Sometimes real life gets in the way…
Sometimes all you want to do is lose touch with all that’s real It’s tough livin’ like ya wanna’ when the landlord spats with his wife
and texts you; “ya got 60 days”
Because YOUR house, is HIS Dog House
Sometimes “The way I see it, ya’ gotta’ say Shit!” Just to find peace of mind…
Where does one start with this one? This is really the song that made Aerosmith right here. It wasn’t ‘Dream On’, it wasn’t ‘Sweet Emotion’, and it wasn’t ‘Walk This Way’, or ‘Train’. It wasn’t even the song Steven and Joe thought would launch them, in Movin’ Out. This is the song that got Clive Davis’ attention. This is the song that got Leber and Krebs to really push the guys with Columbia, while Columbia was busy pushing and supporting Springsteen and BOC. This is the song that had the edge, the “Something Different” that would become their identity for the next 40+ years. It’s raw, it’s fresh (for the time), and it’s addictive.
Steven wrote the song, or at least had the idea for it before Aerosmith ever got together. He cops to stealing some chords from a Blodwyn Pig song called ‘See My Way’, for the main lick, he started scatting and the song was born. As Steven says in his book; “If Mick can say “oh we got Stray Cat Blues’ from ‘Heroin’ on Velvet Underground’s 1stalbum, I can cop to a little larceny…” The song was also the first from the band, though certainly not the last, to use a curse word.
There are so many different interpretations, or meanings for the song. Most of which, people think it has to do with family, and never forgetting where you came from. I mean people even say the original lyrics were written “Sleepin’ late in Sunapee”. Personally, I’ve never read that with any credibility, so I kind of throw that right out the window, at least until I hear it from the source. Besides, another song on this album relates to family and home. And“Sleepin’ late and smokin’ tea” makes a hell of a lot more sense in ’’71, ‘72-’73.
Getting back to the double meanings though, that these guys have made their whole identity since day one, I’m sure that this song definitely relates to family and home, but Steven has said in the past that; “Mama Kin” is his idea of a spiritual force that drives his creativity and pleasure. “Keep in touch with Mama Kin” means remembering the desires that drive you to excel.
Steven also had a tattoo put on his left bicep with the words “Ma Kin” on it. Joe says it doesn’t say “Mama Kin” because Steven’s arm was too small to fit the two whole words.
In the early 1990s, the band opened up a music club called The Mama Kin Music Hall in their hometown of Boston , near Fenway Park . Since then the club has closed and even re-opened under other venues.
For me though… personally, this was a song, along with a few others, I could really relate to in my teenage years as a high school bachelor, with his own place. “Livin’ like I wanna, (or like I wanted too), “sleepin’ late and smokin’ tea”, and just sayin’ “shit!!”. Because it was futile to think something better was coming. And all the while livin’ like a gypsy was a way of life for me, and as hard I would try to change that over the next 37 years, “Livin’ like a gypsy” came to be more than just a character trait. Oh the stories I could tell…
“It ain’t easy, livin’ like a gypsy…”
When I was a young boy growing up in the 60’s and 70’s, gypsies were only seen in old westerns or maybe something like the Zorro movies from days of old. The gypsies in these movies always had a dark side, yes mysterious, but almost always crooked, always a person of questionable character… People these days, romanticize about being a Gypsy. You’ll hear women of all ages try to somehow, identify themselves as a “mysterious gypsy”. They see freedom in the Hollywood and artistic conceptions. Many of these very, very American women have a perception of a “Gypsy Life” being filled with mystery and enchantment. They identify with a type of free spirit, and even liken themselves to the seductresses that Hollywood and Music has designed these gypsies to be…
It’s kind of sad though when you really look into the lives of the Gypsies that so many of these people naively, and some even ignorantly idolize. It’s obviously not all, but many. However, this isn’t to say that being a Free Spirit is a bad thing at all. Frankly it’s who I am, when I’m not trying to be on the straight and narrow. For the Gypsy though, there is no mystery beyond where their next meal will come from. There is no enchantment other than the fortunes and superstitions they believe will somehow right all the wrongs in their lives. Most of these people would gladly trade their free spirits for something, someplace more secure than yesterday. As far as seduction goes, if it comes down to how you will eat that night, how you will feed your family, most of us will find the means to seduce who or what we can…
I’m sure there was a time in history, even fairly recent history, where the Romani people and their nomadic bohemian cultures were perhaps, looked upon with a sense of enticing curiosity. However, to survive as a Gypsy in the 21st century… well, it’s is not at all romantic. They do what they need to do to survive, and for the most part, that’s all their doing, “surviving”. Yeah, they’ll pick your pocket, or sell you glass pearls, or shine your shoes for a temporary distraction from what’s next. But most of it is not to be some kind of hood, or a criminal, or con artist, it is simply to do whatever they can to survive, using skills and secrets passed down by generations.
I look back on my years, i look back on my life, having moved almost as many times as I am years old. Seemingly every few years, and even multiple times per year, having to pack up the pick-up truck and go. Often times bartering for a meal as young boy, stealing from Peter to pay Paul, and in between making a deal with Lucifer himself here and there, just to survive. And Karma, and mysteries, and fortunes told? Well, they’re all just convoluted road signs on a never ending journey to find safe harbor, and peace of mind… I’m still not sure I’ve totally found it, but I do like where I’ve been lookin’.
Yeah, many of these women, and even some men, will pay big money to look that awful. They’ll decorate their bodies with multitudes of tattoos and piercings. They’ll invest in only the finest of raggy looking clothes, and shop for the perfect bandanna, with the best eye make up known to Macy’s, just to give off that sense of free spirit, only to realize they’re not deceiving anyone…
It’s literally amazing to me how these songs have become the soundtrack to my life. It’s sung from the perspective of a kid, a guy, a young adult who literally lives like a gypsy. Which at the time is fine and all, but watches his friends or friend party like a “Rock Star” stuffing his mouth with “bennies” and smoking to come down from the high of being “up”, all the while working under the care and supervision of daddy’s money, and mama’s cookin’. A friend who talks as if he’s mad at the world, that has no clue how good he has it, because it ain’t easy on the other side… Story of my life.
To this day though, this one is close to me. I’m no Bible Thumper, although I believe in spirit. I’m no Hari Krishna, although I believe in Karma. I’m no Buddhist, but I believe there has to be something better. I get my peace within the granite walls of Yosemite. I get my peace within the thunder and spray of waterfalls. I get my peace, not by standing in awe, but getting under them, to feel the power, to soak myself in the glorious feel of what cannot be controlled. To let it go through me, like blood through my veins. And yet, I can get a sort of peace just “floatin’ down the stream ‘n losin’ touch with all that’s real…”
The difference is in what is real… At least, at the given moment.
You can have your idea of what “Mama Kin” means to you, you can wear it as a moniker, you can use it to address your mom, you can use it as a duplicate tattoo, you can call your dog or cat by the same name, it’s all good, it’s all cool…
But for me, Mama Kin is the spirit who touches me underneath, as I dunk myself under the falls… And I never want to lose touch with her. Maybe overdue for a conversation…
Just a little side note; That kid who’s always got his or her tail on the wag, shootin’ fire from their mouth just a like a dragon… I’m sure it’s safe to assume Elyssa makes quite the impression…
But that’s just me…
This is their core, their roots. Enjoy!
“It ain’t easy livin’ like a gypsy Tell ya honey how I feel I’ve been dreamin’ floatin’ down the stream And losin’ touch with all that’s real…”
Whole earth lover keepin’ undercover Never knowin’ where ya been You’ve been fadin’ always out paradin’ Keep in touch with Mama Kin…”
GET YOUR HEAD OUT OF THE 70’S,
AND JOIN THE 21ST CENTURY!!!!!
