AEROSMITH's "Dude (Looks Like A Lady)" Was Partially Inspired By STEVEN TYLER Mistaking VINCE NEIL For "A Hot Chick From Behind At A Bar," Says Songwriter DESMOND CHILD

May 15, 2018, 5 months ago

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AEROSMITH's "Dude (Looks Like A Lady)" Was Partially Inspired By STEVEN TYLER Mistaking VINCE NEIL For "A Hot Chick From Behind At A Bar," Says Songwriter DESMOND CHILD

Desmond Child, with songwriting credits include Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ On A Prayer” and “You Give Love A Bad Name”, Alice Cooper's "Poison", KISS' "I Was Made For Lovin' You", as well as Aerosmith’s “Dude (Looks Like A Lady)”, spoke with PEOPLE.com about the stories behind some of his biggest smashes.

On Aerosmith's "Dude (Looks Like A Lady)", Child reveals: "After having had my huge winning streak with Bon Jovi, I was asked to travel to Boston to work with Aerosmith by legendary A&R man John Kalodner at Geffen Records. The band had never collaborated with an outside writer before and I was imposed upon them by the label. So I walked into this giant industrial warehouse where the band was set up with a fully equipped stage, including mountainous stacks of Marshall amps and a singular lead vocal mic festooned with Steven Tyler‘s signature long flowing tie-dyed scarves. On the floor were neatly assembled rows of over 100 guitars standing at attention like soldiers in every shape and sparkly rock star finish imaginable.

"Steven warmly greeted me with his enormous smile and introduced me to a stand-offish Joe Perry. They played me a backwards guitar loop that sounded like a boogie blues harmonica and Steven began singing “Cruisin’ for the ladies, da-dap da-dap… cruisin’ for the ladies” and asked me what I thought. The first words out of my mouth were: “I think that really sucks. It sounds like a bad Van Halen cast off they wouldn’t even put on the worst record of their enemy.” Now with his ire up and arms crossed over his chest, Joe looked like he was ready to have me escorted out the door by the roadies.

"Steven jumped in and sheepishly admitted that he had mistaken blonde mullet-topped Vince Neil of the band Mötley Crüe for a hot chick from behind at a bar and started to sing “Dude looks like a lady.” I lit up and said, “Now THAT’S a hit song title!” Joe finally spoke up and flatly said, “But we don’t know what means.” I said “I know what that means,” and talked them into the premise of an average guy who “cruised into a bar on the shore” and falls head over heels in love with the curvaceous stripper on stage, only to later find out that “she” was a “he”… but goes for it anyway. Thus the lyrics, “Never judge a book by its cover, or who you gonna love by your lover,” and “My funky lady I like it, like it, like it like that.”

"The idea of a transgendered character in a hit song being shown in a positive light was completely fresh and revolutionary. It was so catchy that even without knowing what the song was about, people everywhere started spontaneously singing it at the top of their lungs. Even Mrs. Doubtfire was doing the broom dance to it and every little kid in America could sing all the words by heart. I heard one drunk guy on the street yelling, “Do a naked lady” - I guess that’s what he probably wanted it to say. The other side of a song is the listener who always brings their own story to a song no matter what it’s saying. The success of “Dude Looks Like a Lady” brought Aerosmith back big time and ushered in an unstoppable wave of hit after hit from one of the world’s greatest and most enduring bands. Aerosmith took a big risk and won - so did I."

Read more at PEOPLE.com.

Desmond Child received the ASCAP Founders Award at the performance rights organization’s annual ASCAP Pop Music Awards, held in Beverly Hills on April 23rd.

Alice Cooper, KISS’ Paul Stanley, and former Bon Jovi guitarist and current RSO member Richie Sambora were on hand to honor Child, reports Forbes.com.

All three Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame members heaped praise on their longtime friend and collaborator. “Think about all the songs this guy wrote. He literally brought people right back into the business - Aerosmith, Bon Jovi,” Cooper said. “All of a sudden there was that whole new fresh sound. I kept listening to these records and I kept going, ‘Wow, who’s writing these songs?’ And I kept seeing this Desmond, Desmond, Desmond. I said, ‘I gotta get in touch with this guy. I want to do ‘You Give Love A Bad Name’ a lot more dangerous.’ And that was ‘Poison'.”

“We kind of came up together in a big way. I think it was our first big record together ever,” Sambora said.

Stanley says he has some part in that. “Sustaining the song is what it’s all about and Desmond has done a great job of that. I actually put Desmond with Bon Jovi, that was a fortuitous move,” he says.

Read the full report at Forbes.com.



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