Aerosmith, yesterday and today

Back in 1973, a high school photographer named Paul McAlpine took this photograph of some young rockers from Boston in front of 1325 Commonwealth Avenue in Boston. If they look familiar, yes, that’s Aerosmith and yes, that’s where they played Monday’s impromptu concert celebrating the release of their new album.

The photo, which was taken just as Aerosmith’s self-titled first album was released, and which McAlpine sent to us Monday, is also part of the Boston collection at the Museum of Fine Arts.

McAlpine, now 56, works at the MFA in the library archive. In an interview Monday, he said he met the band after shooting pictures of Alice Cooper. He said Tyler approached him after the Cooper concert and asked him to shoot his own band.

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“The curved mirror belonged to Steven,” McAlpine said. “We just hung it on a tree outside. I took only a dozen pictures then we went to the reservoir. That picture really captured the time. It was a historic location for them. For me it captures the very early days of Aerosmith.”

As for the later days of Aerosmith, Monday’s concert, the band played longer than expected, but shut down the entire neighborhood exactly as expected, as thousands of people lined the street, hung out of windows and stood on crowded fire escapes. “Walk This Way” and “Sweet Emotion” were two of the oldies the crowd heard, along with a song from their new album, “Live from Another Dimension.” Tyler braved the cold and rocked out in a white tank top.

We’ll have more to come on that shortly.

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