Steven Tyler once protested that he's just a country boy, but nobody this side of sanity would mistake this Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Famer and legendary Aerosmith frontman for a farmer. Born in Yonkers as Stephen Victor Tallarico, this son of a classical musician and pianist really began to blossom after he and his fledgling band moved to Boston in 1970. For decades thereafter, Tyler full-out performances onstage and off have captured fans' imaginations. Clearly, he meant it when he famously asserted, "If it's worth doing, it's worth overdoing." In this richly vivid "rock 'n' roll memoir," the popular American Idol judge unfurls "all the unexpurgated, brain-jangling tales of debauchery, sex & drugs, transcendence & chemical dependence you will ever want to hear."
Does the Noise in My Head Bother You?: A Rock 'n' Roll Memoirby Steven Tyler
"I've been mythicized, Mick-icized, eulogized and fooligized, I've been Cole-Portered and farmer's-daughtered, I've been Led Zepped and 12-stepped. I'm a rhyming fool and so cool that me, Fritz the Cat, and Mohair Sam are the baddest cats that am. I have so many outrageous stories, too many, and I'm gonna tell 'em all. All the unexpurgated, brain-jangling tales of… See more details below
"I've been mythicized, Mick-icized, eulogized and fooligized, I've been Cole-Portered and farmer's-daughtered, I've been Led Zepped and 12-stepped. I'm a rhyming fool and so cool that me, Fritz the Cat, and Mohair Sam are the baddest cats that am. I have so many outrageous stories, too many, and I'm gonna tell 'em all. All the unexpurgated, brain-jangling tales of debauchery, sex & drugs, transcendence & chemical dependence you will ever want to hear."
The son of a classical pianist straight out of the Bronx of old Archie comics, Steven Tyler was born to be a rock star. Weaned on Cole Porter, Nat King Cole, Mick—and his beloved Janis Joplin—Tyler began tearing up the streets and the stage as a teenager before finally meeting his "mutant twin" and legendary partner Joe Perry. In this addictively readable memoir, told in the playful, poetic voice that is uniquely his own, Tyler unabashedly recounts the meteoric rise, fall, and rise of Aerosmith over the last three decades and riffs on the music that gives it all meaning.
Tyler tells what it's like to be a living legend and the frontman of one of the world's most revered and infamous bands—the debauchery, the money, the notoriety, the fights, the motels and hotels, the elevators, limos, buses and jets, the rehab. He reveals the spiritual side that "gets lost behind the stereotype of the Sex Guy, the Drug Guy, the Demon of Screamin', the Terror of the Tropicana." And he talks about his epic romantic life and his relationship with his four children. As dazzling, bold, and out-on-the-edge as the man himself, Does the Noise in My Head Bother You? is an all-access backstage pass into this extraordinary showman's life.
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Does the Noise in My Head Bother You?A Rock 'n' Roll Memoir
By Steven Tyler
EccoCopyright © 2011 Steven Tyler
All right reserved.
I as born at the Polyclinic Hospital in the Bronx, March
26, 1948. As soon as I could travel my parents headed
straight out of town to Sunapee, New Hampshire, to the
little housekeeping cottages they rented out every summer,
kind of an old-fashioned bed-and-breakfast deal,
only it was 1950. I was put in a crib at the side of the house. A
fox came by and thought I was a cub, grabbed me by the scruff
of my diaper, and dragged me into the woods. I grew up with the
animals and the children of the woods. I heard so much in the
silence of the pine tree forests that I knew later in life I would
have to fill that void. The only thing my parents knew was that
I was out there somewhere. They heard me cry in the forest one
night, but when they came up to where I was, all they saw was
a big hole in the ground, which they thought was the fox's den.
They dug and dug and dug, but all they found was the rabbit hole
I'd fallen intolike Alice.
And like Alice I entered another dimension: the sixth
dimension (the fifth dimension was already taken). Since then, I
can go to that place anytime I want, because I know the secret of
the children of the woods; there's so much in silence when you
know what you're hearingwhat dances between the psycho-
acoustics of any two notes and what reads between the lines
is akin to the juxtaposition of what you see when you look
in the mirror. My whole life has been dancing between these
worlds: the GOAN ZONE, the Way-Out-o-Sphere and . . .
the UNFORTUNATE STATE OF REALITY. In essence, I
call myself a peripheral visionary. I hear what people don't say
and I see what's invisible. At night, because our visual perception
is made up of rods and cones, if you're going down a dark
path, the only way to really see the path is to look off and see
it in your peripheral vision. But more on this as we progress,
regress, and digress.
