“WHIT’s TIP/DOWNTOWN BABY/LAY DOWN SUSIE” the unknown Up-tempo 1973 Blues Song

“Whit’s Tip” is an unreleased song Aerosmith performed live on at least two known occasions: Frolic, Salisbury Beach MA, August 16, 1973, and University of Maine, Orono ME, September 30th 1973.

This blues-rocker rarity was brought to the band by Brad Whitford. While it’s good work, it never really fully catches fire, a sing that these types of numbers from the band’s early touring day needed more work. The basic blues-rock tune included improvised vocals, a couple of interesting guitar arrangements and harmonica solos.

While the live performance sounded well-rehearsed by the band, Tyler failed to deliver any real finished lyrics. The three titles used to refer to the song are just fan speculation coming from Tyler’s adlib lyrics from different sections of the song: Downtown Baby / Lay Down Susie.

During a 2009 Rock and Roll Fantasy Camp Q&A with Mark Hudson, Steven Tyler commented on the possible origin of the song as a spontaneous blues improvisation prompted by their manager when playing at Max’s Kansas City in front of label executives. While the song he sings is not exactly the same, he does refer to it as “Whit’s Tip”, which was jokingly named “we don’t want to f*ck you lady, we just wanna eat your sandwiches”.

However unfinished, it may very well have been a song the band considered for the first couple of albums and could have tonally fitted either.

When band members were approached and asked about it during the late ’90s, they failed to recollect any details about it. If it’s an original Aerosmith song, even the band (understandably) forgot about it. The song’s origins remains an unsolved mystery until a recording of the Frolic, Salisbury Beach MA, August 16, 1973 show surfaced where Steven introduces the song as one Brad Whitford brought to the band and was called “Whit’s Tip”.


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