Legendary Child
Recording Artist: Aerosmith
Writers: Steven Tyler
Joe Perry
Jim Vallance
Date Written: December 1991 - April 1992 / Vancouver, Canada
Albums: Music from Another Dimension (Columbia/Sony, 2012)
G.I. Joe: Retaliation / film soundtrack album (2012)
  Steven Tyler: vocal
Joe Perry: guitar
Brad Whitford: guitar
Tom Hamilton: bass
Joey Kramer: drums

Produced by Jack Douglas. Recorded at Pandora's Box, Boston.
Sometimes music fans know more facts about the songs than the musicians who write and record them! Gonzalo Collarte is one of those dedicated, knowledgeable fans.

Gonzalo has a passionate interest in Aerosmith "out-takes" ... in other words, songs that were written but never recorded, or songs that were written and recorded, but never released. In fact, Gonzalo is a world-class authority on the subject.

I wrote and recorded "Legendary Child" with Steven and Joe during the December 1991 "Get A Grip" sessions. Aerosmith performed the song "live" on a few occasions -- they even recorded a complete studio version -- but it was never officially released.

Years went by and I'd pretty much forgotten about "Legendary Child". Then, on March 6, 2012 I got an email from Gonzalo informing me that Aerosmith would be releasing "Legendary Child" in the next week or two.

This was the first I'd heard about it! Very exciting news! Thank you Gonzalo!

I contacted Aerosmith's manager, Trudy Green, to see if Gonzalo's information was accurate. Turns out it was accurate ... but there was one small problem. According to Trudy, Steven and Joe had no memory of me co-writing "Legendary Child". In other words, I could expect no credit and no royalties for my contribution to the song.

Considering more than twenty years had passed since the song was written, I can forgive Steven and Joe for the memory lapse ... but I can't forgive Trudy for subjecting me to an intense and disrespectful telephone interrogation, as if I were some random nut-case claiming that Aerosmith stole my song. Trudy concluded her tirade by saying, "Prove you wrote it" ...

... which I proceeded to do.

Fortunately I still had my "work-in-progress" recordings from the 1990's. This was a "surrogate memory" method I'd developed during many years collaborating with other writers. Songwriting is a random process. Basically you go "fishing" for ideas, jamming for hours until something occurs that seems worthy of refining. Sometimes your writing partner will say, "Hey, what was that riff you just played". And you'll reply, "What riff?", having forgotten whatever brilliant gem you'd accidentally stumbled upon, then immediately forgotten. But wait ... if there's a tape rolling, you can simply roll back, and there it is .. your brilliant idea is preserved! I can't tell you how many times those nearly-forgotten nuggets ended up being songs!

Furthermore, I never erased any of them. When a tape was full it was labeled and it went in a box. You never know when you might want to refer back to a fruitful and inspired writing session.

So that's what I did to prove that I'd helped write "Legendary Child". It took an hours of digging through 30-year-old boxes in my basement, but I found several DAT tapes labeled "Aerosmith 1991". When I played them, you could clearly hear our individual voices -- me, Steven and Joe -- discussing the song "Legendary Child", while we're writing and recording it. 

I emailed a digital copy of the recording to Trudy as proof of my involvement. Memories were jogged and everything got sorted out.

Sweet man that he is, Steven phoned me to apologize for the oversight. Trudy, not so much.

"Legendary Child" finally and officially debuted on May 23, 2012 when Aerosmith performed it on "American Idol".

The song was also included on Aerosmith's 2012 album "Music From Another Dimension" ... and it appeared on the film soundtrack for "GI Joe 2".
"Work in progress" tapes from my vault
Legendary child

I’ll tell you what I’m talking about

Makin' love at 17, yeah we had the luck
But we traded them toys for other joys
And we didn’t give a ...
(Whoa whoa whoa)

I took a chance at the high school dance
Never knowin' wrong from right
And that same show 40 years ago
Bein' televised tonight

'Cause getting from inside my head to the Taj Mahal
I went from never havin' none to wanna have it all

I wanna keep that dream alive
And eat that honey from the hive
With all the noise and all the clamour
No surprise, you know I am a

Legendary child

I think that what I’m trying to say ... is

Sticks and stones will break your bones
At least they’ll rearrange
I’ll drop a dime, and every time
I get myself a nickel’s change
(Whoa whoa whoa)

They say we don’t know Jack
At "The Plant" we proved them wrong
We traded in our souls at night and sold them for a song

And if Satan had a lady friend her name was Mary Jane
I never wondered why she tried to drive us quite insane

And how we got that golden fleece
From toking on that pipe of peace
Well yeah, as far as I can see
There is a god ’cause I got me a

Legendary child
Legendary child

(guitar solo)

Legendary child

Legendary child
Legendary child

Oh-oh, oh-oh ...
Oh-oh, oh-oh ...
Oh-oh, oh-oh ...
Oh-oh, oh-oh ...

Legendary child
Legendary child