When I finally got pulled out of the rabbit hole, my parents
brought me back to the third dimension. Like all parents they
were concerned, but I was afraid to tell them that I have never
felt more comfortable than being lost in that forest.
In Manhattan we lived at 124th Street and Broadway, not far
from the Apollo Theater. Harlem, man. If the first three years of
your life are the most informative, then surely I needed to hear
that music, and I was inspired by the noise coming out of that
theater. It had more soul than Saint Peter.
A few years ago I was back at the Apollo, and saw the park
where my mom had pushed me in my carriage. My first visual
memory is from THAT PARK: trees and clouds moving above
my head as if I were floating above the earth. There I am,
a two-year-old astral-projecting infant. At age four, I remember
going to get a gallon of milk with two quarters, walking with
my mom hand in hand through passages and corridors of the
basement of our building and through tunnels into the adjoining
building where the milk machine was. I thought I was . . .
God knows where. I might as well have been on Mars. Ah,
it was the mysterious world of childhood, where someone is
always leading you by the hand through a dark passageway and
into a brand-new world just waiting for the child's overactive
imagination to kick in.
My mother lit the fire that would keep me warm for the
rest of my life. She read me parables, Aesop's Fables, and Rudyard
Kipling's Just So Stories. Children's tales and nursery rhymes from
the eighteen hundreds, nineteen hundreds: "Hickory Dickory
Dock," Andrew Lang's The Nursery Rhyme Book, Hans
Christian Andersen, Helen Bannerman's Little Black Sambo. So great!
Never mind the "Goose That Laid the Golden Egg!" My mom
would read me all these stories every night at bedtime. But one
night when I was around six, she stopped.
"You gotta learn how to read 'em yourself," she said. Up until
then I'd been reading along with her as she pointed to the words.
We did this for months until she knew I kinda had the idea, then
suddenly there's no Mom looking over my shoulder. She just left
the book by my bed and I became distraught. "Mom, I wanna
hear the stories. Why won't you read to me anymore?!" I said.
And then one night I thought to myself, "Uh-oh, now I gotta get
smart." Naah. . . . I'll just become a musician and write my own
stories and myths . . . Aeromyths.
Mom used to tell me of a man she'd seen on the Steve Allen
Show, in 1956 when I was eight. His name was Gypsy Boots.
He was the original hippie, a guy who lived in a tree with hair
down to his waist and who promoted health food and yoga.
Gypsy was the proto-hippie. In the early thirties he had dropped
out of high school, wandered to California with a bunch of
other so-called vagabonds, lived off the land, slept in caves and
trees, and bathed in waterfalls. I was totally seduced by that
lifestyle. Boots's message was this: As primitive as his world
seemed, he wanted people to think that he would live forever.
Hey, he almost did, dying just eleven days before his ninetieth
birthday in 1994.
Next in my life came a bohemian composer named Eden
Ahbez, who wrote a song called "Nature Boy" (which my mom
heard on a Nat King Cole record). He camped out below the
first L in the Hollywood sign, studied Oriental mysticism, and,
like Gypsy Boots, he lived on vegetables, fruits, and nuts. My
mom sang that song to me before I went to sleep. I'll never forget
how it made me think that I was her nature boy.
The song tells the story of how one day an enchanted
wandering Nature Boywise and shy, with a sad, glittering eye
crosses the path of the singer. They sit by the fire and talk of
philosophers and knaves and cabbages and kings. As the boy gets
up to leave he imparts the secret of life: To love and be loved is
all we know and all we need to know. With that Nature Boy
vanishes into the night as mysteriously as he had come.
Unfortunately the people who own the rights to "Nature
Boy" won't let me publish the actual words to the song in this
book (still, you can just Google them), but I promise it will be on
my solo album come hell or high water.
Then there was Moondog. What a fantastic character, a
blind musician who dressed up like a Viking with a helmet
and horns and a spear to match. He hung out on the corner
of Fifty-sixth Street and Sixth Avenue. I saw and smelled him
every morning on my way to school. Oddly enough, he lived
up in the Bronx, apparently in the woods, back behind the
apartment buildings I grew up in. Was that a coincidence or
was that God secretly telling me, "Steven, thou shalt become
the Moondog of your generation"? Or at least the leader of a
rock 'n' roll band.