A lot of… No… MOST of the Old Guard from theBlue Army doesn’t give much cred’ to anything after Done With Mirrors. I say; why Draw The Linethere?Mirrorswas almost a‘Bullet In the Brain”for this band. Yeah,Vacation’scommercial success gave them theMagic Touchfor a second life, but that doesn’t mean that a true fan only recognizes everything prior, and the rest gets sent to a Hangman Jury! Because whenPush Comes to Shove, you have toLet The Music Do The Talking. I mean ifLightning Strikestwice then it’sNo Surpriseto me that these guys can put together some really great songs in the 21st century also. Take Awhile,Think About It”, could a band this good, with aCombination”of this much talent and hard work, really not succeed again? As far as I’m concerned,Pump, Get A Grip, and yes, even Just Push PlayandNine Lives, show everyone that they wereBack In the Saddleto stay. It’sNobody’s Fault, except their own that these members of the Blue Army can’t feel all of theSweet Emotionafter 1979.
You know what though? We’ve heard thisSame Old Song And Dance before from these types of people. They’re their own parents yelling upstairs;“Turn that crap down!”They’ve forgotten what it’s like to beSomebodywho’s still young enough to get theirDream On. Nope, these guys surely have their heads down a One Way Street. When you get so caught up in your own perception, and your own time, all you do is remember the good ole’ days, but you’re soJaded, that you may not realize the good ole’ days may be happening right now! I don’t know…Something’s Gotta Give, right? It all comesFull Circle sooner or later, so you might as well just enjoy the ride… And if not… well, I Just Gotta’ Go The Other Way, Yes I Do!…
So, if you’re still inclined to goTrip Hoppin’ in theSunshine, or go chasing waterfalls,You Gotta Movedamn it! SoStop Messin’ Round, let go of the negative, and it’s just Beyond Beautiful.
Just Push Play was Aerosmith’s experiment with Modern Rock. Maybe not the best album they did, but it’s definitely got some good songs on it. A few have made my Top 100, and a few more inside the Top 40. Joe has some really harsh words for the album, so I truly do understand where some people just don’t like it. I guess I should say; there’s a lot on it I don’t like, but there’s also a lot I do like. Just to be fair though, here’s Joe’s quote;
“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.”
I guess he really doesn’t remember making Draw the Line. You’d think he learned that lesson once already….
What is “Trip Hoppin” anyway? Wiki says it’s; “A chemically induced style of dance in which a white male attempts to move his body as if he is a hip hop artist. Often done at Grateful Dead-like concerts or during bluegrass sets of the Shotgun Brothers.
“That dude was trip hopping like a stoned-out wigger.”
There’s another idea of “Trip Hop”, but I don’t think this song really relates to the scene of music it shares a name with. From what I understand about the song’s namesake type of music, this song doesn’t reflect “a genre of electronic music”. It doesn’t sound like it’s “synthetic”. I mean there are real guitars, and bass, and drums in this song, and it has actual lyrics, so although it may be experimental to these guys, it’s hardly experimental in the true sense of the word. I don’t think it contains a whole lot of soul, funk, jazz, or any type of fusion sound either, but there is a touch of each if you let it. At least for me there is. Who knows, maybe they went to a club in Europe, and this is what they got out of it, I don’t know. Maybe it’s Steven’s take on a new sensation that hadn’t happened yet.
Whatever it is, this song is fun! It’s fresh! It’s new! It’s catchy! It makes you wanna’ move and sing along. It makes you wanna get out in the sun! That’s what these guys do best. They don’t confuse you. They don’t lecture you. They don’t try to make you think like them. They just rock and roll… with a thanks to Tower of Power, and Dan Higgins for the horns on the song.
For lack of a better video out there, you can Trip Hop through the attached that I made while on a trip, with my daughter Natalie, and two of our dogs Blue and Koda, to my own little piece of paradise close to Yosemite. No jokes about the fat old white dude! He still jumps! And besides, I think this video gets my interpretation across better than most anything else I’ve ever seen. Maybe that’s why it has such a high place on my list, the video is what I see when I hear it…
I love the funk! I love the lyrics! I love the beat, the hooks, the solo, I dig this song… take a listen and then take a jump off that cliff!
And just so it’s clear: Hey Joe Perry; the offer is still open!
“I got a wild thing for you… huh We’re talkin’ hoops you got me jumpin’ thru You got those lemon drop martini eyes And if my karma suits you Cross the line into another place and time…”
“Tell me how pretty she is When she turns the colors of the rainbow…”
“In my kaleidoscope I’m lookin’ thru My only color was a neon blue I was hangin’ on to yesterday And now the only way out is thru…”
You won’t hear this one in a show. Not anymore… Although, we may need it now, more than ever before…
Some of you are just gonna’ be a bit too young to get this, and for those that fall into that generation, I only ask that you ponder the thoughts of how we have gotten to where we are today. Then, some of you will vaguely remember, and then some will remember vividly, what I’m about to convey with this interpretation of a fantastic song. A song that conveys the ‘wild’, the untamed, the problems of a society at almost the point of rogue, under the intention of covert and even sometimes overt. In no way is this solely about American society. It can’t be. It’s about a world. A world of people in desperate need of guidance…
Before I get into this, please understand that I am in no way, a politician of any sort. And I allow people, all people their views on any subject matter. That in itself is one of the core ideals my country was founded on. So with that said, there are NO controversies being started here, there are NO conspiracies, or faults being laid. There are no specific lines being drawn, or even crossed. It is simply an interpretation…
Please remember the time period the song was written. The message still holds true decades later. That may very well be, my reasoning for it having such a high spot on my list. If a song can still mean something almost 30 years after it was written, that scores a lot of points with me. Of course, as we will soon see, not all songs have to have such a meaning at all…
Whether it be Admiral John Poindexter, or Colonel Oliver North, exposing truths and/or lies about the Iran–Contra Affair, or the Kuwait Airways Hijacking, with the hijackers demanding the release of 17 Shiite Muslim prisoners held by Kuwait, leading to 16-days of Terror and 2 passengers killed, before it ended, or New York City Garbage Barges with nowhere to take human beings’ waste of products, or the truth behind the Pan Am 747 bombing over Lockerbie, killing all aboard, and 11 on the ground, or the U.S. Navy shooting down an Iranian airliner, saying they thought it was a fighter jet?, or the constant demolition of the Rain Forests in South America, and or even the wild (?) fire that ravished 750,000 acres – 36% of Yellowstone National Park, or even today’s so called and self appointed militias squatting on public lands, and taking the land by armed hostile force, for no apparent reason, other than they disagree with the country that gave them the right to disagree, or that someone is shot by Federal agents because he wanted to go out as a martyr for nothing more than land rights that were legally sold 50 years ago. It’s unclear what the message in this song was about, but there is a message. You figure it out…
They’re not going to tell you what kind of opinion you need to have. They’re just going to ask that you “have a fucking opinion”! They’re not going to tell you which way to look at it, they’re just going to ask you to “look damn it”! The group does not often get political, except on very few occasions. They’re not gonna’ get so deep as “Another Brick in the Wall”, or “Allentown”, or even Springsteen’s “Born In the USA”. They’ve never been the group to create a song of sorts, against a certain type of economics that may be affecting their fan-base, while they live high on the hog. They don’t patronize, or piggyback on a cause. They have their own beliefs, in which they give themselves to, and for the most part, they are not trendy. For example; their recent tour in Japan after the tsunami, “Rock for the Rising Sun”Tour, was in large part, a Charity Relief tour. They also became very involved in Boston Strong, with charity shows after the bombings at the Boston Marathon. And just this past year Jo and Steven have taken on even more charities to reach sio many in need. Not politicize, but just simply to make a difference.
