“Written in Stone” is a song based on a Rick Dufay riff that Aerosmith used to jam to while on their tour bus. It was part of a few pre-production sessions that took place after RIAHP was released, but with the replacement members (Crespo and Dufay), thinking of the “next album” for THAT lineup of the band. However, they were replaced by the original band members, Joe Perry and Brad Whitford, in 1984, before it could be recorded. Aerosmith went on to write Done With Mirrors in 1985 with the original lineup, discarding those songs.
Dufay stated in an interview that he had a demo of this song from around 1983/84 with Steven Tyler skating over the top of it before any actual lyrics were written.
“I’ve heard the track with Steven scatting, it was a totally different song and no lyrics except some mutterings by Steven at two sessions just scatting nonsense sounds. Most of what I heard were the guys just jammin’ the music out and having a good time too! And some other guys jammin’ w/them.”2005 Aerosmith fan testimony from DAMMT email list
It was referred to as the “on the bus” song because Dufay, Tom Hamilton, and Jack Douglas worked on it “on the bus” a lot. The Aero track was far from a real finished song, several takes exist with funny stuff, but no real lyrics or anything.
However, Dufay vowed to record the track someday and eventually went off that initial Aerosmith demo jam when finishing his version. This explains the definite Aerosmith-y vibe to the vocals.
Recorded at Ridge Farm Studio, Surrey, England 1989, the new version was recorded for a label that went under before the album was completed, hence it remaining unreleased until 2001 when the former Aerosmith guitarist made it available via MP3.com.
The new lyrics talked about Steven Tyler and Aerosmith. The only song on that album that has a definite “Aero” style to it as the lyrics were written to/about/for Tyler.
The liner notes read:
“Thanks to Jack/Joey/Tom for understanding my Tender Loving Abuse” – That would be Jack Douglas, Joey Kramer, and Tom Hamilton, of course, and a reference to Rick Dufay’s first solo album, Tender Loving Abuse. “Thanks to Rico the Scat Cat, who the track Written In Stone was written to/for/about.” – Rico the Scat Cat would be Steven Tyler, referencing his birth name, Tallarico, and the fact that Steven is known partly for his scat singing.
Tyler reportedly got a kick out of it though when it appeared on MP3.com site years later.
What do you think about it? Is it good enough to have made Done With Mirrors? Could it have been a hit?