What I heard about Moondog was that he wrote "Nature
Boy," but what do I know? Maybe Eden Ahbez is Moondog
spelled backward. . . .
My mother's birth name was Susan Ray Blancha. At sixteen
she joined the WACS (Women's Army Corps). She met my dad
while they were both at Fort Dix in New Jersey during World
War II. One night he had a date with a woman who was rooming
with my mom. The roommate stood him up, and instead
he was greeted by my mother, who happened to be playing the
piano at the time. My dad walked over to her and said, "You're
playin' it wrong." It was love at first fight! They got married and
had lil ol' Lynda, my sister, and lil ol' me came two years later.
Ha-ha! That's my mom, that's my dad, and that's why I'm so
fuckin' detail-orientedand such a maniac. I got the traits that
I don't want and the ones I do. Because you're an offspring, you
pick up those traits unconsciously, in case you haven't noticed.
You become your mom!
So that's how I happened, 1948, a rare mixture of classical
Juilliard boy meets country pinup girl, who, by the way, looked
like a cross between Jean Harlow and Marlene Dietrich with a
tinge of Elly May Clampett. And if God's in the detailsand
we know She isthen I'm the perfect combination. I'm the N
in my parents' DNA. So now, if anyone's mad at me and calls me
a dick, I know they really mean Fort Dix. My daughter Chelsea
always thought God was a woman from the day she was born.
It was so nurturing hearing that from a child, that God would
have to be a woman, that I just never questioned it. (No wonder
I keep watching Oprah.)
Mom was a free spirit, a hippie before her time. She loved
folktales and fairy tales but hated Star Trek. She used to say,
"Why are you watching that? All the stories are from the
Bible. . . just six ways from Sunday. Get the Bible!" And I
thought, "Oh, boy, that's just what I wanna do after I've rolled
a doobie and I'm smokin' it with Spock." And by the way, that's
why teenagers today go, "Whatever!" But you knowand I can
only admit this in the cocktail hours of my lifeSHE WAS
RIGHT!!!!! Isaac Asimov's I Robot, Aldous Huxley's Brave New
World, that's where they got their inspiration. In the same way
that Elvis got his sound from Sister Rosetta Tharpe (I dare you
to YouTube her right now), Ernest Tubb, Bob Wills, and Roy
Orbison. And they, in turn, begat the Beatles and they begat the
Stones and they begat Elton John, Marvin Gaye, Carole King,
and . . . Aerosmith. So study your rock history, son. That be the
Bible of the Blues.
I was three when we moved to the Bronx, to an apartment building
at 5610 Netherland Avenue, around the corner from where
the comic book characters Archie and Veronica supposedly lived
(I guess that makes me Jughead). We lived there till I was nine,
on the top floor, and the view was spectacular. I would sneak
out the window onto the fire escape on hot summer nights and
pretend I was Spider-Man. The living room was a magical space.
It was literally eight feet by twelve! There was a TV in the corner
that was dwarfed by Dad's Steinway grand piano. There's my dad
sitting at the piano, practicing three hours every day, and me
building my imaginary world under his piano.
It was a musical labyrinth where even a three-year-old
child could be whisked away into the land of psychoacoustics,
where beings such as myself could get lost dancing between the
notes. I lived under that piano, and to this day I still love
getting lost under the cosmic hood of all things. Getting into it.
Beyond examining the nanos, I want to know about what lives
in the fifth within a triad . . . as opposed to drinking a fifth!
I've certainly got the psycho part . . . now if I could only get
the acoustic part down (although I did write a little ditty called
"Season of Wither").
And that's where I grew up, under the piano, listening
and living in between the notes of Chopin, Bach, Beethoven,
Debussy. That's where I got that "Dream On" chordage. Dad
went to Juilliard and ended up playing at Carnegie Hall; when
I asked him, "How do you get to Carnegie Hall?" he said, like
an Italian Groucho, "Practice, my son, practice." The piano was
his mistress. Every key on that piano had its own personal and
emotional resonance for him. He didn't play by rote. God, every
note was like a first kiss, and he read music like it was written
I remember crawling up underneath the piano and running
my fingers on top of the soundboards and feeling around. It was
a little dusty, and as I was looking up, dust spilled down and hit
me in the eyesdust from a hundred years ago. . . ancient piano
dust. It fell in my eyes and I thought, "Wow! Beethoven dust
the very stuff he breathed."
It was a full-blown Steinway grand piano, not a little upright
in the cornera big shiny black whale with black and white
teeth that swims at the bottom of my mind and from a great
depth hums strange tunes that come from I know not where.