Once in awhile a song comes out, that has so much meaning, it becomes timeless, and you’re able to apply its message to any day and age. Although it may very well be about a specific date and time, its message lingers past a moment. There is pure emotion in this song, from the bass line, to the drum beat, to the battling guitar riffs. It’s almost like Joe and Brad are conversing in that language that we all understand, but don’t speak. We can just listen, to the emotion they are handing out. And when Steven throws his voice into the song as not only a lyricist, but as an instrument, as he has done since day one, like no other vocalist in Rock History, the song becomes a passion!
Aerosmith also touches on religion in this song. Over my years of being a fan, I have read people’s intrigue on whether or not they have Christian beliefs, or anything similar. Just to be clear, they have answered all of those questions ten fold. with Joey’s Jewish upbringing, and Steven and Joe’s Christian homes, there might be a question or two that Tom and Brad can still be asked, but the essence of what they believe, has been told many, many times. What they have often conveyed is a simple belief. They are not going to ask you to believe in the same vain. They are only going to ask you to accept their views and their privacy in the matter.
But with this song, they indeed are not only asking for help from the Divine, or even Spiritual world, they are saying straight out, that we need it, whatever and wherever that help comes from, it’s desperately needed! So, yes they address religion in a sense, but in no way do they box it up.
So listen to your own heart’s content. Listen and decide where you want to apply the message. Listen and have an opinion. I have my own ideas of what this song is about, I believe my clues are in the above paragraphs. And although, they do not lecture you, and/or tell you to “bring more money, because all she wants to do is dance”, they do go a little deeper. What they’re trying to say is; the decisions we make have consequences, let’s try to make better decisions, before we put our faith in something, or someone else that may or may not exist.
Aside from the message within the actual lyrics, I can personally relate to Steven’s opening lyrics to introduce a sense of “wild”, a sense of “alone”,not loneliness, just alone. Remember, It’s a story… He’s telling a story. But he’s telling that story from a sense of relation. No, he was never abandoned as a child, but he has real and true memories of such a time that felt as if he was alone in the wild, not only as a young boy, but also as an adult. In that opening, I share that relation.
No, I was never left in a forest with wolves. But I do know what it’s like to raise yourself at a way, way too early age, because your parent moved out, and left you to fend for yourself, “left there for dead”. It’s a very odd sense of wild, but wild non-the-less. We often think, as young adolescents and young adults, and even as parents of late-teen children, that the golden age of 18 is the time to make your own way in life. It’s often a time of extreme tension and desire to set out on your own. I can attest to the fact, that it is just a number. The world is a very difficult place at 18, 19 years old. I can attest further, it’s more difficult 3 and 4 years before the “Golden Age” of 18.
Guidance is a much needed and beautiful thing in this world. It’s such a pity that some of us are above it. Such a pity that some of us refuse it…. It’s an even a greater pity that some of us are never offered it. I’ve been lucky…There are so many out there who weren’t, or aren’t. It can affect your ability to simply have a relationship in a way to just function properly in society, let alone any semblance of what might be considered a normal life, or a healthy relationship with loved ones. I say this now, for only one reason, not to have you open your wallet, and or your home without question, but to simply take another look out a different window…
So many are left there… for dead… Right now as we speak, we have so many of our own, who’s views of so many over seas, is better off Left there for dead. Maybe personal experiences need to be had, before one can feel what it’s like to just try, or worse “need” to survive. Maybe people need to know how it feels to be truly abandoned, in order to have true compassion. I’m really not sure anymore, but it seems a valid question today.
So as you may look at the title, and main character of the song as a silly, almost aboriginal ancient belief… I ask you this; Is it any sillier than any other faith, or belief in what cannot be proven?
In the immortal words of Steven Tyler; “GET THE FUCK OFF ‘A THE FENCE!”
By the way, if this isn’t turned up to “Eleven”, you might just miss the message….
“Sired by a Shaman… I was left as a child Dragged from the cradle I was weaned in the wild Running with the wolfpack Flesh torn to shred no compensation I was left there… for dead…”
“Everybody’s lookin’ at the sky They don’t believe the cover-ups and lies Yeah… they been tellin’ us since birth Pissin’ off old Mother Earth My gones are by-gones prophesized …”
ParT – I It’s a chapter out of the handbook,
I didn’t even know I was reading…
I’m thinking some of you may be just a little surprised at this one’s position in the book. No disrespect to it, it could be higher on any given day. And depending on my mood at the time, it could be even lower.
Actually, I give this song immense respect! I mean. without it, there would be no “Dream On”… Yep, the success of this record, and song, gave Leber & Krebs, and Columbia Records the idea to re-release the first album, only the second time it would be known as “Aerosmith – Featuring ‘Dream On’”, rather than just “Aerosmith”, and of course no more little picture, make the picture of the band on that record, the whole cover.
Back to this song though… This song not only made these guys who they were, but also later, it would make them who they are… again, for the 1st time to many.
The year was 1975, and the guys were coming off the road absolutely ready to record, full of creativity. Joe, Tom, Brad, and Joey, all came into the studio with licks, and riffs ready to go. Their work ethic during this album may have been at the band’s peak. Obviously, the eventual success showed that in spades. I didn’t mention Steven being ready, not to slight him at all, it was just the way he / they worked.
Steven was always last. He often got inspiration from just listening to what the guys already had, but he also got inspiration from a multitude of other sources. Jack and Steven would often just trip on down 44th Street, down Broadway, then 42nd and 8th… You know, “Hell’s Kitchen”, just to talk with the street dudes and the hookers. They did this often, for more than a few reasons.
Some of which, I leave alone, some of which are worth a read;
Number 1; They liked the people of the community they were in, but more than that, it was Steven’s focus for the album, remember? He wanted to hear words that are only used on the street. The fact is Joe had some awesome riffs he pulled from his funk influences such as The Meters and James Brown. Joe wanted his own “funky” song, so they wouldn’t have to play those covers, (which is why they often used to start this song in concert with James Brown’s ‘Mother Popcorn’) but Steven couldn’t come up with anything to write, hence the walk into, and around Hell’s Kitchen.
The rest of the band was getting pretty frustrated once again with Steven’s lack of material, so they just let Steven be, to try and figure it out on his own, after 4 nights working together with nothing come from those efforts. Believe it or not, they were ready to just scrap the whole concept of the song that Joe came up with the licks for. The guys said; “Fuck it, let’s go to the movies”, and went and saw Young Frankenstein… Yep, it was Marty Feldman, as Igor (not Egor), telling Gene Wilder how to walk; “Not that way! Walk this way”… The title of the song was born, even without any lyrics yet. But I guess that’s the inspiration Steven needed.
Look back to “Walkin’ The Dog”. Remember Steven wasn’t at the movie. When he heard Joe and Joey say the song’s title was going to be “Walk This Way”, something else came to Steven’s mind. But even then, it wasn’t that easy…
Steven goes back to his hotel room, and over the next 24 hours he wrote the lyrics (At least that’s his story). He actually had a notebook this time too. Proud as Fuck, he catches a cab to the studio, to show everyone what he’s got. Jumped out of the cab, paid the dude, ran upstairs, “Hey Mother F’rs look what I got!!!”… “Hey wait… where’s my notebook?” Everyone called him a liar. And of course the fighting commenced.
