AEROSMITH BASSIST TOM HAMILTON DISCUSSES “TOYS IN THE ATTIC,” HIS HEALTH AND VISUAL ART
Long Island Pulse: Forty years later, how do you view Toys in the Attic?
Tom Hamilton: That one was really a moment of inspiration for us. Our second album, Get Your Wings, we were under a lot of pressure from the label because they weren’t happy with how our first album [Aerosmith] did. So, we got to that project and made a better album. When it came time to do Toys in the Attic, I think we all really wanted to step up and make a statement. The band was really getting good and our producer, Jack Douglas, was someone that we had a lot of faith in—he was becoming a great producer. Everybody just really wanted to go and kick ass. If you look at the changes between Get Your Wings and Toys in the Attic, you can see how much better we were at making records and writing songs.
Pulse: How are you doing with your throat cancer?
TH: Good. My doctor thought I was pretty much done with the cancer that I had in ’06 and then it came back a few years later. I was faced with losing my way of life…if not my life. But there’s a guy here in Boston that Adele referred to [Steven Zeitels], who does novel surgeries and was able to do a procedure that got the cancer out of my throat without having to ruin the rest of it. I just saw him the other day and he said, “You beat this one. You can keep coming to see me if you want, but I don’t think you need to worry about this cancer coming back.” I said, “I’ll come back to see you every six months from here until eternity, if it’s alright with you!”
Pulse: This is also Pulse’s Art & Music issue. Do you collect art?
TH: I do have some nice artwork that my wife and I have accumulated over the years. One of the first things we bought was from some dealer on Central Park West. We were in our twenties and had no idea what we were doing. We were just referred to this guy by a friend, who said, “They have a Georgia O’Keeffe.” So we have a little watercolor by Georgia O’Keeffe. With just a few gestures, she created something that when you first look at it, it seems abstract, but then you realize exactly what it is. It’s a picture of a woman bending down to pick up a flower.
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