A Good Day!

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Written few years ago now, but the sentiment is the same…

October 18, 2014 

 How do you write about meeting a lifelong idol? How do you write about a 2 minute meet with someone larger than life itself?

Everyone knows, as of late I’ve had some tough days… REALLY tough days! But yesterday was different…

It actually started Thursday night / Friday morning. Most of you may know the hours I work, which means I wake up to get ready for work everyday at midnight. I know at least Wendy knows a little of what this like… Not saying it’s harder than anyone else, it’s all relative. And actually there’s a lot about it that is not only easier than the way others start their days, but also, there’s often a strange beauty to it. But we do see, and encounter things that are so varied, that your whole day often becomes one big variable. You witness the calm of the world, without one certain animal’s behaviors, and then watch the chaos it makes of the world, when that animal awakens to disturb it. Continue reading A Good Day!

HONORABLE MENTION – Creme de Gardenia, Drop Dead Gorgeous

Mike 2204 (19)

How do you write about a song that
no one liked?

How do you like a song from an album
that the leader of the band dissed so badly

Look… I like what I like. Maybe it’s Joe taking center stage, maybe it’s Steven’s awesome back up vocals, maybe there’s no real reason at all…

Even though the album debuted at #2, with almost a ¼ million copies in the 1st week, it doesn’t seem like too many people liked it. Not even Joe.

Joe said;
I don’t think we’ve made a decent album in years. Just Push Play is my least favorite. When we recorded it there was never a point where all five members were in the room at the same time and Aerosmith’s major strength is playing together. It was a learning experience for me: it showed me how NOT to make an “Aerosmith” record.

Stephen Erlewine, who has never been kind to the boys from New Hampsha’ didn’t quite know what to say, which didn’t help, calling it their best work since “PUMP”, but then critiqued them for “Not acting their age”…  Then in classic Erlewine fashion he pulls the Jagger/Richards card and compares their first production under the name “The Boneyard Boys” to Mick and Keith’s “The Glimmer Twins”. The man just can’t get out of his own box.

Others, like Blender mag, along with a few others basically tore it up. But the worst was; Darryl Stredan who said; “They’re not a band anymore, they’re a marketing company, and they should just stop producing new music.” Shit even UltimateClassicRock.com ranks the album the 14th worst Aerosmith album out of 15, but then they ranked Nine Lives 15th worst, so…? And a lot of these guys said Nine Lives was worse… What the fuck??? Is it just me?

The song itself was at the very bottom of all critiques of the album, so I guess I’m pretty alone here, but I love the psychedelic mood of it, and hell I hated psychedelic back in the day… go figure. I know the whole album consisted of trying new things and new songs and new sounds, maybe that’s why I like it. These guys never sold out. They just kept creating new stuff.

Rolling Stone, of all the mags! Highly unusual, they liked it… they had really good things to say about the album… maybe not this song, but… Then again, in true Rolling Stone fashion, they slammed it at the end and said Aerosmith hadn’t made a good record since ’76.

Maybe they called on Frederickson, and Hudson a bit too much on this one as they co-wrote almost the entire album…

Maybe it’s shit like this; for an Old Blue Army hormone crazed 16 year old dude:

“Rolling Stone:
New century, same old Aerosmith. Same five guys. Same iron-boned riffs and crack-the-sky choruses. Same dripping-body-juice metaphors too, like this fragrant spoonful from “Drop Dead Gorgeous,” on the band’s thirteenth studio album, Just Push Play: “Creme de gardenia/And black vaseline . . . She’s tasting like cherries/Sweet love’s grenadine.”

There’s a lot more really good things rolling stone wrote, but I’ll leave that for ya’ll to look up on your own, and just say this;

It makes me listen….

Joey liked… I liked it…

And if you don’t like it, well a lot of people weren’t thrilled with the 90s. Besides, we’re just starting out here…

I love Joe’s vocals, and the impact of Joey’s beats on this one. Steven gives a whole ‘nother dimension as a “Back Up” singer., and actually trades lead. Very, very unique for these guys…

“sss…. sweet almond eyes just to see and be seen
She’s naturally drop dead gorgeous
She tasting like cherries sweet love’s grenadine
She’s naturally drop dead gorgeous
Makes love like a rabbit to my velveteen
She’s naturally drop dead gorgeous
A ten with a smile like a young Norma Jean
She’s naturally drop dead gorgeous… gorgeous…”

This is “Drop Dead Gorgeous”


 

NUMBER 100 – HOW MUCH DO YOU NEED TO FILL YOUR WANT?