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea had nothing on me.
Later on, I went back to visit 5610 Netherland Avenue. I
knocked on the door of apartment 6G, my old apartment. It had
been years, and the man who answered was drunk and in his
underwear and undershirt.
"Dad?" I asked. He cocked his head like Nipper, the RCA
"Hi, I'm" I started to say.
"Oh, I know who you are," said he. "From the TV. . . . What
are you doin' here?"
"I used to live here," I said.
"Well raise my rent!" said he.
Excerpted from Does the Noise in My Head Bother You? by Steven Tyler Copyright © 2011 by Steven Tyler. Excerpted by permission of Ecco. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Meet the Author
Born Steven Victor Tallarico on March 26, 1948, in Yonkers, New York, Steven Tyler is the iconic songwriter, composer, and voice of Aerosmith—America's greatest rock 'n' roll band—and is considered one of rock's most recognizable and dynamic frontmen. Rolling Stone magazine has cited him as one of the greatest singers of all time.
After coming together in Sunapee, New Hampshire, in the late sixties, five musicians made the decision to move to Boston, live together, and become the band we know today as Aerosmith: Tyler as frontman, guitarist Joe Perry, bassist Tom Hamilton, guitarist Ray Tabano, later replaced by Brad Whitford, and drummer Joey Kramer. The band has sold more than 100 million records across the globe and won numerous prestigious awards—multiple Grammys, American Music awards, Billboard awards, and MTV awards—and was inducted into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame in 2001.
Aerosmith has infiltrated rock history with their memorable appearances in Wayne's World and The Simpsons, at the halftime show at Super Bowl XXXV in 2001, and in their own Aerosmith version of Guitar Hero. Their number one single, "Don't Want to Miss a Thing," was nominated for an Academy Award for best song for the movie Armageddon. In December 2010, Tyler performed for President Obama and the First Lady in a special tribute to Sir Paul McCartney at the Kennedy Center Honors. In January 2011, Tyler joined Jennifer Lopez, Randy Jackson, and host Ryan Seacrest as a judge on the Fox TV phenomenon American Idol.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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This was an entertaining read. I found myself laughing out loud at some points and at others having so much trouble tracking that I felt I had been taking all those drugs right along with him. I think it delivers what it promises but I think the drug use is evident in the telling. I was having trouble with my Nook so I had trouble going back to see if I was correct but it seemed in the dialog about writing songs he would talk about writing them say in 1980 or something and then later in the book say he wrote them in 1970 something. I also felt that he wrote this somewhat to defend himself against what ex wives and bandmates had written about him. It was very defensive and it detracted from the book. It felt at some points like a 12 years old child defending bad behaviour or trying at least to justify it although some points he tried to make were actually done quite well. I also felt that he was a bit critical of fans, having not been a rock star I don't know what it's like but when he started complaining about fans telling him how Aerosmiths music played a role in their life I felt that was just bad form. I'm sure that after a while that stuff gets old but hey you have to take the bad with the good and I would think fans telling you how great you are and how much they love your music would be one of the easier things to tolerate. I liked the book, I thought it worth the money and it did make me want to read the other books he referred to just to see what the others had said that got his tail in a twist. I thought some of narrative was strictly for shock value and not necessary but it didn't bother me enough not to recommend reading this if you liked Aerosmith or Steven Tyler. And I wish B&N would limit reviews to comment about actual content and not complaints about price.... either you buy it or you don't, if your too cheap to buy it now wait for the price to come down, like you would if you were waiting for the paperback.
I think that this book is amazing and well worth the price. And for you NOOK haters out there, the list price of the hardcover version of this book was 27.99. with tax that equates to roughly $31.00, and you are complaining about spending $15.00 on it? What, were you expecting B&N to just give you the book for free along with a complimentary Venti Latte from their cafe? Please look into all the facts before you write a review, Thank You. As I was saying, this is already a terrific book and I highly recommend it to any Aerosmith or Steven Tyler fan. I also recommend Joey Kramer's autobiography as well. Thank You.
Took a minute to get the feel of this book. However, I love his ' Steven-isms'. He's definately one of the rare ones in this world. I would love to spend a few hours picking his brain. There are too few like him! I feel like I understand him a little better. I'm so glad he exists in the universe with us!
For such a music legend, I would pay double. All in your perspective, I guess. Complaints about the cost should be directed to B&N's customer service dept., not as a review of this wonderful e-book.
