"We started Night In The Ruts with Jack in the spring of 1979. I'm not sure why he wasn't involved later on, but he wasn't. We rehearsed a bunch of songs at the Wherehouse. Next thing we're down in New York to cut the tracks and Steven didn't have the vocals. It was hard for him, and this time he just couldn't come up with the lyrics. So the album got delayed. We were supposed to tour that summer and play with Led Zeppelin at Knebworth in England, but with no album it all got canceled."
"I had five things and I still like some of the stuff we did for Night In The Ruts. "Cheesecake" was done in one take with no overdubs, adapted from a Wherehouse track called "Let It Slide". I started the track playing a regular six-string, changed to a lap-steel, played bottlneck for the solo, and then back to the six-string, all live. Which is an indication of how weird things were, because even though the band was falling apart in every other way, we could still play well together when we wanted to.
Most of the time, though, we just stopped giving a fuck. The Aerosmith album was in limbo from April on and at a certain point I had to wash my hands of it. I said, "It's your album. Do what you want with it. You've got my work. You can use it or erase it. I'm working on something else." My last session was on May 30, 1979. We cut a thirty-second jam labeled "Shithouse Shuffle" that I thought was pretty cool and filed it away for future use. Maybe someone will be interested in it someday, I thought."
Steven Page 352
""Bone to Bone (Coney Island Whitefish Boy)"
is one of the tracks from before Joe left, along with "Chiquita," "Cheescake," "Three Mile Smile," and "No Surprize." I had to explain to the press that a Coney Island whitefish is a used rubber. "Reefer Headed Woman" was a 1940's blues record. I had the lyrics in a notebook that got stolen, and I had to call Dr. Demento from the Record Plant, where we finished the album, and the Doctor read the lyrics to me over the phone. "Think About It" was the Yardbirds' song. Joe Perry played on all these tracks and we left his leads on.
The album ended with "Mia", an Aerosmith ballad with Richie Supa and guitar tech Neil Thompson playing guitars. It was a lullaby I wrote on the piano for my daughter, but the tolling bell notes at the end of the song and the end of the album sounded more like the death knell of Aerosmith for people who knew what was going on."
"If Joe had come to the studio instead of being home with his other band, he might have had more say about the album. As it was, I had to bust my hump to get him down there to fuckin' do overdubs and put leads on. But he was pissed off. He was upset. He wouldn't come down. I tried my damndest. That's when our friendship broke up. I kept calling and calling. When I got through, he told me he wanted excitement, wanted to play clubs. I go, "Fuck you! Nobody in their right mind wants to go back and play clubs the rest of their lives after becoming a big band." We were playing to the biggest audiences at the time. "What the hell do you wanna go play in clubs again for?""
Tom Page 344
"We worked on the album, but we couldn't finish it. It was supposed to come out in June and be called Off Your Rocker, but there were no lyrics. It was a big crisis. David Krebs took out three months to do the album and then booked gigs for that summer, months in advance, twenty-five huge festivals with Ted Nugent that we couldn't cancel out on without devastaion. It was the worst frustration we'd ever faced, going out on the road before the album was finished. Krebs told us we had to, and everybody was freaked out, especially Joe Perry. I remember coming down to New York one night, having long before finished my tracks, on one of my periodic in-the-loop visits. Someone said the lyrics still weren't finished and wouldn't be anytime soon. I got drunk on Jack Daniel's, came in the studio where they were working on overdubs, and made a scene. "Where are the vocals? I came down here to hear some fucking vocals!" They just looked at me.
At the same time, we could see that Joe was working up his solo career in front of us. At one gig, someone said that Ralph Mormon was available. Joe says, "Oh? Really?" Next thing we knew, Joe had contacted him and was going forward with his solo record."
Brad Page 348
"I wouldn't even change in the dressing room because they were screaming and throwing shit. I thought, These guys are nuts. I'd just get my bag and go. Total insanity, and no part for me to play in it. Being in Aerosmith was like walking into a dogfight and both dogs bite you. Cleveland was just another show for me, hanging out with Bon Scott of AC/DC, drinking a beer and digging on the scene, trying to stay out of trouble."
"They said we were gonna audition guitar players. I asked, "Can we do this?" It didn't seem right to me, but--what were we gonna do? "So-- let's try to put somebody in that spot." We saw some people and Danny Johnson was the best. If his hair was longer, he would've been the guy, because he played so good. But he'd just gotten a haicut and Steven didn't like it."