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Number 100
Be careful what, and who you adore,
There’s always a trap under the floor…

From Joe’s admissions… at least publicly, this was one was written almost 20 years ago. It’s his angst on paper, in sound, in melody of those who stole the golden egg, so many years ago… So why now, on this last album? Why in 2012 does it make a record?

Is it really about all the money that they didn’t get so many years ago? Is it really about all the bad deals along the way? Is about the royalties never paid? Money owed, and bridges burned?… Money is always personal. You can call it business all you want, but when you’re in a man’s wallet, you’re in his pants, and that’s pretty fucking personal.

In an Interview, with Rolling Stone’s Steve Apelleford, in November of 2012, Joe said:;
“It’s a short bit of angst and pissed-off-ness about these people that ripped us off forever. The funny thing is that 20 years later, there’s a whole new batch of people I’m pissed off at. The lyrics still work.”…

As a fan, I can’t help but wonder after so many years, and so much success… of course this is before Joe’s book, “Rocks” hit the shelves, and I have to ask; “Joe who are you ‘Still’ pissed off at? You have a wonderful family. You’re immensely successful, as a member Hall of Fame band and most successful American band in history; Aerosmith. You’re a partner of a Hall of fame song writing duo. You’re renowned world wide as a solo, and honorary guitarist. You have adorning fans in multiple countries. You have made the money needed to set up your family for generations to come, Shit dude, you even had a Kick Ass BBQ Sauce line, that you gifted to ypour son Aaron… So what is it Joe? Wait…  ‘Who’ still pisses you off? Or was it a moment in time? A moment in recent time?

Look, I know it’s my “Fan’s disease to speculate your ass”, but damn if this one doesn’t ring of the phrase; “there’s a lot goin’ there!” Continue reading NUMBER 100 – HOW MUCH DO YOU NEED TO FILL YOUR WANT?

NUMBER 99 – HELLO… IS ANYBODY THERE?

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Number 99
Pick Up That Jug Over there, and Just Blow…

The song is as old as the hills… Sung from the ridges and valleys of the Appalachians, to the community gospel churches of the Mid West’s Evangelicals, to the Baptist Houses of Fury in the Great South and California’s Southern Central Valley…

Or at least when you hear it, it has that kind of feel to It., but for all I know, Mississippi Fred McDowell wrote it, back in the 60s

It’s been done in Bluegrass style, it’s been done in Country, it’s been done in gospel, it’s been done in Evangelical style, but I think Aerosmith does the song, and Mississippi Fred justice and honor by staying with the “Hill Country Blues” style of their version. This is the same music that goes back to what we saw as kids in cartoons, and books in the 60’s and 70’s. It’s the music that came from the porches of Appalachians, just blowin’ into empty bottles and jugs, playing percussion on chairs, hittin’ tin cans with spoons, all of it coming from the “feel”, from the emotion. Yeah it’s come a long way since then, but make no mistake, that’s what this is.

For that reason alone, I can respect what the boys are doing, but more than just a cultural type of music, they honor one of the best Blues Musicians of days gone by. Like I said, so many have done the song, Ry Crooder, The Staple Singers, and many, many others, both known and unknown, but I think it’s pretty special when these guys can keep the song close to it’s roots, and yet, give it that Aerosmith touch and feel, with Brad and Tom keeping rhythm, they keep it pretty damn real, with Joe using an old school guitar from his collection. Playing with finger picks, it comes out so clean! Just pickin’ and slidin’!

With a Blues/Gospel song like this, Aerosmith brings in the multi talented Tracy Bonham to give it that Hill Country sound via her perfect violin collaboration with Joe’s picking. Her deep and strong soulful voice is absolute matrimony to where Steven reaches so deep to find the feel of this song. They trade Lead perfectly. Not as a duo, but shared. Recorded at Steven’s barn, called the Briar Patch, it becomes a family affair, by bringing Jack back in to help produce and direct.

