Aerosmith created a touching tribute for the Boston Marathon Bombing victims by reworking their hit “Dream On” with the Southern California Children’s Chorus. The Toxic Twins Steven Tyler and Joe Perry play together with the choir in a cavernous church, creating a beautifully haunting performance.
Tyler really gives his all during the song, pouring his soul into it and delivering a stellar vocal performance. Perry meanwhile really jacked up effects on his guitar to fill out the sound and add to the ambience of the arrangement. In this version of the song the piano part has a much larger part to play than the original rock arrangement, while Perry also completely reworks the lead guitar to fit the stripped back feel.
Aerosmith formed in 1970 in Boston, Massachusetts and The Toxic Twins still live in the state, so clearly the bombing had a big impact on the group. Further adding to the poignance of the video are photos of the victims of the bombing in happier times, with their names and ages. You can hear the original studio recording for “Dream On” in the video below.
Aerosmith were preparing to board their flight for an Australian tour when they heard the news of the bombing. Ever the consummate professionals, the band went ahead with the tour, but it wasn’t easy for them. After landing in Australia, Perry said at a press conference that his children were a mile away from the bombing site when the blasts went off.
“It was really tough getting on the plane I have to say because the news was just dribbling in,” the guitarist said. “As they were putting the body counts on the TV we were in the waiting room to get on a plane and fly how many hundreds of thousands of miles away from where my kids are. They were both watching the race and both of them have lost friends.”
Aerosmith’s evergreen hit “Dream On” was released as their debut single in 1973, and the song also became their commercial breakthrough, hitting 59 on the Billboard Hot 100, as well as becoming a massive radio hit in Boston.
The power ballad has remained a fan favourite, and is currently the band’s most streamed track on Spotify, with 974 million streams clocked. The song, which was included on the band’s self-titled debut studio album, was also featured in Rolling Stone magazine’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time list at 172.