Locals remember first-ever Aerosmith concert in Mendon
Photo entitled “Aerosmith as Brad Whitford joins, 1971 (Photo: Chris Smith)”. Photo courtesy of Dan Malloy at www.hope1842.com/hope1842/aerosmithknowall.html
Band's first performance was at Nipmuc in Nov. 1970
By Linda Chuss
MENDON - Nearly everyone knows Aerosmith, the legendary band that formed in the 70s (and has been active ever since) and who was inducted into the Rock and Hall of Fame in 2001. Many people know the group hails from Massachusetts and think of them as Boston-based, but few know Aerosmith’s earliest roots are right here in Mendon.
On Nov. 6, 1970, Joe Perry then of Hopedale, and his four bandmates played their first paid concert – at that time, considered a “student dance” – in the gym at Nipmuc Regional High School, now Miscoe Hill Middle School, in Mendon.
Among those who attended that night was Philip McRobert now of Hopkinton.
“I didn’t know who the band was, but my friend Mark Moser from Upton did and said we had to go because they were really good. Ticketsated high school. It was the Vietnam era and we’d just gotten our draft numbers and were wearing Army jackets, a popular style of coat then. Our hair was longer, we wore jeans and work boots, and probably a sweatshirt – we all dressed alike.
“We arrived late. It was a small gym and there were probably 50 to 100 people there. A bunch of guys stood around the outside of the floor and watched the band. People danced on the gym floor. We got as close to the stage as we could. The band was very good. After we heard about six songs, a teacher chaperoning the dance recognized Mark and knowing he was no longer a student, told us to leave. We may be the first people to get thrown out of an Aerosmith show.”
Asked if he realized the band would become famous, McRobert said, “No. I like live music and I’ve heard a lot of talented musicians over the years. The ones that succeed also have a good, popular song. That’s not something you could tell that night.”
After the first concert, McRobert went to other local Aerosmith performances, including at the Cricket Lounge in Ashland. Over the years, he followed the group and still enjoys them. In Oct., McRobert went to Miscoe Hill School for an exhibition his granddaughter was participating in. He pointed out to her the gym where the concert had been.
As for the band, at that first show in Mendon in 1970, lead singer Steven Tyler wore a t-shirt that read “Nipmuc Phys. Ed.”, and the rest, as they say, is history.
In 2023, Aerosmith announced its “Peace Out: The Farewell Tour” in 2023 which was then rescheduled due to Steven Tyler’s vocal injury, according to www.aerosmith.com.
McRobert said he would be thrilled if Aerosmith performed their last-ever show in the same town where it all began – in Mendon. were cheap, under a dollar, so a small group of us went. At that point, we had already gradu