Steven Tyler has a style all his own and is what made this book such a great read. I especially liked the parts about when he was growing up.
Thank you to those that gave an actual review of the book! I will definitely download on my Nook! Thanks for the 'heads up' about Chapter 4. For those that are hung up on the price... so be it! Sounds like you're going to miss a good read!
To be honest, I accidentally purchased this eBook on my Nook (thank goodness it was only $3 at that time!)...I knew Steven Tyler had released an autobiography, but I didn't really have any interest in reading it. Since I purchased it, I figured I might as well read it. I got about 30 pages into it, and I could not read any further. As a few of the other reviews mention, the writing is choppy and hard to follow, and there is no real rhythm to the book (or what I managed to read of it). Unless you are a die-hard fan, I would not recommend this.
Be it far from me to judge others but... For awhile I was getting a little bit tired about Steven Tyler "bragging" about his drug addiction. His love/hate relationship with the other band members started getting boring as well. At the end, Tyler suddenly seems to realize the benefits of a clean life. I am very grateful that my life didn't turn out like his. Give me a dull boring life with family and friends, with a wonderful wife of over 35 years, two wonderful and successful children along with beautiful grandchildren. I may not have a nice bank account balance like Tyler, but I do have a rich life. I also noticed a lot of blaming other people other than himself. Tyler's life seems pretty sad from what he tells the reader. Tyler also brags about his calling on demons. That's just pure insanity. If I were to compare this book to Eric Clapton's autobiography, I would prefer Clapton's. Clapton may have been a drug addict but at least he didn't brag about doing drugs. And in the end of his bio, he talks about humbling himself every morning and every night to God. Even though Tyler states that he says his prayers every day, I saw more of a sincerity in Clapton's bio. My rating of Tyler's book would be between two and two and a half stars.
I never really followed Aerosmith and I only knew some of there songs and even then not knowing it was them. But after seeing Steven Tyler on American Idol and loving the character he is I had to buy the book. How accurate it is I don't know, it's his accuracy. But it is the most entertaining book I have read in a long time. I would love to meet him and the noise in his head in person. Stay clean.
Highly dissapointing. Disjointed, fragmented and full of meaningless Tyler gibberish. No chronology or flow. Lot's of lame Tyler-speak that is hard to get passed. Appears the editor rushed to publish to time with his American Idol appearance. More of a marketing gimmick that a well thought out autobiography. Pass
I love S.T. And Aerosmith but the book was choppy and sometimes a little hard to follow. Really, not so great.
I guess ol Steve was trying to settle some scores and shed some light but to me it comes off as bitter and disjointed rambling. Save your money
You can hear clearly hear Steven from begining to end in this autobiography. His sense of self is on every page and there is no doubt that he wrote this book. If you need to have a linear read from point A to point B you won't like this ride, however if you can handle the time jumps, the emotions and the memories this is a fantastic read!
if it was all removed, the book would be less than half it's length. While I know this is his persona, much of it was just unnecessary.
The 1st 100 pages are very hard to follow. It is very scattered in it's time line of events. Like Steven Tyler himself you almost need to have a buzz on to get through it. If you push on from there it settles down and gets very ineresting telling what made Aerosmith a truly iconic Rock band. The last 100 pages leaves you wanting more detailed information which it unfortunately omits. If you love Aerosmith though it's worth the read. Seening how amazing a true musical genius was able to put together such grea hits while clearly huger than a kite.
Havent made it all the way through this book yet, but so far i love it. Steven tyler puts his talent as a songwriter into poetic use as an author. This book is every bit as interesting as the man himself! Great read!
Its a bit choppy but its almost like hes talking to you. It has his personality in every sentence. Hes cockly and lewd and tender att times. Sort of what you knew of him through his music.
Loved it...loved it....loved it....saw a whole other side to the man who IS AEROSMITH! Deeply intelligent, deeply spiritual, deeply loving.
Dont buy the nookbook! It has an error in it :( Mine was missing the entire 4th chapter. B&N was great, credited my account, now I just have to wait for the hardcover to get here..
BN doesn't set ebook prices. The publishers do.
Aerosmith ( no offense ) were VERY addicted to women.
It took me ages to finish this book, and has forever changed my perception of Tyler. Absolutely cringe worthy; no redeeming factors in this book what so ever!! Very disappointed with the writing in general (extremely hard to follow), Tyler’s lack of self reflection and the man himself. Has he learned nothing, seems so.