A lot of ‘FUCK YOUs’ back and forth, and Steven leaves all pissed off, takes the elevator up to the 6th floor stairwell, and just starts singing his lungs out…. Nope, bad sound, he goes down 2 flights, sits in the stairwell, and finds the right sound, grabs his notebook… “Oh Yeah! No Fuckin’ notebook!”… He starts writing on the wall…. Remembering what the hookers were saying, what the dudes on the street were saying…
So, yeah… “Back stroke lover” was the kid playing with himself, and his daddy caught him, and told him “you ain’t seen nothin’ ‘til you’re down a muffin”
And then it gets into some of his own thoughts of having chicks dress up for his fantasies. And then we truly experience the birth of Steven Tyler’s genius with lyrics and the incorporation of sexual innuendo and double entendres, The song is a smorgasbord of all that will be from this day forward… “I met a Cheerleader…”
A song was born! A song that would sky rocket 3 careers. An absolutely amazing song! A song, that because of its acronyms, would get play on both AM and FM. A song that teenagers could sing along to, with parents in the car.
Now personally, I think the first few years I heard this song, I didn’t get it at all. It wasn’t until 1976-77, when I moved to Santa Rosa, and spent some time with my soon to be Step Brothers Kenny, and Ronnie. I never got to know them real well, don’t know them now, and probably never will. Not sure why, maybe I was too young, maybe I wasn’t cool enough, maybe… who cares? But the time I did spend with them, I really enjoyed. I have to say though, the best thing I got from these two, was music like I’ve never heard before.
Kenny introduced me to his band “Slipstream” and I fell in love with their cover of Marshall Tucker Band’s ‘Can’t Ya’ See’. Still one of my All-Time favorites! But Ronnie!!! Ronnie turned me on to Aerosmith. And not with this song or album, it was with songs I’d never heard before, so as we move through this list, you will hear what captivated me for a lifetime. And with that captivation came more records, more songs. I would listen to Ronnie sing, I would learn the lyrics to the best things I’d never heard before. When I read the lyrics from the songbooks sold at Stanroy’s Music in downtown Santa Rosa, and listened to Ronnie sing this song, I was floored. “WOW!… I FUCKIN’ GET IT!” I learned what it was about. It was more than just a song, more than just an album, it was a lifestyle. It was a fucking manual! A FUCKING HANDBOOK! The first few chapters of the handbook I would keep and use my entire life…
The video below will show you a band of 5 guys being the best there is on the planet! It will show you the most recognizable opening drum beat ever! It will show you two of the coolest guys on the planet, doing what they do better than anyone else on the fucking planet, one with a riff as maybe the most recognizable funky rock n roll jam of all time. Not just playing the riff, but feeling it, and in turn translating that feeling to the audience. The other reciting, one of the best lyrical proofs of genius in rock ‘n roll history! Also one of the most recognizable set of lyrics in the whole world. He’s not just singing a song, he’s showing you a story. Go ahead, watch the video, but do yourself a favor and turn it up, feel it, live it!
For now, at least on this intro, I’m gonna’ close, but I will offer this to anyone who might be interested, to scroll at your own risk past this video for a story of my own experiences, and relationship with this song. However, it is a “[MA] L.S.N.” version, so at this point, you can click on the link and enjoy the video, or you can scroll down. I just ask that you reserve judgment of nothing more than a boy at the time. It’s a chapter out of the handbook, that’s all… The handbook that I would read and follow for a long time to cum…
Until then; “Oh the times I could reminisce…”
Let your fingers do the walking…
This is; “Walk This Way”!
Oh The Times I Could Reminisce
There are so many songs in life that we all relate to, at one time or another, or from one reason or another. Whether it be “Freebird”, or “Fooled Around and Fell in Love”, or “Faithfully”, or “American Pie”, or countless others. But have you ever asked the question… Have you ever thought that maybe somebody else wrote the story to your whole life, or at least a big part of it?
This song has meaning, both good and bad, both pride and shame. But none the less, it’s a chapter. It’s a part of 3 or 4 or 5 years out of my life. It was a manual that I didn’t even know I was reading. It was my handbook, chapter… ?
“Back-stroken lover always hidin’ ‘neath the covers” –
When we enter the years of puberty, and adolescence, things happen to us. Foreign things, beautiful things, wonderful things, confusing things, nasty things, dirty things, kinky things, guilty things, fun things, things that make us feel good. It’s a time when even baseball takes a backseat, but I have to say I wasn’t much of a fan of “The Backstroke” back then. However, a pamphlet on how to deal with what was happening would have been nice….
“’Til I talked to your daddy he said”–
I can remember, clear as day, a drive with my dad. I might’ve been 11 or 12 at the most. We were talking about girls in school who were writing my name inside a heart, graffiti style on the walls; “Mike + K.G.”. I can remember asking him what I should do, not knowing who “K, G.”. was at the time. I remember hoping it was Kelly Garcia, although later finding out I was so far off with that guess. Anyway, I can’t remember any real advice he gave me for the graffiti at Hill Jr. High, but I do remember the advice he gave me to use at a later date. My dad, was never much of a role model. Not to me at least, but I can remember this piece of advice seemed to mean something worth listening to.
He started talking about the kind of vehicle I might drive when I get older. He told me; “Whatever you do Mike, whether in a pickup truck or a Nova, you should absolutely get a stick shift on the floor, with bench seats”. He told me; “That way when your girl sits next to you when you’re driving, after you’re done shifting, your hand drops right to where it should be, the best place you will ever want it to be.”
Although I was pretty young when he told me that, and I truly didn’t understand at the time what was so important, I had seen enough of his private stash of Playboy magazines to know what he was talking about. And I must admit, my 1st girlfriend, Stormy and I had already attempted, at only 9 and 10 years old, to see how the puzzle pieces of boys and girls bodies might fit together. Yeah, even at the tender age of 9 and 10, down by the creek at the openings of the municipal water pipes of our still new subdivision in Novato, Stormy and I were already trying to play with the kitty in the middle. Truth be told though, it just doesn’t work for kids that young, and nor should it… However, unlike many who will immediately look at these acts as if they were sick, or twisted, I’ll tell you right now it wasn’t. It was just two very young people, who’s souls, through time, were sexual, not at all criminal, or like so many of the Christian Right like to say; “deviant”. Nope, not all, this was pure innocence, with a complete lack of understanding of who they were born to be.
Like I said; I didn’t “get it” (yet), but I can distinctly remember having the conscience of mind, to put my dad’s piece of advice in my back pocket. I truly knew at that moment, that I might use it someday.
‘He said you ain’t seen nothin’ ’til you’re down on a muffin”-
The 2nd time I saw a girl in full bloom, was my 1st summer in SOCO… and oh what a summer it was! I think I was 13, maybe 14 years old. Still a young man whose banana was still green, if you know what I mean? I met a group of 3 sisters, who had a mud hut hot house to sauna in. Smoke a little, toke a little, and take a sauna. Only one of the sisters was halfway cute, but when you’re that young /old and surrounded by young sweaty naked girls and young women… well let’s just say it’s hard to hide your appreciation for what you see.
Then there was also a girl I met named Roberta “Bird” Antonio (last name changed to protect the innocent), and her friend Marcy, who later became the wife of Tommy Smothers, which is a strange story in itself, because she’s my age, and Tommy Smothers was already about 92 already in 1976. Anyway… we would ride horses up onto Tommy’s ranch in Kenwood, CA and skinny dip in his pool, and stroll through his crop of pot plants… But the point I’m getting at is, I am finally “seeing” the muffin and truly knowing the desires of which the female body stirs in a young boy… And maybe even more than my fair share…
“Then you’re sure to be a changin’ your ways”-
It was about this time in my life, that things like baseball, and football were starting to take a back seat, maybe because I wasn’t as good as I needed to be to continue on that path, maybe it was the pot, maybe it was the beer, the whiskey, maybe it was the girls. I know this line is about self gratification, but I truly wasn’t there, not yet at least. But this new found beauty I was seeing on a semi regular basis with summer-nightly saunas in the mud hut, and skinny dipping with a 14 year old beauty with 36 C’s were definitely changing my path.
