STEVE 'The Deacon' HUNTER
‘Train Kept A Rollin’, was written by Tiny Bradshaw in 1951. The song was given new life by The Yardbirds in 1965 then again by the inimitable Aerosmith when they recorded it for their second album ‘Get Your Wings” in 1974.
Their version is actually a two-part song, the first has a slower groove arrangement, while the second uses that of the Yardbirds. Aerosmith turned it into a hard rock standard and a staple of classic rock radio; it remains one of their most popular tunes.
But few people know that they had a little help along the way when, during the recording, Record Producer Jack Douglas saw the now legendary session man Steve Hunter sitting outside the studio taking a cigarette break from a different session and he asked Steve to play a solo over the first half of the track.
It was very quick Steve recalls, he got his own guitar which he thinks would have been a 1959 Les Paul TV Special. They took some time to get a sound, then, ran through the track. But, as he did not have the vocal in his headphones they ran through it again this time with the vocal in, and Steve nailed it.
He got paid about $750 for doing it, then, as it turns out, 'Train' had a huge impact on the career of the young, inexperienced Aerosmith. They went on to bigger and better things, becoming one of the highest paid, most domineering bands in Rock Music.
Unbeknownst to Steve, Douglas also enlisted his session companion Dick Wagner to play the solo over the second half simulated live ‘Yardbirds’ section.
Neither Hunter or Wagner got a credit on the album, as ‘ghosting’ as it’s sometimes called was fairly common practice at that time.
Hunter has no idea why he was asked to record the solo; as he says, it was none of his business. The rest of the band we’re all there, they were very nice to him and he was never asked to teach anybody what he played.
In 2013 Joe Perry played a solo on Steve's solo album 'The Manhattan Blues Project' (The Brooklyn Shuffle) alongside his buddy Johnny Depp, so clearly there are no hard feelings and why should there be.
Statement from Steve Hunter
"Aerosmith was in Studio C of The Record Plant and I was doing work with Bob Ezrin in Studio A. I had a long wait between dubs and was waiting in the lobby. Jack Douglas popped his head out of Studio C and asked "Hey, do you feel like playing? I said sure, so I grabbed my guitar and went in" "I had two run thru’s, then Jack said "great' that's it! That turned out to be the opening solos on 'Train Kept A Rollin’ " steve hunter 2/1/2015
Here is a selection of other classic solos from Steve Hunterer