Jack’s touch to the band, and assistance to what they’re trying to do here, is like putting on an old sweatshirt. It’s comfortable, warm, and it fits. With Joey and Chelsea, singing background, it kinda’ says what the song’s all about. It’s about support. It’s about what is close to you. It’s about believing, it’s about faith in what you love.

The video below is from the making of “Bobo”, pretty sure this was in Joe’s basement, also with Mia singing back up in it, but it’s not the finished version. The next one down is from the album. A little more pronounced lead-ins from back up vocals, and much stronger Tracy. I love this song primarily because it’s something that’s felt. It’s a vibe that can be spread, understood by many. It’s not culturally specific. Yes the song’s main character is the Lord and Savior, but I think it’s about more than that. It’s says to all, just “go get it”…

Joe’s basement

The Briar Patch

Mississippi Fred McDowell

NUMBER 98 – SLEAZE IN SOUND…

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“Rhythm and sex go together and that’s where I come from as far as the music goes. Rag Doll and Love In An Elevator are such sexual songs that you put them on & the strippers go NUTS!

-Joe Perry

I Like a little Sleaze On my slide,  if You Please…

Man, how long has it been?
When the album came out, the guys finally quenched that thirst we’d all been lost in the desert with, for so many years. We all thought we had a taste with DWM, but it was nothing more than a drop of water. But this album…

As corny as it may be now, let’s go back to 1988, and re-live the fun that this song was… and you know what? I have no doubt, these guys could still entertain the crowd with this one….

Steven and Jim Vallance, wrote most of the lyrics, with Joe putting in that signature only “Joe Perry lick”, creating “sleaze in sound”. The song started out as one title, but Kolodner didn’t like it much, so he called in Holly Knight, from Pat Benatar’s “Love is a Battlefield” fame, to help out. She gets credit on writing, but basically, she just changed the original name from what it was to something else, What a way to make a livin’! Then Steven and Jim took off with it… Funny thing though, Steven and Jim already suggested changing it to the same title, and it’s well written, Kolodner drove Steven nuts saying “no” to that suggestion too, but then he loved it when Holly Knight came in, like it was her idea.

But back to the fun of the song during the time… The video for the song, was the 3rd one directed by Marty Callner, who also did “Angel”, and the more similar “Dude”… I think this video though, was Extremely Monumental in Aerosmisth’s 2nd rise to the top of the mountain.

The song for me personally represents all that is good, all that is positive perception of sexual promiscuity. It speaks to those of us that never saw sex as taboo, but more as a pleasure, a right! As unique in each experience, as the rivers and rapids a kayaker chooses explore. It calls to me of an age in my 20s, when life itself was an experience waiting to be had. The women in and out of my life. Each of them beautiful I n their own right. Some of which were timid on the outside only to be opened to the discovery of their own inhibituions. Some of which were absolutely provocative on the outside and yet sheltered and naïve in the privacy of the “new”, and some so vibrant in each and every way, wearing their sexual nature and sensuality as if it were a jewelry to shown off, and as much, when in private that sexuality is unleashed in blind fury.

That’s my take on this song; not to be just a gigolo, but sure, if that’s what they want… Not as if these women were conquests of sorts, unless they wanted to be conquered… to be what and who THEY were looking for. If they needed, even just for a night or even a few months, someone … well, different than who they were used too, whether that “who” be their boyfriend or husband didn’t really matter much, at least at the time. I was glad to be of service.

No, not at all in the sense of fiction, or even non-sincerity, actually just the complete opposite. To be myself, and knowing not just in belief, but in absolute, that I was who they needed, at least for a moment in time. Sometimes more than a few moments, but the point is made clear in this song, that yes, it’s absolutely sexual in every sense. No it’s not just about the sleazy side, but then it doesn’t say “no’ to that either. It’s all encompassing, it’s permission granted.

It maybe a very simplistic way though of us who played on that field for awhile justified our behaviors, and shit… why not? There’s a lot of more worse things one can be guilty of, rather than being  a man of pleasure without commitment.

