Story Behind the Song: Steven Tyler, ‘Red, White & You’
Although Steven Tyler is himself a prolific songwriter, the Aerosmith frontman reached out to country newcomer Levi Hummon (son of famed songwriter Marcus Hummon), as well as Nathan Barlowe and Jon Vella, for "Red, White & You," his second country single. Below, Hummon tells The Boot about how Tyler laid claim to the (at the time, not-yet-finished) song, and recalls the surreal experience of meeting the music icon in person.
I got a call from my publisher, Desmond Child -- he wrote "Dude Looks Like a Lady," [and he and Tyler] are very good friends. They were just hanging out in the studio, and Desmond played him a bunch of my songs, including one that wasn’t finished called "Red, White & You." Desmond told Steven, "You need one of those old Aerosmith, rock-out-in-the-stadium songs." He played that for him, and Steven was like, "I need to put my voice on that right now."
I went down to the studio, and I was sitting there at the console, listening to the demo, and Steven Tyler entered the room. All of a sudden, this amazing cologne smell was in the room, and Steven just ran up from behind me and grabbed me and was like, "What’s up, dude?"
My heart stopped for a second, and [I] turned around and was like, "Play it cool, dude. Just play it cool." I was 100-percent starstruck, and I was in a room with him for 12 hours being starstruck ... Still, to this day, I’m like, pinch me or something, because it’s Steven Tyler; he’s one of the most iconic voices in history. My favorite song growing up was "Dream On," and I would cry when I heard it.
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