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Aerosmith plans concert outside their former Allston apartment building at 1325 Comm. Ave.

Posted by Matt Rocheleau  November 2, 2012 10:38 AM

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(Matt Rocheleau for Boston.com)

Across the street from 1325 Commonwealth Ave. is a sign that Aerosmith band members remembered seeing when they walked out the front door of their apartment building during the early 1970s. That "Bottled Liquors" display is still there.

Aerosmith plans to perform a concert Monday outside the Allston apartment building at 1325 Commonwealth Ave., where the band lived in during the early 1970s when they got their start.

According to radio station 97.7/107.3 WAAF, which is helping to throw the pre-Election Day party and concert, the show will begin at noon on Monday, Nov. 5.

The concert will also promote the legendary Boston rock group’s upcoming album "Music From Another Dimension," which will be released the following day.

Band members will leave their handprints in the sidewalk outside their former home, according to WAAF.

In the past, fans have pushed for the building to be given historic designation and protection.

The building was where Aerosmith wrote some of their hits, including "Dream On," “One Way Street,” “Movin’ Out,” “Somebody,” “Mama Kin” and Major Barbara.”

In 2003, band members and author Stephen Davis released a book, “Walk This Way: The Autobiography of Aerosmith,” which chronicles the band’s history through narratives and first-person accounts, including a detailed look back at the band’s days living at 1325 Commonwealth Ave.

The book describes the building’s location: “Across the street from the apartment was a package store with a large neon sign that advertised BOTTLED LIQUORS all night.”

That sign is still there and lights up every night.

The book also notes how the B branch of the MBTA’s Green Line ran down the center of Commonwealth Avenue.

“In the early days the Aerosmith musicians would know it was time to go to bed when they heard the first trolley of the new day roar down the tracks toward the sleeping city, just at the break of dawn,” the book says.

On Sept. 15, 1970, Joe Perry and Tom Hamilton moved into a two-bedroom apartment; rent was $160 a month, according to the book. Joey Kramer wrote that he moved in with them in early October of that year, “sharing the back room with Steven [Tyler].”

Hamilton wrote that he stayed "in the living room with Steven’s piano and the couch, which meant I’d always come home and find people sitting in my room."

“Joe Perry and [band crew member] Mark Lehman had the other bedrooms, and that’s how we lived for the next two years, five of us squashed in this apartment with absolutely no money,” Hamilton wrote.

“Steven cooked brown rice – he was fanatic about it – it’s what we lived on, along with Campbell’s soup and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches,” Hamilton continued. “When we were desperate, we’d go to the Stop & Shop (we called it the Stop & Steal) supermarket and stuff a couple of steaks under our jackets. It was survival. You didn’t call it stealing in those days. ‘Liberating’ was the politically correct term.”

In 1971, Brad Whitford moved in.

“I didn’t even have a room,” Whitford wrote. “When I first got there, I didn’t even have a bed. I slept on the couch in the living room with Steve’s piano. Joey and Steven had just moved to other apartments nearby and Tom had taken over their room, replaced by me and John Andrews, who was helping us out with his pickup truck.”

Perry wrote that, “A lot of dealers hung around 1325, because in order to be near us, to hang out with us, it was good to have drugs. It got you in the door.”

“Then we got busted,” Whitford wrote. “1325 was your typical rock ‘n’ roll apartment with people coming and going all the time, so much so that we didn’t bother to lock our door.”

The police came in, according to the book. They were arrested, and after bailing themselves out with $70 in band savings, they “went back to 1325 and smoked the yellow joint, which [the officers] had never found.”

“The first eviction notice came in December,” Hamilton wrote. “It was a blow for the rest of us who were still living at 1325.”

“The band’s bank account had $19 in it,” he wrote. “There were no gigs because we’d saturated the local market. We couldn’t rehearse. Time was running out for us.”

Hamilton wrote that the group got their recording contact and, “Boy, everything changed. For one thing, the lease was up at 1325 and we were moving out. It was September 1972, and we’d been there for two years. An era was over and we all felt it.”

E-mail Matt Rocheleau at mjrochele@gmail.com.
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