Aerosmith’s original tour van has been found after more than four decades. The 1964 International Harvester Metro van was found abandoned in the woods outside of a small Massachusetts town. It was discovered by Mike Wolfe and Frank Frtiz, best known as from the History Channel’s American Pickers. In the CBS News story detailing the find, Wolfe calls it a piece of rock n’ roll history.
The van sat not far from a house on the property of a man who goes simply by ‘Phil.’ It was missing a door, sitting on flat tires and the paint was rusting off. On the side was painted a cartoon man and the word ‘Aerosmith’ written in bright colors. When Phil purchased the property, he told the Pickers that the van was already there.
“This guy is deep in the woods, he’s off the grid, and I keep thinking to myself, ‘what the heck would this van be doing here?'” Mike Wolfe mused on the van’s unexpected location.
As part of authenticating the story, American Pickers reached out to Ray Tabano, a founding member of Aerosmith, who happened to be near the van’s resting place in Chesterfield, MA. When he arrived, Tabano was able to confirm that the find was indeed the rock group’s original tour van.
Aerosmith's old tour van from the 1970s has been found in a small Massachusetts town, but if you want to own it, dream on -- the hosts of American Pickers bought it https://t.co/kyX2AXoTZF pic.twitter.com/OzjY3ZWzwL— CBS News (@CBSNews) August 8, 2018
“This is it, baby,” the rocker said when he climbed inside the van, calling it their rolling hotel. Tabano was with Aerosmith from 1970 until around 1972 and reminisced with Fritz and Wolfe about his days on tour with the band. He was able to provide the television show hosts with a photograph of him in the van, saying it was a reminder of the band’s humble beginnings. Proving that you’re never too old to rock n’ roll, Tabano was even willing to recreate his pose in the photo for the episode.
Chesterfield is about 100 miles west of Boston. Though it may be hard to picture now, given the van’s dilapidated condition, the band once used the bus for transportation between local shows, according to Tabano. It is not clear why it was abandoned on the property.
Luckily for American Pickers, Phil was willing to part with the piece of music history found on his property. He accepted a substantial $25,000 for the van, making Fritz and Wolfe’s trip to investigate the rumored relic a success. The episode originally aired July 30 on the History Channel as part of the series’ 19th season.