"After Ralph Mormon, we listened to a hundred audition tapes and came up with Charlie Farren, who was in a local band called Balloon that had a single on the radio at the time. He was a good rhythm guitarist who could sing. We started rehearsing in my basement and came up with some songs: "Soldier Of Fortune", "I've Got The Rock n Rolls Again", and a bunch of others. I was so broke I was having difficulty keeping the band together and affording my lifestyle. I took every cent and spent it on drugs. I owed everyone money, including back taxes to the IRS. Nothing was coming in from Krebs, whose strategy was to starve me out to get me back in Aerosmith.
Around this time I replaced Bob Casper with Don Law, the veteran Boston promoter. Don had managed the Tea Party back in the old days and I had this notion in my head that he would be so thrilled to manage me he'd give me a big advance so I wouldn't lose my house.
Liv Taylor--also managed by Don--had to take me aside one night. "Uh, Joe, Don's a great guy and I know he'll do his best for you. But I don't think he's going to give you $100,000 just like that".
"Oh. Shit. Too bad."
In the spring of 1981, the Project started working at my house on the new record. Then we moved over to the Wherehouse, where we developed songs by Charlie farren ("East Coast West Coast") and David hull ("Dirty Little Things" and "Buzz Buzz"). We cut a version of Elvis's "Heartbreak Hotel", intended as a single. I took a shuffle I'd been working on and turned it into "South Station Blues". The record, originally titled Soldier Of Fortune, was produced by Bruce Botnick, who had worked with the Doors as an engineer and had produced their last great album, L.A. Woman. We brough the Record Plant's truck back up to Boston, parked it on Washington Street in front of the Boston Opera House, and cut the album inside the elegant but decrepit old theater.
We mixed the album at the Record Plant in L.A. Columbia released the album as I've Got The Rock 'n' Rolls Again in the summer of 1981 and promptly buried it. Nobody ever even heard it except for the hardest of the hard-core fans.
To pay the bills, we went out on the road, playing with Heart, ZZ Top, and J. Geils, who had a hit record with "Centerfold."
One night that summer, I picked up the phone and Steven Tyler was on the other end of the line, the first time I'd talked to him in a year. I asked how the band was doing and he said they were working on an album and it was goin pretty slow. I think the word "Stranded" was used. We might have discussed writing some material together for the album, but nothing ever came of it except some rumors floated by interested parties that Aerosmith was getting back together.
But it wasn't. A couple of months later, Brad called and told me he'd left Aerosmith too.