AEROSMITH LONDON DUMPSTER DATs: the story and the songs they hold!

The story of a box full of Aerosmith items being found in a London dumpster in 1998 was originally posted in the AF1 forums around 2003 and gained quite a lot of attention from fans. Believed to have been found outside a Sony Europe UK office, the archive contained an unseen/heard cornucopia of Aerosmith “treasures” that included several DAT (digital audio tape) of finished original studio recordings, over 150 passport photos of the Aerosmith band and entire road crew Nine Lives tour (37 different people, 5 pics per person), band backstage passes, 16mm slide films of hundreds of the highest possible quality photos of the band on and off stage with famous celebs (with Les Paul signing one of Aerosmith guitars for instance) in the studio and posing with props. It is believed that the archive was jilted by Collins Management after Collins was fired in 1996 and Sony Music staff simply threw the box away during a regular office cleaning day a couple of years later.

The DATs (standard by AMPEX or 3M) got lost over the years, but CD silver pressings remained. The tapes contained TV mixes of released tracks and demos simply listed as “rough”.

  • DAT1 – Pink TV Mixes 09/16/1997 – Sony Music – Avatar Studios NY
    • 1. Pink | Full Mix
    • 2. Pink | No Lead Vocals, No Harmonica, No Gtr solo
    • 3. Pink | No Lead Vocals, No Vocal Harmonies, No Harmonica, No Gtr solo
    • 4. Pink | No Vocals at All, No Harmonica, No Gtr solo
    • 5. Pink | No Vocals, No Harmonica, No Gtr solo, No Joe Gtr
    • 6. Pink | No LV, No Harmony Vocals, No Harmonica, No solo, No Joe, with BV and Ahhs
  • DAT2 – Full Circle TV Mixes 03/11/1997
    • 1. Full Circle | TV Track No Lead Vocals
    • 2. Full Circle | No Joe Gtr W/ LV and Harms
    • 3. Full Circle | NO Joe Gt No LV W/Harms
    • 4. Full Circle | No Joe or Brad Gtr W/ All VOX
    • 5. Full Circle | No Joe Or Brad Gtr No LV W/ Harm No End Voc
    • 6. Full Circle | No Joe Or Brad Gtr No LV W/ Harm No End Voc

The TV mixes are made for the band to perform on top of while promoting the new album, where they usually use the studio track and only Steven’s voice and Joe’s guitar are live. These were probably used in shows like Letterman, Billboard, Leno etc (and various European Nov 97 appearances). Full Circle was released as a single in Europe in 1999 but may have been considered as a second international single instead of “Hole in my Soul”.

  • DAT3 – Sedona Sunrise demo 02/08/1996
    • 1. Sedona Sunrise

While the band reportedly never recorded a Sedona Sunrise demo for NL, they maybe have considered it for redevelopment, added a few overdubs or altered the mix from the Pump sessions. As “Sedona” was the only track on that DAT, it may have been done to give to Marti as reference material for his initial sessions with the band.

  • DAT4 – Rough Demos
    • 1. Do you wonder why?
    • 2. Rough 1
    • 3. Sun Never Shines
    • 4. Rough 2
    • 5. Rough 3

Four of these were early pre-production demos with someone other than Tyler on vocals. It is assumed that the voice belongs to Marti Frederiksen, as he is known to have started working with Joe early in pre-production for Nine Lives. The tracks have distinctive signs of Perry’s sound, but it’s unknown how much he was involved in the development of the demos and how much guitar playing he did, especially considering that Frederiksen is a talented multi-instrumentalist that was already contributing bass and drums to the demos.

Track 1, “Do you wonder why?” was saved by Perry to be used by Aerosmith but Tyler refused to write new lyrics, hence it making its way to Joe’s 2009 solo album.

Track 2 is the only “rough” demo that featured Tyler on lead vocals, this is the demo we are referring to as “Give it Away/Push”. It is unknown if the musicians playing on the original demo are Aerosmith, or if it’s rather only a Perry/Frederiksen demo with Tyler on top.

Track 3 contained the basic tracks for the Aerosmith outtake known as “Where the Sun Never Shines” but with someone else on vocals (very likely to be Frederiksen) with alternate melodies in the chorus and scat lyrics that could indicate an alt working title of “Cheating Nights”.

Track 4 sounded like a semi grunge song, very 90s and energetic, but not necessarily what Aerosmith would do. Vocals again by someone else, unfinished lyrics repeating “better” during the chorus and decent sounding solos by Perry.

Track 5 is one of the “rough” demos that clearly features the opening riff and pre-chorus we now recognise from “Angel’s Eye”, but the chorus was completely different in chords and melody. The lyrics in this demo were all scating with a couple of words finished, as the conclusion to the chorus repeating the word “disguise”, this was the base for “When the Monkey Comes“. The South Beach demo did include Tyler on vocals and different lyrics to the released version (though similar in parts). While the lyrics were almost finished, they didn’t flow as good as the final ones. It’s most likely a song Frederiksen brought to the band, initially working on it with Perry, as John Kalodner asked him to provide songs for the band about that time, and then Tyler finished the lyrics.

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