Songwriter Desmond Child recalled the moment he invaded Aerosmith’s studio as a “hustle” to save two tracks he’d written for them.

The incident took place as the band worked on the album that would become Nine Lives. At that point Glen Ballard was producing, although he was later replaced by Kevin Shirley after the label didn’t like the record Ballard was creating.

In a new episode of The Kenny Aronoff Sessions (video below), Child told Aronoff that there was a long process to follow after he’d completed a composition. “It’s always ecstatic when you write a song, but the second that song is written, finalized, that’s when the trouble begins,” he said. “Who’s going to demo it? How’s it going to sound? Should we do a stripped-down version, or should we produce it all out because people have no imagination?”

Even then, problems could continue. “They say, ‘Okay, we're doing the song.’ Then you find out that it's not on the list of the songs in the studio,” Child continued. “And that happened to me with Aerosmith. I had written some songs with them, and Glen Ballard was the producer …It’s not the way Aerosmith ever made music.

“Glen had his magical Synclavier and all this, and the band had nothing to do. And it was all like Steven [Tyler] singing to tracks that Glen was making. And Joe [Perry] was kind of like, ‘Well, when do I play?’ … And that went on for months.”

Child said Tyler and Perry had “snuck out” and written “Hole in My Soul” and “Ain’t That a Bitch” for the album, and only discovered the songs weren’t part of the track listing while he was working with Ricky Martin in a studio next door to Aerosmith.

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“[My] assistant engineer, who was a snitch, I told him, ‘Go in there and tell me what the songs are. Are those two songs on the list?’ And they weren’t. So I go in through the back way where the tapes are, the whole back channel. I didn’t go in the front way.

“I go in through the back and I made it into the studio. I walk into the control room, and they were all eating their takeout on their lunch break. And I look at the list and I said, ‘Hey, what happened to 'Hole in My Soul' and 'Ain't That a Bitch?'"

“Then Glen stepped forward. He said, ‘Well, we’ve actually gone in a different direction.’ And I said, ‘That’s funny – the Rolling Stones haven’t gone in a different direction for 35 years.’”

At that point, Child said, the band members gave each other a look that meant, “What are we doing?” He continued: “And pretty soon they were cutting with [Shirley]… And guess what? ‘Hole in My Soul’ and ‘Ain’t That a Bitch’ got cut.”

He reflected: “It was kind of this feeling like I wasn’t going to be undone. I worked hard on those demos and everything, and it was like all of a sudden, they ‘weren’t going in that direction’ … I was sneaky. … I got in there and I said just the right thing. I saved it.”

Desmond Child Wrote 4,000 Songs to Land a Handful of Hits

It didn’t always work out like that, he admitted. “There’s so many times that I’ve written songs...what I think is the epic song that’s going to be the No. 1 one song of all time. It’s not on the record! It’s like, ‘Why?’

“‘Well, my boyfriend didn’t like it,’ or “My hairdresser thought I should go more in the dance direction, not rock.’ ... Anybody can say one thing and your song can get knocked out – you have to fight all the time in this business: the hustle of making sure your song stays on.”

Child reckoned: “Of the 4,000 songs I’ve written, 1,000, let’s say, got onto records. ... Of those, 80 ended up in the Top 40... maybe 20 in the Top 20. Of those 20, maybe 10 in the top five, or maybe six or seven No. 1s. So, it took 4,000 songs to get a handful of number one records.”

Watch Desmond Child’s Interview With Kenny Aronoff

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