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Aerosmith - Walk this Way lyric meanings and song facts

All facts provided by Songfacts

This is about a promiscuous cheerleader who leads a schoolboy through his first sexual experience.
The band wasn't well known when this came out, and it didn't chart when it was first released in September 1975. A year later, after their album Rocks became popular, the single was reissued and became a hit. They re-released "Dream On" the next year.
The band got the idea for the title after seeing the movie Young Frankenstein, which contains a scene where Igor tells a visitor to "Walk This Way," meaning to follow him. The visitor imitates Igor's walk, which the band thought was hilarious.
According to the February, 2006 Q magazine, Aerosmith were still searching for a hit when Joe Perry came up with the stuttering riff during a soundtrack in Hawaii in March 1975. Tyler quickly wrote the lyrics and called the song "Walk This Way." (thanks, Edward Pearce - Ashford, Kent, England)
When Tyler entered the studio to record this, he realized he left the lyrics in a cab. He walked to the stairwell, let out a primal scream, and wrote new lyrics on the wall. The original lyrics were never recovered.
Joe Perry used a talkbox during the chorus. This was the first time the device was used on a hit song. The talkbox allows a guitarist to make strange vocal sounds by "talking" into a vinyl tube attached to the unit, which is hooked up to the output of the guitar amp. Perry also used a talkbox on "Sweet Emotion."
This became one of the first mainstream rap hits when it was covered by Run-DMC in 1986. Steven Tyler and Joe Perry performed this with the rap trio, and it became Run-DMC's first hit, going to US #4.
DJs often ripped the labels off their records so no one would know what beats they were using when they performed. Jam Master Jay got one of these records from another DJ, which turned out to be an Aerosmith album. He was working on sampling the opening break when producer Rick Rubin heard it and explained it was a famous rock song. This gave Rubin the idea to have Run-DMC cover the song. The band didn't like the idea, but Rubin grew up in the suburbs listening to groups like Aerosmith, and knew it would be a great way for the group to crossover to a white audience.
The Run-DMC video is the first that Tyler and Perry appeared in. It was the first time many young Aerosmith fans saw what they looked like. Aerosmith would use MTV to expand their audience for the rest of their career, making videos for most of their singles, starting with "Dude Looks Like A Lady" in 1988, which won 2 MTV Video Music Awards.
The Run-DMC cover launched Aerosmith's comeback. They were in drug rehab when it came out, but sobered up and released Permanent Vacation in 1987, which gave them a string of hits, their first since "Come Together" in 1978.
This was used in an early episode of The Simpsons where the band performed this at Moe's Tavern and let Moe sing along. Aerosmith were one of the first musical guest stars on the show.
The city of Boston used this in a 1999 publicity campaign to cut back on jaywalking. They used it in commercials encouraging people to use crosswalks.
N'Sync, Britney Spears, Mary J. Blige, and Nelly all sang on this with Aerosmith at the 2001 Super Bowl halftime show. The lines "I met a cheerleader, was a real young bleeder" and "You ain't seen nothin' til you're down on a muffin" seemed a little more interesting with Britney Spears performing.
"Walk This Way" is the title of Aerosmith's 1999 autobiography.
On the "Rock and Roller Coaster" at Disney's MGM Studios, a virtual Aerosmith gives an introduction before you get on, Aerosmith songs play throughout the ride. When the ride opened, this was the only song that played, which may have instilled a deep hatred of the song among the Disney employees working the roller coaster. This ride is highly recommended by the Songfacts staff.

All facts provided by Songfacts


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