Dude (Looks Like A Lady)

Dude (Looks Like A Lady)

"Dude (Looks Like a Lady)"
B-side "Once is Enough" or "Simoriah"
Released October 1987
1990 (re-issue)
Format Cassette, CD single, 12" single
Recorded 1987
Genre Hard rock, blues rock
Length 4:24
Label Geffen
Writer(s) Steven Tyler, Joe Perry, Desmond Child
Producer Bruce Fairbairn
Aerosmith singles chronology

"Dude (Looks Like a Lady)"
"Hangman Jury"

"Dude (Looks Like a Lady)" is a song by United States hard rock band Aerosmith. It was released as the first of three singles from the Permanent Vacation album in 1987. It reached #14 on the Billboard Hot 100, #41 on the Hot Dance Club Play chart, #4 on the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart, and #45 on the UK Singles Chart in 1987, but was re-released in early 1990 and reached a new peak of 20. The song was written by lead singer Steven Tyler, lead guitarist Joe Perry and professional songwriter Desmond Child.

Lyrical interpretation

The song, which originally started out as "Cruisin' for a Lady", talks about a male with an effeminate appearance, possibly a drag queen, who is mistaken for a female. Steven Tyler says in the book Walk This Way: The Autobiography of Aerosmith, "One day we met Mötley Crüe, and they're all going, 'Dude!' Dude this and Dude that, everything was Dude. 'Dude (Looks Like a Lady)' came out of that session.".

According to an interview with Vince Neil of Mötley Crüe conducted for Swedish television, the title of the song originated from a New York bar crawl where Steven Tyler and Vince Neil had drinks at a bar where the waiters were dressed in women's clothes. This, according to Vince Neil, prompted Tyler to comment; "Dude looks like a lady!".

Joe Perry came up with the chorus riff, and Tyler came up with the chorus refrain.

In his recent book, The Heroin Diaries, Nikki Sixx of Mötley Crüe claims that the song was specifically inspired by Vince Neil, singer of Mötley Crüe.

Music video

The video for "Dude (Looks Like a Lady)" features the band performing live onstage as well as random moments of characters portraying transvestites, including a cameo appearance by A&R man John Kalodner dressed up in a wedding dress at one point. This is a joke based on the fact that Kalodner always dresses in white.

There are also some provocative sexual performances, both lead by singer Steven Tyler as well as an attractive female who has her skirt torn off to reveal the Aerosmith "wings" tattoo on her buttocks. The video was directed by Marty Callner.

Award nominations

"Dude" picked up two MTV Video Music Award nominations in 1988 (the first for the band). It was nominated for Best Group Video and Best Stage Performance, but failed to gain the wins. The band made up for it eventually, winning over 10 "moon-men" and 4 Grammys in the 1990s.


The song has long been a staple on both rock radio and in concert, as the band has regularly rotated it into their set lists over the years.

The song has been featured on a number of subsequent compilations by Aerosmith including Big Ones, O, Yeah! Ultimate Aerosmith Hits, Devil's Got a New Disguise and the live album A Little South of Sanity.

According to Tyler, this is one of the two Aerosmith songs he is not very fond of performing on stage. The other song is "Angel".

In 1993, the song was prominently featured in the film Mrs. Doubtfire, during a montage of the main character bonding with his family in disguise as a woman. The song was also used in the film's TV ads.

The song was also featured in the movie It's Pat where the title character (played by Julia Sweeney) sings it at karaoke at their wedding reception. The song fits in with the running joke throughout the film, in reference to Pat's gender confusion.

The song was played in the 1987 comedy film Like Father Like Son, starring Kirk Cameron and Dudley Moore.

The song was performed live by the band in the movie Wayne's World 2 and is featured on the soundtrack for the film.

The video for Dude (Looks Like a Lady) is featured on the karaoke game Singstar Vol. 2 for PS3.

Colombian singer-songwriter Shakira sang the song with Steven Tyler on MTV Icons and also included it on the setlist of her Tour of the Mongoose.

The song is played as one of the possible song choices on Rock 'n' Roller Coaster at Disney's Hollywood Studios.[1]


External links

  • 'Dude (Looks Like A Lady)' review on Allmusic.com