Steven Tyler’s Aerosmith Song About Child Abuse And Incest

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Many people refer to Aerosmith as the Bad Boys from Boston for several reasons. The reputation of two of its iconic members, Steven Tyler and Joe Perry, as ‘Toxic Twins’ significantly contributed to their notorious image. Apart from their famous substance addiction, these two musicians had a pretty busy private life creating scandals. However, their fame didn’t only come from their controversial choices; they also released countless chart hits and groundbreaking albums.

The shift in their sound and theme to a darker path came when the band released their first single from the album, ‘Pump’ in 1989. The song has a darker topic than their previous songs since the lead singer Steven Tyler wanted to raise awareness of heartbreaking matters in society, child abuse and incest. Though his intention paid off thanks to the song’s success, some raised eyebrows due to Tyler’s history with these subjects.

Steven Tyler Wanted To Draw Awareness To Child Abuse And Incest

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Steven Tyler and Tom Hamilton wrote ‘Janie’s Got a Gun’ for the 1989 album ‘Pump.’ The song made a sensational impact on society by subjecting topics like child abuse, rape, and incest. The band later changed its lyrics so it was more appropriate to be aired on radio, but initially had triggering words like ‘rape.’ The song also subjects revenge murder where the child kills her father for violating her.

As he explained, Steven Tyler’s intention for writing such a song was to draw attention to the not widely spoken subjects like child violence and incest. According to him, many children go through these horrifying incidents and are being abused by adults, even their parents. However, they do not speak up because they don’t entirely comprehend what’s going on. This situation affects their mental health and later emerges as problems in their lives.

Here is how Steven Tyler explained the inspiration for the song:

“I got really angry that nobody was paying homage to those who were abused by mom and dad.”

He stated in Aerosmith’s autobiography:

“That song is about a girl getting raped and pillaged by her father. It’s about incest, something that happens to a lot of kids who don’t even find out about it until they find themselves trying to work through some major f*cking neuroses.”

Though the song gained high chart positions in many countries, and some praised Tyler for his thoughtful action to draw attention, his name was once mentioned with those things. According to a groupie named Julia Holcomb, Tyler adopted, impregnated, and forced her for abortion when she was an underage girl. Ironically, the rocker wanted to write a song he stood against but did those things himself.

You can listen to the song ‘Janie’s Got a Gun’ below.