Aerosmith has been reunited with a crucial part of their history – one they had assumed was long gone. Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz of American Pickers delivered the band’s 1970s touring van to them at their residency in Las Vegas.
Like many aspiring rock bands, Aerosmith spent part of their formative years traveling from gig to gig in a van. Amazingly, theirs turned up about a year ago in a wooded area of Massachusetts. It featured distinguishing artwork of their roadie at the time and the band’s name. The van did not run, but it does now.
The American Pickers team refurbished it, sometimes using parts from a similar van, but keeping as much as they could intact. Aerosmith wanted to buy it back when it was done and they were stunned by the results. Guitarist Joe Perry says one of the little things he remembers most about the van is the loud, creaky sound of the door sliding shut.
“You guys did such a good job making it look like it did then, because it does have – this is the kind of wear that was on it,” he said as he noted the exterior.
“We spent a lot of time and hours traveling in this box and it looks and feels the same,” marveled drummer Joey Kramer.
The van has been on display at the Park Theater at the Park MGM. Perry says he hopes it ends up in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame someday.