Besides, If You Haven’t Shown
The Respect By Now…
I’m Pretty Sure You’ve Blown It Upside Down…
And Now… You’re Just a Little Too Late!
When you watch these guys on stage, it’s easy to see why Joe and Steven get all the attention, and deservedly so. I mean, they are the heart of this band, right? Maybe it’s a blessing that the “LI3” are not the jealous type, and it seems to me that the other guys are absolutely comfortable with that too. The two of them, Steven & Joe that is, have an onstage “Showmanship” “Ownership” presence that is rivaled by no one I’ve ever seen. It would also be easy for a casual fan to look at this band and believe that the LI3 might just be a little more comfortable in the shadows of the Toxic Twins. I can see how too. In comparison to the Toxic Twins, the LI-3 may even come off as subdued, but just because their individual styles of stage presence may be different than Steven and joe’s, one should not assume that they’re more passive when it comes to music. They are absolutely just as passionate as their more popular brothers in the band.
One of these guys is the very talented and hard rocking member of the L-I3, Brad Whitford. Brad has Aerosmith song credits as a Co-Writer and Lead Guitarist on such songs as “Last Child”, “Home Tonight”, “No More, No More”, “Vacation”, and “Saddle”, “Sight for Sore Eyes”, and more. In fact, Brad did most of the work on “DTL” and “Ruts”, because already checked out, if not physically, at least mentally. Even his recent work, and performances with The Jimi Hendrix Experience, and his past and present work with Whitford – St. Holmes shows real rock and roll fans just how important this guy is to this band.
It’s funny, just last week, I read a Steven Tyler (only) fan say that; “Steven has carried the other four members on his back like a horse for decades now”. As odd as that statement is for real True Blue Army members to stomach, she made it worse when she said; “There are 1,000s of guitarists as good as, if not better than Brad and Joe just waiting in the wings.” She then said, that the “current band (Loving Mary) of the singer of Aerosmith, is a better band than the other 4 members of Aerosmith. I’m never really sure how people stray so far from the light, but the fact is; stray they do.
Brad has the ability, and where-with-all to be, and in fact IS one of Rock’s most premiere guitarists. Steven describes the differences between Brad and Joe this way; “Joe is self taught, and his playing shows ‘raw’ emotion, not that Brad doesn’t, but Brad’s style is more schooled, learned, educated.”
The song, was never a hit on any charts, and frankly did not get much airplay at all. Maybe because of “metal-ness” of it, I don’t know. It’s powerful though! Most casual Aero fans may have even forgotten this one, but from the Blue Army, this one has always been a hidden gem within the “Rocks”. This one has been called a ‘favorite’ off of the album by many hard core Aerosmith fans. Even more liked than “Saddle”, more liked than “Child”, even more like than “Rats”. Maybe that’s why it’s in my number 4 spot. This ain’t a song you’ll hear live very often, especially today, but it truly is one of my Top 5.
On top of the power of the song musically, it also serves as maybe, Aerosmith’s first attempt at message in social consciousness. Although I’m sure most would agree, the message might be a bit misguided, and misplaced. Especially, with an East Coast bias. They call attention to “man”, who builds, constructs, and lives, in areas of Mother Earth, where perhaps they were never meant to live. We could say the same about the East Coasters with their hurricanes, and the Midwest before the Army Corp of Engineers built levees to maintain, and control the Mighty Mississippi, and Missouri from flooding, or the great South West from flash floods and lightning storms, or the South and Midwest from tornados. It does serve for great content, for a cool song though… and who am I to say, they’re wrong?
Most of us who are reading this, and are/were old enough to be alive in the 70’s… Remember the paranoia of quakes? Shoot, we were paranoid of them even living in California! Just imagine how people around other parts of the country felt. We all know those family members who thought we were all gonna’ fall off into the Pacific. It’s that kind of thought process that is the inspiration for the song. And the fear of that type event comes across in the power of the music. It’s that strong…. So it’s not just a loud song. It’s fear! It’s a nightmare! It’s Natural Terror of what cannot be controlled. Who remembers Charleston Heston and the movie “Earthquake”? And, now the newer movie; “San Andreas”? The movies did the same for people who wanted to go to California for vacation, as Jaws did for people who wanted to go swimming. Steven wrote the lyrics from the point of absolute fear. Brad played the theme of the song with absolute force and chaos.
Some may remember quakes such as the 1968 Borrego Mountain Earthquake, which was felt from Vegas to Yosemite, to Fresno with damage all over Southern California all the way to San Diego, and causing landslides hurling huge boulders and rocks down the hills damaging camper’s vehicles. Then there was the ’71 Great San Fernando Quake which, caused $500+M in damage, killing 65, and injuring another 2000. The VA collapsing… think about that for a minute… the “Hospital” “COLLAPSED”! With other medical centers, and offices being severely damaged. Then there was the awful Northridge quake, this was also the 1st Major Freeway collapse. At the time, there was fear that the dams in Southern California would breakaway, from the cracks observed. And as most of us know all too well, from Loma Prieta, where a large part of the San Francisco Bay Bridge collapsed, as cars were dangling potentially about to drop 800ft into the bay. Or Oakland’s Cypress Freeway, which collapsed, crushing over 30 cars in heavy commute.
The song’s title, not only refers to the various fault lines, not just St. Andreas, but also the newly (at the time) discovered fault line that runs through a nuclear power plant in New Jersey, and the idea that it’s “man’s” fault as a civilization for ignoring known threats. I, obviously as a Native Californian, don’t, and can’t get behind this type of fear, but damn if it doesn’t make for a great song! So when you click on the link below, turn it up really loud, hear Brad’s work to feel the fear of the unknown, the power and anxiety of paranoia. Feel what the directors of Earthquake, and San Andreas were/are conveying to those who lived across state lines. It’s fucking intense! It’s raw emotion of fear, of the unknown surprise, of complete devastation. Not by God, not by man, but by Mother Nature, for no “rhyme or reason”.
This is Nobody’s Fault…
The 1st a video I often play. I don’t know the guy/girl who made it, but damn if it doesn’t capture the anxiety of the music. It’s good, really good!!!
“Lord I must be dreamin’
What else could this be?
Runnin’ for the sea…”