Thomas William Hamilton

He began playing guitar at the age of twelve, then switched to bass because the only local band needed a bassist. He co-wrote three of Aerosmith's hits, "Sweet Emotion" (perhaps most noted for the bass line), "Janie's Got a Gun and "Jaded." He plays rhythm guitar on another song he co-wrote, "Sick as a Dog" and also co-wrote "Uncle Salty" from Toys in the Attic.

According to, Hamilton's favorite song by the band is "The Farm" (from the 1997 album Nine Lives). He married Terry Cohen in 1975 and they have two children. Hamilton was the last member of the band to come clean of his drug addictions, having smoked marijuana up to the recording of Permanent Vacation.

In August 2006, he announced that he was diagnosed with throat cancer and completed a seven-week course of radiation and chemotherapy. He was forced to miss Aerosmith's Route of All Evil Tour. David Hull (who has played in The Joe Perry Project) filled in for Hamilton. Hamilton had never previously missed an Aerosmith show. He joined the band for the performance of "Sweet Emotion" at their Boston show in September 2006, and at the private show at the Beacon Theatre in New York, on December 3, 2006, where he reclaimed his place with the band for the entire performance.

Hamilton is the tallest member of the band at 6'1". He is also the "funny one" of Aerosmith, always looking for chances to make jokes in interviews and also being one of the bigger talkers at interviews.


Hamilton was born to George and Betty Hamilton, in the town of Wayland, MA. He has an older brother named Scott, an older sister named Perry, and a younger sister named Cecily. His father was in the Air Force and his mother was a housewife. Tom first learned to play guitar from his brother, who got his first guitar when Tom was four years old.

Pre-Aerosmith/Making of Aerosmith

Hamilton first started playing guitar when he was 12 and switched to bass when he was 14 to join a local band because they had an open space at that position. Hamilton was in a few bands with soon-to-be Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry. One of the bands was simply called "The Jam Band". The band broke up and Hamilton and Perry both moved to Boston to start another band and met Steven Tyler at a local club called "The Barn". Tyler's band also broke up and the three joined together. The three became a power trio with Hamilton on bass, Perry on guitar, and Tyler on drums and vocals. Then Ray Tabano joined and eventually Joey Kramer joined in replacing Tyler on drums so he could focus on vocals. Tabano was replaced by Brad Whitford and Aerosmith was born.


Hamilton was accepted into two acting schools. He has often stated that if he could do anything else besides Aerosmith he would become an actor.

Songs Written

  1. "Uncle Salty" from Toys In The Attic
  2. "Sweet Emotion" from Toys In The Attic
  3. "Sick as a Dog" from Rocks
  4. "Critical Mass" from Draw the Line
  5. "Kings and Queens" from Draw the Line
  6. "The Hand that Feeds" from Draw the Line
  7. "The Reason a Dog" from Done With Mirrors
  8. "The Hop" from Done With Mirrors
  9. "The Movie" from Permanent Vacation
  10. "Janie's Got a Gun" from Pump


  • 2007 - Boston Music Award - Personal Achievement


Hamilton has used a wide variety of bass guitars over Aerosmith's career. He has stated in several interviews that his first bass was a Fender Precision that he borrowed and later bought from a friend. During the early years of Aerosmith and the time after their reformation he often used a Fender Precision, a Fender Jazz, or a Gibson Thunderbird. However, during the making of Just Push Play he called upon a Hofner Violin Bass or a double bass during many of the recording sessions. Recently he has favored a modified '51 Fender Precision Bass with double pickups instead of one for the recording of Honkin' On Bobo and the subsequent tours following the album's creation.

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Tom Hamilton Quotes

"Steven and Joe had an argument the first night about Joe playing too loud, and so began an Aerosmith tradition."
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