“I met a cheerleader was a real young bleeder”
This line was both hot, and creepy at the same time to me. Yeah, I get it, but still… Anyway, I won’t say, or use any names here, in order to protect the guilty. But man oh man! A boyhood fantasy, come true, more than once. Although, I had no clue what I was doing, it was fun “to do the do”. When I was 14 years old, my 1st real girlfriend was a cheerleader. And although I had already been down the road with a few swingin’ kitties, the memory of her asking me to show her the way, is so pure! More on that later.
I was about 16 years old, living on my own, It was kind of “party central” at my apartment. You learn things about people when there’s no rules. And in my house there were no rules. It was nothing for some girls at school, to want to stay a little longer after the party. More girls than you would think, and girls you would never assume, but it’s best to keep the secret. After all, why would you want to spoil a good thing, right?… But when she’s a year, or two older than you, and the Captain of the Cheer Leading Team… “Oh the times I could reminisce”
‘Cause the best things of lovin’ with her sister and her cousin Only started with a little kiss A like this…” Heh, heh, heh,
This one takes me back to 14 years old…
I had a few friends in that little apartment complex in Bennett Valley. Some were sisters, but we were all too damn young… When you play Truth or Dare, are there any rules? Sisters… Heh, heh, heh, My fingers learned how to walk that summer, and took an awful lot of leisurely strolls. Of course it was always by invitation only, but yes, exercise was a good thing…
The 2 sisters introduced me to their cousin Michelle, who was a Santa Rosa H.S. Cheerleader. (Yep, another cheerleader), who had sex appeal just oozing from her. Eyes that that could make a young man cry, lips to make an old man weak, strawberry blonde Dorothy Hamel haircut with just enough bangs to make you wonder what’s behind them. The sex appeal was real, and it was fucking drippin’!
Awkward at first, with all the time that I spent with the sisters, having no real idea of the emotions I was literally playing with, and the damage that may have been done from those sex-capades. Friends with Benefits way before the phrase was ever coined. I decided to look at a much loftier prize though, at least in my eyes. I mean after all, it was all in fun, right? Michelle and I showed each other what it was like to “want”, to “need”, to “give”, to “receive”. And it was often, and it was wet, and it was silk, and it was no secret, and it was full on desire without restraint, and it was cool, and it was a fucking blast!… and her parents even approved!
“Seesaw swinger wit da boys in the school And your feet flyin’ up in the air Singin’ hey diddle diddle Wit’chor kitty in the middle of the swing like you didn’t care…”
Being a High School bachelor with his own place was really odd at times, especially as I got a little older. 16-17 years old, I knew a lot of guys. Certainly never tried to be the most popular guy in school, and I certainly WAS NOT, but popularity actually did come easy for me… Comes with the territory I guess of having your own apartment and just being an all around fun guy I guess… At least when the insecurities weren’t showing.
I knew a lot of guys, and girls both. And as guys do in high school, “we” talk. We talk more than we should. And often times conversations would come up about; “who was with whom, and when”… I had a hard time with this. You see, living on your own at such a young age, with no parents to talk to, and not being able to talk with your friends, because they were the ones singing “hey diddle diddle”, the problem often came up where I just had to keep my mouth shut. While the guys were telling stories of nailing “her” on Saturday night, “her” was with me with her “kitty in middle” on that Saturday night… So there was no way their stories could be true. An awkward time to say the least, and later, maybe the reasons for close friendships ending. Actually on a few occasions, there’s no “maybe” about it. As I said earlier, there is also shame in this remembrance…
“So I took a big chance at the high school dance With a missy who was ready to play Was it me she was foolin’ ’cause she knew what she was doin’ And I knowed love is here to stay When she told me to Walk this way…”
Didn’t go to many high school dances, but I did take some chances with a few “missies” who were ready to play. Back to Bennett Valley Apartments, 14 & 15 years old. With a “neighbor who needed a favor”… or maybe it was just a “want” more than a “need”. I first met “Linda”, and a friend of hers, no idea what her name was, but Linda was just wow! She was a Georgia born classy, but sassy Southern Belle. Who was “hotter” than hell, before the word “hot” meant hot. She wore a white bikini with gold rings to hold it together where it needed to be. And just barely at that. “Can I look?” … “She’s old; She must be 28 years old!”What if her (Air Force) husband catches me looking?”… “She’s got two little boys!”… “This is so wrong!” But damn!!!! She looked so fucking good, that you knew it was bad for you.
Linda asked me if I wanted to help her bring some lemonade back to the pool from her apartment. Tripping over my tongue, I said “sure!”, and made sure to walk just two steps behind… It was probably obvious with just swim trunks on, that I was delighted to do this. I started to just wait outside while she went in. She came back and took me by the hand, with both hands, and a caress that said; “I wanna’ show you something you’ve never seen before”… She put a white see through mesh over-shirt on, and said she had to change her top. “Holy shit! Right there in the kitchen!”… Yep, looking at me right in the eyes, with an occasional glance down, she pulled her arms inside the over-shirt, and took off her bikini top just watching my jaw drop, and another part rise…. She giggled, and asked if I was uncomfortable. As nervous as I was, I said’ “No, I’m not uncomfortable at all”. She asked if I’d like to touch, and of course I did… And that was it for the day… FUCK ME!
Linda was the Queen of Tease with a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. She quickly ran upstairs, changed her bikini, and we went back to the pool. Little did I know at that moment, that it was just the beginning.
This was the start of a summer long education program that to this day, I am so grateful for! Trips to the beach in the back of a pick-up truck, showing me the things that only a woman knows, only a woman loves, things that “girls’ have no clue about, but would know soon enough. She was teaching me lessons in life that my daddy could never teach me, and I was a damn good student! Always early for class, stayed in at break to learn more, stayed after to go over it all again, and again, again. How to let your fingers do the walking, how to give a little kiss like this, and where those kisses should be given, among other things. It was the first time and eventually the only time I would ever ask a girl or woman for pleasure, and she was okay with that. But all the while, teaching me that I would never have to ask again for the rest of my life. She was teaching me how to expect without force. How to take what is being given, and to recognize the very moment a girl decides she willing to give. She even taught me the boundaries girls and women have, that are not permissible to cross. She made it so easy, almost like asking to borrow a cup of sugar. Linda sure knew how to blow a kiss!!! And in turn, I learned what a Lick and Promise was all about. Little did she know, all she had to do was talk with that southern charm, and that might have been enough, but damn I’m so grateful for the time well spent.
This scene would play itself out all over again in almost one year’s time with Debbie, and her roommate (can’t remember her name either) who lived next door to me and Mitch, on Bethards Dr. in Bennett Valley, across from Safeway. Again twice my tender age of 16, these two chicks were about as crazy as girls could get, with “Misfits” for boyfriends, I think I’m lucky to be alive, but man talk about “Feet flyin’ up in the air”!!! Both could not get enough… Not enough rides, not enough kisses, not enough licks, and not enough blow… Both with tramp stamps before there were tramp stamps, these two absolutely “wronged all the right outta’ me”. It was really something to pass out while doing the do, and wake up 3 hours later because they were right back where they left off, like some sort of human alarm clock. I don’t think they were educating, just using… But at the same time, I was very willing to loan my time…
Walk this way Walk this way Walk this way Walk this way Walk this way Walk this way Walk this way
“A just gimmie a kiss… like this Oooh… uuh Schoolgirl sweetie with a classy kinda sassy Little skirt’s climbin’ way up her knee…”
A few come to mind here… “skirts climbin’ way up her knee”.I would love to call out their names, but I’m sure the best thing to do is refrain. But after Linda, I learned how to kiss, and to give a kiss that would bring a girl bliss… This would actually come to be a blessing, and a curse both. I lost very close friends because of my desire, and my learned expertise to please, even if it was pleasing those who weren’t mine to please.
