Aerosmith: In Full Flight by Tony Mottram book review

Limited-edition collection of intimate photos of the band

Cover art for Aerosmith: In Full Flight by Tony Mottram book

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Photographer Tony Mottram shot shy, retiring wallflower Steven Tyler and the bad boys from Boston for Sounds, Kerrang! and other mags in the 80s and 90s. Usually only one or two shots from a session were used, so he had a surplus of candids. Many, ranging from plentiful live captures to off-stage poses – “You have to grab hold; sometimes it’s your crotch, sometimes it’s reality,” offers the eloquent Tyler – are presented in this expensive hardback book, which lands in an oddly appropriate silver flight case. There are close-up, feel-the-sweat shots from the Marquee in 1990 with Jimmy Page guesting, and broader photos from the Monsters Of Rock festival. An eyebrow-raising session at the band’s Wherehouse rehearsal studio shows Tyler laughing heartily as the Mottram sports a gigantic dildo found on site. You just don’t get that kind of access with these Ed Sheerans the youngsters have nowadays.

Chris Roberts

Chris Roberts has written about music, films, and art for innumerable outlets. His new book The Velvet Underground is out April 4. He has also published books on Lou Reed, Elton John, the Gothic arts, Talk Talk, Kate Moss, Scarlett Johansson, Abba, Tom Jones and others. Among his interviewees over the years have been David Bowie, Iggy Pop, Patti Smith, Debbie Harry, Bryan Ferry, Al Green, Tom Waits & Lou Reed. Born in North Wales, he lives in London.