The Story Behind Aerosmith’s Name
338615 03: Rock Group Aerosmith arrives at the MTV Video Music Awards September 10, 1998 in Los Angeles, CA. Aerosmith was nominated for Best Video in a Film for the song "I Don''t Want To Miss a Thing" from the movie Armageddon. (Photo by Barry King/Liaison)
Aerosmith is one of the most legendary bands in the history of rock and roll. The founding members included vocalist Steven Tyler, lead guitarist Joe Perry, rhythm guitarist Ray Tabano, bassist Tom Hamilton and drummer Joey Kramer, came together in October 1970. But where did the iconic band’s name come from?
Kramer is credited as the mastermind behind the band name. Two years before the band was officially formed, he and his girlfriend were listening to Harry Nilsson’s “Aerial Ballet” and started combining names that had “aero” in them.
The drummer liked how “aerosmith” sounded, but the band at that time disagreed, until Perry and Tyler joined and go with it. He recalled in his 2009 memoir, Hit Hard: A Story of Hitting Rock Bottom at the Top:
“And it was like Aeromind, Aerostar, Aero-this, Aero-that; and somebody said ’smith’—Aerosmith? Wow! And from then on it was all over my high school psychology books and my math books. The question was always, ‘What’s Aerosmith?’ And I would tell people, ‘When I leave high school I’m going to go have a rock ’n’ roll band, and that’s what it’s going to be called. And we’re going to be big and famous, and that’s the scoop.’ And they were all like, ‘Oh, that’s very nice, Joey.’”
And they surely did, with their early classics “Sweet Emotion,” “Dream On,” and “Walk This Way,” the band gained fame and success. Over the years, Aerosmith has gathered several Gold, Platinum, and Multi-Platinum albums as well as four Grammy Awards, a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction, and countless other recognitions.