Last year's Boston Marathon bombing rocked the city to its core. Three people were killed and more than 260 were injured after two bombs went off near the finish line.
The members of Aerosmith, who are so closely tied to the city they're known as "the bad boys from Boston," were among those emotionally affected by the tragedy. They initially expressed their grief by performing "Dream On" at the Boston Strong Concert last May.
Now Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler and guitarist Joe Perry have recorded a new version of their earliest hit, backed by the Southern California Children's Chorus, for an ESPN special appropriately titled "Dream On: Stores from Boston's Strongest" that will air on ABC on Saturday. The hour-long special, which is part of the sports network's new "E:60" news magazine series, will also be shown on ESPN on Tuesday, the first anniversary of the attacks.
In a snippet of the performance posted on YouTube, Tyler plays a white piano and Perry a white guitar as they're backed by choir on a white, church-like stage.
As Tyler pointed out to People, "It's almost like ["Dream On"] ws written for this unfortunate event, pointing to the song's lyrics, "Sing with me, sing for the year, sing for the laughter, sing for the tear."
Perry added, "The lyrics, it's one of those rare songs that you can apply to a lot of different things, you can interpret it how you want, which is really the magic of music. You can take it, and you can apply it to something very personal and small or something – a big event, an event like what happened in Boston."
The Aerosmith guitarist has apparently changed his tune about the song, which became the band's first top 10 hit back in 1976, after stalling at No. 59 on its initial release in 1973.
"It was kind of funny, but I didn't like 'Dream On,' and I hated my playing on it," he said in "Walk This Way," Stephen Davis's 1997 Aerosmith bio. "It was a simple song and I could've done better if I'd hung around the studio a little long. But I let it go by. Maybe I was pissed at Steven that day. Then I'd hear the song on the radio and cringe."
Hopefully, Perry's happier with this version.