The first tour van that Aerosmith ever used was featured on a recent episode of The History Channel‘s American Pickers. According to Ultimate Classic Rock, the 1964 International Harvester Metro, which had the band name painted on its side, was discovered by hosts Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz. It had spent decades in a woodland near Chesterfield, Massachusetts.
Wolfe and Fritz were told that the vehicle was on the premises when the current property owner moved in. Apparently, the previous owner had some connection to Aerosmith.
To prove that the van was actually Aerosmith’s, Wolfe got in contact with his friend Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys. Auerbach showed the pictures Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry, who contacted co-founding guitarist Ray Tabano — who was later replaced by Brad Whitford in 1971. Tabano actually lived nearby and came to see the van and confirmed that it was their van! He even had a photo of himself sitting inside the van.
He said, “I’m afraid to say how long it is, but it’s been like 40 years since we’ve been in this thing. We’d drive from Boston up to New Hampshire for $125 [show fee]. Then after the gas, the tolls, and the food and back, we’d make like $3 apiece. … It just reminded me of the humble beginnings and I look at where (the band has) gone today — it’s just amazing.”
Wolfe and Fritz paid $25,000 for the band’s former vehicle. No word on what will happen to the van.