Tom Hamilton (Aerosmith)

Photo courtesy of Aerosmith Com Photo courtesy of Aerosmith Com

Photo courtesy of Aerosmith Com

By Thomas Semioli

He anchors the almighty Demon of Screamin’ in what is arguably America’s greatest rock and roll band.

A chameleonic player, Thomas William Hamilton varies his tools and tone yet maintains his identity within the boundaries of the Aerosmith.

He works the pocket, he doubles the riffage, he renders countermelodies… and he’s done it all on Fender basses (Precision and Jazz), G & L, MusicMan Stingray, MusicMan Sabre, Hofner, Sadowsky, Parker…and probably a few I’ve missed.

His motif to “Sweet Emotion” is among the most recognized in the history of rock and roll:

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Tom has dozens of co-writing credits including the aforementioned “Sweet Emotion,” as well as “Janie’s Got a Gun, “Jaded,” “Critical Mass,” and “Sick as a Dog.”

On latter-day slabs Pump (1989), Get A Grip (1993), and Nine Lives (1997) Hamilton harbors a growling low B to further underpin the Tyler’s hoops ‘n’ hollers coupled with Joe Perry’s raucous riffage.

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On the band’s fifteenth studio effort Music From Another Dimension (2012) Tom takes the lead vocal for the first time on “Up on the Mountain.”

“Up On the Mountain”

Among Tom’s signature passages is “Walk This Way.”

Here is Jack Douglas -from a KYBP social media thread – discusses how Hamilton achieved his sound on this track:  “Basic secret of Walk This Way bass sound was setting up the SVT EQ, using the right mics and combining it with the dir. Same with Sweet Emo except I doubled the bass line with a bass marimba, which Jay Messina played so tight you can’t hear it. The Flickenger Limiter with the 100 cycle pass through tightened up the whole sound and the massive amount of tubes in that monster added it’s own special sauce.”

“Walk This Way”

Courtesy of Aerosmith Com Courtesy of Aerosmith Com

Courtesy of Aerosmith Com

Dig Tony Senatore’s rendition of “Mama Kin”

Dig Tony Senatore’s rendition of “Walk This Way”

Dig Tony Senatore’s rendition of “Train’ Kept A Rollin’ from Get Your Wings

Dig Steven Tyler flubbing a “Sweet Emotion” bass lesson with Tal Wilkenfeld!

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