Fear, Racism, Rehab and History: The 25th Anniversary of Run DMC & Aerosmith's "Walk This Way"

The Golden Age of Music Video:

So, I wrote the idea, they bought it, and then I had to get on this I spoke to Aerosmith's manager, and he said, "Hey, these guys just got out of rehab." (Laughter) "There is just no way you, we can do this in New York because these guys-- these are heavy junkies. You gotta be out of New York." So where do we go? The heroin capital of the world -- Union City, New Jersey. (Laughter) Bad place. So we set up this thing. I find the location, I came up with the set, the design, the whole thing, and we're gonna do it, and I convinced them. I got on the phone with Steven Tyler and explained to him. He only said one thing to me that was important. "Please don't make a fool out of us." He was really not into -- don't forget, he hasn't stepped into the video world yet.

I advertised on the radio that Aerosmith would be playing so we could get a crowd, and the black radio station, they made the announcement too, but when we got there at 10 o'clock, there must have been five thousand black people there. There were no white people. That's when I said "Shit, I can't do this with no white people -- it's supposed to be an Aerosmith concert!" Now I'm outside walking around with my assistant director and we could see all these rockers sitting in different cars. There were hundreds of them -- they were just too scared to get out of their cars! (laughs) So, we knocked on the windows, and it took us about two hours to load all these white chicks and guys in the back door so we could fill up the first twenty five rows with white people. Meanwhile, the black guys and girls realized what was going on, so they start pounding the front door eventually breaking through the door, so we had to call the police. So, the police showed up with shotguns, stood on stage and they were trying to close us down.

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