“There was three young ladies in the school gym locker When I noticed they was lookin’ at me”.
Just because they look at you… you know “LOOK AT YOU”, doesn’t mean you always have to return the favor. Adolescent hormonal desires are a very difficult thing to control, when you live in a world without control. My house was their home if they wanted…
“I was a high school loser never made it with the ladies ‘Til the boys told me somethin’ I missed Then my next door neighbor with a daughter had a favor So I gave her just a little kiss A like this…”
Nope! Was NOT a high school loser… not me. I probably won more than I should’ve, but when my next door neighbor who’s daughter had a favor, I made sure to help where I could. Again, not a proud memory here… Just real, and truth. When a girl comes to you and asks for “The Favor”…Unless you’re willing, and able to be the lifelong memory she’s looking for, then I would advise against it! It will haunt you, and haunt her. I said yes… “at least”, one time too often.
This story is not to pat myself on the back. It’s not to brag, it’s not to put shame on those who were there. It’s just that life sometimes imitates fiction, sometimes fiction imitates life. Sometimes fantasy is reality, sometimes reality is a fantasy. and sometimes you just follow the handbook…
It’s a memoir… that’s it…
Just the beginning chapters to a manual that I read most of my life…
Now step back in time, to one of the best versions from the days I just shared with you. Feel the funk, feel the grit, feel the sleaze, feel the fun! And then one more from Boston Strong to give you the Mother Popcorn connection…
The whole album was fueled by drugs and discontent, and booze, and puke, and withdrawals, and blame, and guns, and motorcycles, and fast cars, and “Tommy Guns”, and more drugs, and Shotguns, and more drugs…
Even drugs in the food… Cocaine was an everyday thing. It’s a known fact that David Johansen was their heroin courier, just so the guys wouldn’t go out and get “street dope”. 6 weeks, everyone in different rooms, only coming out to meet a supplier, or take a spin, or shoot. Jack assigned each of them to different rooms within the seminary to work on, and record their parts of the songs for the album. They almost barely saw each other. It took another 6 months and 1/2 a million dollars to complete it, and that’s a lot of cash in ’77! They came to the “Cenacle”, (The seminary) right off the road. No rest, no songs, and zero ideas!
The generic thought of the time when this album came out, was that the name of the record, and title song had something to do with cocaine. The thought was that it implied “drawing a line” of coke. The ironic thing is that IT DID have everything to do with cocaine, but rather than drawing a line with it, it was about drawing a line from it. The name of the album, came from a buddy, a roadie of the band named “Rabbit”. The story goes; The band got an ounce of coke from the mob, but it was bad, so they decided to return it, but then Steven gave it to another guy and told him to hold it. The guy put it in a manila envelope and then switched the envelopes, because he knew that Steven would want it at 4:00 in the morning. The next day Steven was all pissed off and asking “where’s the fucking blow?!?!”, asking the guy why he switched the envelope. Rabbit jumped in and said “Steven, you don’t know when to stop! You don’t know when to ‘Draw the Line!” And there you have it. Continue reading Number 13 – Anybody Got a Wet Nap?
Let’s go back to The Cenacle one more time, and take a bite out of what was being offered… Hard to refuse those loose hearted ladies…
Besides, if you say no, you may never get that offer again
Up 16 from 2014
Wow! I’ve said so much already about “Draw The Line” already, and everything that was going on during the making of this album, I don’t think I’ve got anything new to say,
Maybe just the fact that while the album AND the group were being trashed by Rolling Stone (again!), and many other media, this was the song I first latched onto from the album, not “DTL”, not “Kings”, not “Can’t Get it Up”. Nope it was this one! Pure Aerosmith through, and through! I’m sure there’s nothing new to say about the song either, with the same innuendos as other songs such as the Eagles; “Life In The Fast Lane”, or later, the Crue’s “Dr. Feelgood” relating the word “Doctor” to a dealer. And I’m sure the word “love” could easily be an acronym, for the drug of the day, or even the hour. With Steven’s getting upset, and throwing fits, during their time at the convent, about the “Bad” blow they were getting, it very well could be.
Or who knows? Maybe he’s asking for help with his relationship with Joe, knowing it’s just about over. Knowing that Joe is one half of him, and it’s gonna’ be real tough to keep going without him, However the infighting, he feels, is a dual edged sword. He knows he needs him, he “yells his name to crowd”. He knows they’re brothers, “Et Tu Like Birds of a feather”. Is he telling Joe to “Wake the fuck up!” and get his “sweet ass off the floor”, and make a record? Continue reading Number 12 – Careful How Much You Bite Off…
Just 9 days away from Blue Army ecstasy in South Lake Tahoe What better than the song that defines a whole Army? They might just hear this one ion North Shore
Down 4 spots from 2014, but still a diamond in the Rocks!
Who in their right mind is going to take a Gene Autry Country Western Family? Folk song and turn it into, a song about visiting brothels and a special kind of prostitute? Who has the balls to do something like that!!??!! Who could, not only do that, but make it one of the biggest songs of the decade in rock n roll? Not just a big song, but an iconic song, by an iconic band, during an iconic time, when stadiums and arenas were being filled by 80,000 fans at a time, rather than the clubs and theaters of a few thousand, just a few short years prior. This was the song that was going to blow the roof off! Who could do that? How about the Toxic Twins and the L.I.-3? Five guys that pour sexuality and sexual innuendo all over the stage like fucking syrup! And all over the audience I might add, like some kind of liquid fucking dessert!
Women are going to read this and say; “That’s disgusting”. Some guys are gonna’ read this and say; “Unbelievable, I had no idea!”. Other guys are going to read this, and say; “I don’t believe he just said that!”… I’m just going to say America is the Land of Opportunity, and when the opportunity “rises” for a 16 year old boy, he’s going to go ahead and “peel off his boots and chaps”.
Try to take a higher road… The views are better up there anyway… In time, you’ll get to where you’re goin’
“We weren’t too ambitious when we started out. We just wanted to be the biggest thing that ever walked the planet.” – Steven Tyler
This song could easily be my number 1 song… It’s that frickin’ special to me! And maybe it is, you just never really know when you’re in the Top 10. I hold this one close for several different reasons. First; because it’s one of the original 4 “hooks”. This is one of the first 4 songs that I first truly heard from these guys. I’ve said before, that I’d heard “Walk This Way”, I’d heard “Dream On”, maybe even heard “Train”, but these 4 were different. At the time, I had no favorite bands. I liked the Doobies, Marshall Tucker, The Eagles, I liked a little bit of Skynard, a little Steve Miller, a little Zeppelin, and I really liked the Stones, and loved old CCR… But this… this music was penetrating me deep! And this song was about as deep as any could be. Continue reading Number 10 – Rise Above…
Stop Thinking That Whatever You Say Fucking Matters! They Hear What They Wanna Hear!
Anyone who knows me personally knows me as the kind of guy you “Love & Hate”, although sometimes it might just be “Hate”, and sometimes it might just be “Love”… Most of the time it’s actually both. Very seldom is it one “OR” the other. Difficult for most really. Ya’ see if you love “OR” hate someone, it makes your decisions easy, but when you actually employ both feelings simultaneously, it can be a really confusing thing…
The reasons for these types of things, I’ve found over my years, are that I will often say what other people only dare to think, but are either not willing to say, or they have the smarts to think twice. This is in no way a piece of advice by the way. In fact, I often tell my kids to practice a little restraint. I know they wish I would take my own advice. But the truth is, I’m gonna’ tell you what’s on mind. I’m not a bully by any means. In fact, I’ll be the first to offer protection against one. However, if you ask for my opinion or thoughts, either verbally, or just by threatening my space, surroundings, or people I care about, you can bet, I’m gonna’ tell you a few truths.
