“HONKIN’ ON BOBO” Outtakes, demos, sessions and leaks!

Honkin’ on Bobo is the 14th studio album by American rock band Aerosmith, released on March 30, 2004, by Columbia Records. Recorded during 2003 at Joe’s studio, The Boneyard”, the album includes 11 covers of blues and blues-rock songs from the 1950s and 1960s, with one new song, “The Grind”.

Douglas’s original vision was to make the record focused on “new blues/rock” tracks. Rumours listed the following songs as having been considered during the studio sessions:

  • Killing Floor (Howlin’ Wolf cover)
  • House Of The Rising Sun (The Animals cover)
  • Brad Whitford/Russ Irwing song
  • “Louie, Louie” (possibly featuring Tom on vocals and the band on different instruments)
  • “Vigilante Man” (Woody Guthrie cover)
  • “All Your Lovin'”
  • “Broke Down Engine” (Joe on vocals)
  • My Baby Down Gone (blues jam)
  • Blues Pink

During a 2004 Joe Perry interview he mentioned that the band had at least 5 new original songs in the works. These songs were not completed (just basic ideas with no final melodies or lyrics). Producer Jack Douglas tried to get the band to finish the new songs, but they chose to do old blues covers instead and Steven insisted on using “The Grind”, which was reworked from a 2002 pop demo Tyler/Pery/Frederiksen wrote in Mauii during the Oh Yeah sessions.

Steven and Marti and I had a song that we had wrote called The Grind left over from a previous writing jaunt. It’s a very R&B-feeling kind of song, so it felt like it fit on the record. We recorded some other originals that are shells of songs, but given the amount of time we had, we knew we’d have to leave them for another time before we develop them. If we had a few more months, we could have brought along another new batch of songs and probably the majority would have been originals, but we didn’t have time and that wasn’t the focus of this record.

Joe Perry, 2004 AF1 NewsLetter

We’ve also been working on originals and we have a few of them cookin’ pretty good.

Tom Hamilton, News from the Road archive, April 29, 2003

Brad Whitford wrote a track with Russ Irwing but he reportedly “knew” it was not gonna make the cut as Steven refused to write lyrics to the song. Jack hoped for “Broke Down Engine” to be the main song Joe did since “Stop Messing Around” had been overplayed during the live shows. The blues jam “My Baby Down Gone” was briefly played in 2005.

After the first leg of the tour, the production went to Marti Frederiksen’s hands and he too tried to get the original songs finished but the band didn’t seem interested and he had little time to finish the album. They instead re-recorded “Baby Please Don’t Go” and “Stop Messing Around” as Joe’s lead song. Marti started production of an alt version of “Never Loved a Girl” in late 2003 with Joey’s repetitive snare hits and an extended Joe Perry solo as an outro.

The 2004 DVD “You Gotta Move” included an extended making-of feature that showed a whiteboard of working titles (the same extra feature included demo versions of Baby Please, You Gotta Move, Stop Messing Around, Never Loved a Girl, Jesus is on the Main Line):

Possible working titles are listed on the whiteboard are below. The number next to the names represent the tempo in BPM (beats per minute). The last few names are illegible.:

I’m Ready 135
Shame 178
Hi Temp 81
Baby Please Don’t Go 208
Sail Away 189
Back Back Train 88
Broke Down Engine 144
Misunderstood 69
You Gotta Move 96

All Your Love
ST/BW Slow (must refer to a slower song written by Steven Tyler and Brad Whitford)
JP Puddle Jump – Versus (this one is especially hard to read)
Shuffle? Shaking All Doll? Son? Sniffin all down (this one is especially hard to read)
Eyesight to the Blind
Talk Talkin

Other tracks possibly recorded during 2003 include:

  • “Let’s Get Loud” (Hip-Hop song with Chuck D ft Steven and Joe)
  • “Lizard Love” (remake, at least Steven’s vocals were rewritten and rerecorded)
  • Music for Genie Joe (online game for “Joe Perry’s Rock Your World Hot Sauce” ft Joe’s ununsed guitar riffs)

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