so cruel,

Welcome to the real world baby,
This ain’t no can of candy,
Tomorrow I’ll be making tracks,
You’ll still be a…

Tramp,
Aww, get back,
Don’t you ever get back no more,
Tramp,
Get back, don’t you ever come back,
Never ever knock on my door,
Tramp,
A little drum kit, catches my attention,
You are both pretty funny to see,
Right on cue you slide into action aiming those legs at me,

Save that skin and flashing ass for some other joker,
If you see me on the street don’t even try, just pass me by,
Put away those legs, put your touch on some other sucker,
Until you learn your ways of the world you’ll still be a…

Tramp,
Aww, get back,
Don’t you ever get back no more,
Tramp,
Get back, don’t you ever come back,
Never ever knock on my door…


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