Brad Whitford (Guitar) - Brad is arguably the most overlooked and under appreciated member of Aerosmith. His quiet laid back style belies his extraordinary talent. His solos are past amazing and he can make his guitar sing as sweet as anyone. If you have never carefully listened to him play you all missing something very special. Brad sets a standard that few other guitarists can reach!
After attending the Berklee College of Music, Whitford played in local bands Symbols of Resistance, Teapot Dome, and Earth, Inc., before joining Aerosmith in 1971, replacing original guitarist Ray Tabano. Aerosmith would go on to be one of the most successful bands of the 1970s. However, following a string of less successful albums in the late 1970s, Whitford left the band in 1981 to work on his own project with singer Derek St. Holmes, simply called Whitford/St. Holmes. The project was soon dissolved, following the disappointing sales of their first (and last), eponymous album. Whitford briefly toured with The Joe Perry Project, featuring former Aerosmith band mate Joe Perry, before both Perry and Whitford rejoined Aerosmith in 1984. In the mid-late 1980s, all band members completed drug rehabilitation
, including Whitford, who completed programs to combat his alcohol abuse
. Whitford remains sober to this day and continues to be an active force in Aerosmith. Whitford also served as a producer for a well-known Boston band, The Neighborhoods, who were led by a rabid Aerosmith fan, David Minehan. When, in 1994, Whitford was forced to leave unexpectedly in the middle of an Asian tour due to family illness, Minehan was flown to Japan where he performed in Whitford's place for several days until Whitford returned.
While Joe Perry is Aerosmith's more popular guitarist and more prolific songwriter, Whitford has made significant contributions to the band's repertoire over the years. This includes writing (and playing lead guitar on) Aerosmith's hit Last Child as well as some of Aerosmith's heaviest tracks, Nobody's Fault and Round and Round, and playing lead guitar on Back in the Saddle (on which Perry plays six string bass) and on the ballads You See Me Crying and Home Tonight. When Aerosmith made their big comeback in the late 1980s, Whitford continued to co-write tracks such as Permanent Vacation and Voodoo Medicine Man, and still plays lead guitar on some songs to this day. Brad's soloing is the smoother and more refined counterpart to Joe Perry's hard-edged raunch; for example Brad relies heavily on versatile Floyd Rose guitars, while Perry loyally sports the hard rock trademark Gibson Les Paul. Whitford's heavy compositions, playing style and characteristic smooth and nasal guitar sound have also been a big influence on Guns N' Roses guitar hero Slash among others. Said Aerosmith lead singer Steven Tyler of the two, "Joe is self-taught and his playing comes from raw emotion. Not that Brad's doesn't, but his style is more schooled."
At current performances, Brad can be seen playing a huge array of solid-body guitars, including Floyd Roses, Gretsches, and notably a Gibson Les Paul Goldtop and a gold-painted (Stratocaster style) Melancon Pro Artist. Meanwhile, Aerosmith's original heyday in the late 1970s saw both Whitford and co-guitarist Joe Perry arm themselves with aggressive-looking guitars from BC Rich (Whitford favored an unpainted Eagle, while Perry often played an alien-looking red Bich).