In 1970, the newly formed Aerosmith moved into a single apartment together in Boston, playing covers of Yardbirds and Rolling Stones songs during their first gig at Nipmuc Regional High School.
Here's how Steven Tyler remembers those times fives years later, "There were six of us in the group, some of us were living in the kitchen, eating brown rice and Campbell's soup. Those days, you know, when a quart of beer was heaven. It was hard times and it was really good. During lunch we would set up all our equipment outside of BU, in the main square and just start wailing. That's basically how we got billed. We never got much publicity in the magazines and newspapers."
In the next year Aerosmith landed a local agent and begin getting small-time Boston gigs but they were hungry for a big break.
With over 150 million records sold, 12 multi-platinum albums and a place in the Rock and Roll hall of fame, Aerosmith is one of the most successful groups in the history of Rock.
But after years toiling on the Boston scene, got their big break at Max's Kansas City. They knew Max's was the place to be, and that performance was their big shot. "You knew even the assholes were going to be famous someday. It was that kind of place … it was like lighting a whole pack of Black Cat firecrackers all at once and throwing it in the room." - Steven Tyler, lead singer of Aerosmith.
Since Aerosmith was signed by Clive Davis after their Max's gig they haven't stopped rocking, redefining themselves over and over, by combining blues, glam, heavy metal, R&B and even hip-hop, which defined one of their most well known collaborations with Run DMC.
Today, more popular than ever, Aerosmith recently took center stage as the virtual rock stars in the most recent version of Guitar Hero - Guitar Hero Aerosmith.
After two years, Aerosmith had been performing regularly across the Northeast, but they still weren't signed to a label.
At Max's Kansas City, their manager spotted a chance to show off Aerosmith to Clive Davis, an opportunity any un-signed band would kill for. The problem was Clive had come to Max's that night to see another act and worse, Aerosmith wasn't even scheduled to perform. Seeing a chance at stardom slipping away, Aerosmith took a chance and paid money out of their own pockets to open that night. They would be the only band ever to do so.
It was one of the best decisions of their career, as they booked a headliner spot, made sure Clive was there, and he signed them that night to Columbia records for $125,000. "No Surprize" off Aerosmith's Night in the Ruts, celebrates the moment their fame began.