The sad part is, whether we like it or not, whether we want to admit it or not, we’re judged everyday by these types of actions, the actions of speaking our minds. A lot of times, they just ain’t welcome.
I have a saying in life. I use it at work every now and then; When I’m asked to be a team player by a select few Supervisors and managers; “Sure I’m a Team Player, as long as I’m Captain, and I get to pick my own team… Because if you’re the Coach or quarterback, there just ain’t no way in hell we can win with the guys you picked! Hell, they wouldn’t even start on my team!’… Truth.
Reminds of a story…. The parallels of this band and their songs never seize to amaze me… My recent landlord who was having his own (marital) troubles, gave myself and my family a short notice to vacate, because he now needs a place to live, once his divorce goes through. Don’t get me wrong, as upsetting as this is, I get it. We understand. However that doesn’t help with the stresses in a “Zero Homes For Rent” market.
My landlord gave us this notice in a text. Whatever… doesn’t matter. Still has the same effect. Today though, he texted my wife Mary, he wanted to know “How are things going?”... You can bet, as long as he opened that door, with that question, I fuckin’ told him!
“Hows it going??!! Really??!! By text??!! Well, how about this?;
“I mean no disrespect to your own current marital issues, however, please do not text Mary at work as her supervisors frown on that kind of thing, and we kind of need her paycheck. Especially now! Also, as a front desk person, it is not well received if, and when she breaks down crying.
How are things going? The market for rental properties, in and around this town of ours, is sparse at best. We are in competition with more affluent people for approval, and we’re not winning.
How are things going? We truly believed you when you stated you wanted “Long Term Tenants”. And when you said; “Treat the home as if it were yours”. It’s obvious now that was a mistake..
How are things going? I have already spent over $350.00 just in this one week’s time since you gave us your original text to vacate, just looking for, and paying the fees to just to apply for properties. That number will only continue to climb, as most Property Management Companies and Landlords, need to run credit on each person planning to reside. Not to mention the fact that most Property Mgmt Cos are located at least 15 miles from where we live. Just to get the keys to view, is $40 in gas. Each application costs my family $90.00+. This is in addition to maybe the worst timing of all… Being that I am still out on a Work related Injury, and only receiving a fraction of my regular wages, and also that moniker being a blight on applications filled out.
How are things going? We are also now facing a very realistic possibility of re-homing our family dogs of 10 and 6 years, or even putting them down, if in fact all we can be approved for at the time, is a home without pets.
How are things going? If we move outside of Oakdale, that also puts a stronger financial burden on the family, as it may be cost “IN”-effective for Mary to keep her job in town. And Natalie will have to quit hers for sure.
How is it going? Not well. Not well at all. We are continuing to look each day, all day. We have lost our, already paid non refundable vacations, because when the time comes, it will “hopefully” be used for moving. It’s not going well Tim.
I hope that you and Kari are doing well, thanks for asking.
Again, this is not advice, it just is…. I have zero problem telling supervisors, managers, or just coworkers, or anyone; “Just try and be a little bit better than you were yesterday, if you do just that, maybe by the end of the month, there’s a chance you might actually be good at what you do for a living…”
The world we live in seems to accept mediocrity, and be content with less than acceptable behavior. Don’t get me wrong, I’m no moral compass by any means, but I do think it’s my duty, at least once in awhile to let people know that their idea of success, or even quality, or even being a decent human being can easily be mistaken as blemished goods. So, this leaves me to this song and its message.
I’m gonna try, I really am, but after awhile, once I’m shown that no one else GAF, I’m just gonna say Fuck it!
There’s a story and a meaning here. But true to Aerosmith, often times its double, and even triple entendre’, leaving it up to the listener to interpret the way they see fit. Well, I know how “I” interpret this one. And the way my life has gone over the past several years, let alone the last week, this one fits like a rubber fucking glove!
The song harkens back to Janie’s Got a Gun, and the battles that Steven and John Kalodner had about the lyrics in the song. John wanted Steven to change some of the words to be more acceptable to Sony; “Put a ‘bullet’ in his brain”, and of course there was “Monkey”. Steven’s response was; “’Fuck’ is what I say. It’s Who I am. It’s how I talk, it’s part of my vocabulary and I’m not taking it out…”
Sony loved it. But they were both smart enough to know what would play on the radio, and what would sell records.
Another meaning to the song, which isn’t quite as obvious, is that Aerosmith will never shove anything down your throat except for hard rock and roll. The message they’re sending is basically; Take it or ‘fucking’ leave it! The message in this song is; be true to yourself, people will hear what they wanna’ hear. They’ll see what they wanna’ see. Like I said, they will not lecture you, but if you ask the questions, be prepared for the answer you just might get.
This song is the title track on their first album of their 4th decade. At the 30 year mark, they come out with this album, an album so different, and so very, VERY Aerosmith! It soon became one of the biggest selling albums of all time (for them). It’s powerful, it’s fun, it’s unique, and it’s so fucking relevant, even today! This song’s meaning has been a motto of mine for a long time now; “Do whatever the f*** you want. Say whatever the f*** you want, nobody really gives a s*** anyway! And if they say they do… then they’re f***in’ lyin’!”
I know by now, a lot of fans share my love for this album, although I’m not sure many will agree with this song’s place on my list. I guess my point here is showing the world, my own personality in the songs they write. This song’s presence inside my Top 10 is a statement. It’s a Statement not only of an attitude, but also as a transgression, as maturity, as staying true to yourself. It’s a statement of evolution. At the same time, it’s a statement of; “It doesn’t fucking matter!”
Joe obviously doesn’t feel the same way I do, and that’s cool. Maybe one of the biggest reasons I would just love to talk with these guys over a BBQ. Sure they’re idols. Sure they wrote my handbook, but I’m still me, and they’re who they are. The conversations would be awesome!
“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. -J. Perry”
During a Q&A session in 2011, Joey had some things to say himself; ”I don’t like the cover, but I thought our playing on the album was great”. -J. Kramer
There was a lot of talk about Aerosmith trying to, or even flat out capitalizing on the Rock-Rap, or Metal-Rap genre of the time, even going back to the RUN DMC days. My personal opinion is a bit different. And maybe I’m just a little ‘Jaded’ by some of these critics, but I can go way back with these guys, and find an almost “Rap” like song intermingled throughout their whole career, at least in substance anyway. No, we may not see any of their early stuff as rap, but then we didn’t see it in Blondie either.
How is “Rap” defined? Is it defined in speaking fast, almost not singing, but still maintaining a melody? Or does it have to be accompanied by an almost intrusive techno bass line. I think you see my point, but whether it be the original WTW, or even as far back as Walkin’ The Dog, or even Get The Lead out,and if you don’t hear that style in Rats then, well… I just think you’re high. Ya’ see the thing is; these guys aren’t new to this style. And to put some kind “New Label” onto what they’ve done in and out of their whole career… well I think it’s just Journalistic Fraud and irresponsibility.
Chris Willman of Entertainment Weekly said that this song, along with 5 others weren’t worth listening to. And the New Musical Express Magazinereview of the album said; “Most of the album is not new, but the album was Aerosmith’s first album to feature “Rap Metal” with songs like “Just Push Play” & “Outta Your Head”.
Then of course we have our good buddy David Fricke of Rolling Stone Magazine saying that; “they are still a good band and it is lucky for them to still be around… they had not made a “great album” since Rocks, although it came close, as did Pump.