Callner captured everything the song was. It was sex, and fun, and slapstick, and sleazy, and cool, and hip, and rock n roll… Joe’s Steel Guitar licks and slide, along with Joey’s 1-2-1-2 drum beat, especially in the opening, immediately makes you get up and move. It shows just how smart Kolodner was, and also that was NOT right… He didn’t get that the name “Ragtime” wasn’t something the kids could reach and touch, but he also didn’t get that Aerosmith’s whole nature was to reach out and “touch”. They will bring you the underside, but they will do it in your face and have a lot of fun doing it.

With the filming taking place in New Orleans down on Bourbon St, with Joe keeping it so simple just kickin’ back slidin’ with a single amp, and the parties goin’ on at a (real) local Frat house, among other local shoots was perfect, and to close out and give cred to that famous Rock N Roll lingo of “The Back Door Man”, by leaving that way Steven did is just icing ion the cake… so to speak… heh heh heh.

Come on! Steven driving a Shelby Cobra down the street, with every girl in every house running out to wave… Tell me if that doesn’t just grab every kid in America looking for a cool band to follow…

This is “Rag Doll”

Number 97 – Joe Fucking Perry!!!

On the countdown to a night in heaven
This one drops down one slot from last year’s ranking of ‘96
Off of 2012’s MFAD. Although Jack was the main producer of the album, he didn’t produce this song. This one was produced by Marti Frederickson, who also co-wrote it with Steven and Russ Irwin.

The song was created to climb to the Top of the charts. To hit that “Pop” audience. To be the anchor of their latest Studio album. To ignite sales for the 1st studio work since New Disguise, and really their 1st full album in 8 years…. Continue reading Number 97 – Joe Fucking Perry!!!

Number 96 – All the Way From Taj Mahal… Baby It’s No Surprise

Up 3 spots from last year, so that says something… right?

Most of this was written last year, but edited for any new feelings, or take on it.

Like Aerosmith has been for me since day one, often times when a new song or new album comes out, it takes me a bit to warm up to it…. Wait…that’s not entirely true, because the very first time I heard “Movin’ Out”, “One Way Street”, “Somebody”, and “Make It” I was fucking hooked!! And then there were, S.O.S., and Round and Round, and… Wait… what’s my point? Continue reading Number 96 – All the Way From Taj Mahal… Baby It’s No Surprise

Number 95 – Tell You Little Secret, Make You Wanna Jump & Shout

Hey baby, belly up to the bar and have a beer, Tell you a little story… Make you wanna scream and shout…

Who to believe?
Maybe it’s our choice

The start of something new?

I think it was met with a lot of trepidation, distrust and even at some point, a little anger. But when a man like John Kalodner is directed by the “Label: to take control, and “make this band a success”, Steven and Joe had to suck it up, bite their lips, stick out their hands for a shake and say; “Hey Mr. Child, good to meet ya” Continue reading Number 95 – Tell You Little Secret, Make You Wanna Jump & Shout

Number 94 – Sleep Is Overrated – Steven Baby, How would You Like a Hit Record?

It’s a shame to me that it takes a ballad written by someone else to give this band their rewards for long time paid dues… But as long as you connect, you might as well connect one of the best.

I guess a lot of “Pop” type people really loved this song, but for those us that didn’t partake in the very feminine Musical movie or Broadway scene, she was a literal unknown. But hey… you take what you can get, right? Besides, the boys still made this “Thing” a very Aerosmith song. I guess I’m a little like Joe when it comes to ballads though, and I’m okay with that. I’ll say it now though, I feel like I gave number 95 a short shrift… Continue reading Number 94 – Sleep Is Overrated – Steven Baby, How would You Like a Hit Record?

Number 93 – Just Tryin’ to Survive…

We spend our lives putting conditions on people, rather than simply accepting. I am just as guilty as everyone else, no judging of others, without me 1st. But wouldn’t it be cool if we could all just have a taste before we throw out the whole meal?

I’ve heard and, read a lot of people’s opinions over the years, about who’s to blame for the man’s relapses. Some often say a key player in that role is the co-writer of this song… among others. But that usually comes from people that don’t know addiction. It’s not about who brought it to the party, it’s about the fact that the party was going to happen no matter who came. The drugs will find you, and you will find the drugs…

It really is that simple. Continue reading Number 93 – Just Tryin’ to Survive…