Reading a few fan’s opinions of the song, I think they might get it better than the guys who are paid to;
“Just Push Play is an example of Aerosmith’s determination to remain in the music scene today. The guitar riff is awesome, undeniably Joe Perry, the loop programming gives it a certain edge that makes it catchy, and Steven Tyler seems to derive great pleasure by screaming, f****n A! over and over in the chorus. It’s a great party song, and I listen to it often.” Gordon – Lake Havasu City, Az
“I like this song. I think Aerosmith is an awesome band…my favorite. Its amazing how Aerosmith isn’t strictly under one genre of music. They are able to dabble in many different kinds of music. They’re genius. They are very creative and aren’t worried about a “label”. I’m surprised nobody else commented on this song. Donni – Somewhere, Wa
Written by Steven and Mark and Steve Dudas, the song was released as a promo for Just Push Play in 2001, and peaked at #10 on the mainstream Rock Charts, and #38 on Billboard’s mainstream chart.
I absolutely love Joe’s play with sound, and distortion on this song. Let’s keep in mind, and anyone who has ever seen Joe, or watched him in ’75, ’85, ‘95, or ’05 has watched his live playing with distortion. Always trying something new! Always innovative, always looking for an edge, even if it’s improv. For a guy who absolutely hates synthesizers, I love the one in this song, and Steven’s use of Jamaican dialogue, still mostly unknown to me, makes it all work! And if you’re a fan, you have to love the tribute to WTW, in a way, that most critics don’t even recognize, saying to the world;
“This ain’t new… This is who we are… We invented this shit!”
Say what you want about Dodge and commercialism. Personally IDGAF, I love this song, and they sell it! They throw it at you! Take it or fucking leave it! I love this song as much as any Top 10 anywhere!
If you haven’t heard this before strap yourself in…
“She gave you a flower The one that God gave her…”
“You all up in the Kool-aid But’choo do not know de flavor…”
“Instead of growin’ old all dapper and neat I’m gonna grow my hair right down to my feet It’s you and me baby no pimp daddy jack It’s cadillac wack no cadillac wack back… oooooh…”
It Was Written With Seven Days Time Before Mary and I Were to Embark on a Mini-Vacation,
and See This Old Band, Play Nothing More
Than a Few Old Songs.
Odd thing to even contemplate, while we were still looking for a place to live, and the seriousness of that issue at the time. Didn’t really make a lot of sense, other than what this band and these songs mean to me, along with the joy they bring. But all the while thinking; “Gotta stand up, sit down, and jump through hoops at the same time. And then we all just lie at their feet waiting for someone to say yes…” Nothing in the city, nothing in the country. Makes you wanna’ just go home… But you can’t…
I was beginning to think, it might just be time to just give the Fuck up!
Without further reprieve, let’s talk about number 8. A song that has always been in my Top 5 until just this year. What makes this year different? Maybe the realization that you can never really go home.
“Hey Brad, you got something up your sleeve?”
I don’t know why, or where, rumors get started. It seems to me though, it’s usually started from the point of envy, or even jealousy of some sort, or maybe it’s just because people have nothing better to do. There’s been a lot of stories out there that the guitar riffs in this song were written, and originally performed by an un-cited outside musician. It’s also been written that the chords and basic melody are a rip-off of David Bowie’s “Fame”. First; don’t you think somebody would have stepped forward by now, if they actually wrote that guitar riff? Well it just so happens, somebody did… many times… Brad!
Brad has come forward so many times in regards to the rumors, it’s almost disrespectful. He has been asked the same question over the years, many, many times, yet he’s always handled the questions with the utmost class. Brad tells the story of the song like this;
“After rehearsal one day, I played this riff and Steven yells; ‘I love it!’ and started playing drums; he plays very different from Joey, with a more jazzy approach, fun to work with. Joe threw in a couple of chord changes, a D chord to an A, and then spiced up the chord a little.”
A little Trivia here; The banjo on the studio version was played by Paul Prestopino, a multi talented musician who played with people such as Edgar Winter, John Denver, Johnny Cash, Rick Derringer, and many others, and even came back later in life to play with Aerosmith again on “Devil’s Got a New Disguise”.
As far Bowie goes though… Come on! Really!!??!! It doesn’t seem these guys aren’t even fans of Bowie’s stuff. I mean, I’m sure there’s a respect factor, but in order to be “influenced” by someone, doesn’t it make sense that you should at least be interested in what they say or do? Kinda’ hard to steal something you don’t even listen to. There are similarities between songs throughout history, but come on! This is NOT “Fame”!
I can’t tell you for certain what Brad and Steven we’re thinking about when they wrote the song… well some parts I actually can, but for the most part, this is my interpretation, and I would venture to say; I’m pretty damn close to the root. The song is close to my heart for many different reasons, but we’ll start with my understanding of it, and in that, you will find the reasons why it’s close to me.
Parts of the song parallel my early life. The essence of the song is a “yin and yang” of sorts. It’s “contradiction” in its purist, and most impure form, from start to finish. It’s about where you came from, and where you’re going. It’s about back and forth. It’s about home and away. What you are, and what you want to be. It’s about what you are outside of the safety of your home, and the never ending desire to get back to where you once were.
Although “Tallahassee” is a real geographical city, in the song it’s simply a description of a place the story teller has in mind. A description of a place contrary to life in the city… And… well, it rhymes with the word “Sassafrassee”. Tallahassee “IS” Lake Sunapee, New Hampshire for Steven, It’s Novato, Ca and SOCO for me, and Putah Creek for john Fogerty, and it’s your place you call home…“I’m dreaming tonight. I’m living back home…” Right! “Light in the dark…
”Sassafrassee is a character trait. It’s more than a base ingredient for Sarsaparilla, or Root Beer. It’s more than an ingredient for perfumes and soaps and such. It’s a moniker given to many a young woman back in the day, for having a sort of “Sassiness” about themselves. I can vaguely remember my own mom, and her sisters using the term to describe some of my female cousins. So this word right from the start gives the listener the storyteller’s concept of contradiction…
“Take me back to a South Tallahassee… Down cross the bridge to my “Sweet Sassafrassee…”
Tyler has used the term “Sass” loosely to describe a woman he has an idea of, in his own mind, kind of an alter ego type of girl. This goes back to “Walk” with “A Classy Kind a Sassy”, and I’m sure if I really looked, I could find a few more.
The song takes the listener on that Aerosmith roller coaster ride of “ins & outs”, and “ups & downs”, and “good & bad”. We get into more of the contrary of thoughts. The battle between what’s comfortable and safe, and what’s ugly and not safe at all. “Yes sir, No sir”, “Stand up, Sit Down”, “hate’s in the city, and my love’s in the meadow” , “Hands on the plow, and my feets in the ghetto”…
Tyler and Whitford, bring the last 5 or 6 years (at the time 1976), into a whirlwind of thoughts of home, and what’s real, and what is not real, but it is, it’s all real, then again it’s not…
They bring us the dangers of “The City”, the allure to the indiscreet, the temptation of excess. They show you how cruel it can be out there, with references to the Jean Paul Getty III’s kidnapping in ’73, and his ear that was mailed to his parents in an attempt to show that it was not a joke. The cruel part was that so many thought that it was J Paul the III’s own made up rouse to gather more attention and money from the family… The result was in the envelope.
The following verse has soooo much, meaning; “you just can’t do right by some people. Do whatever the boss says, as long as he pays you”. And the bigger the boss, the more power, the more influence, the less in touch they are with the people who make them money… How does the old saying go? “Work hard and you’ll get ahead in life”. Or is it; “Find people to work harder for you than you’re willing to, but take all the credit, and you get even further in life”… ?
We all make our choices in life, it’s just that not all of us have the same choices to make.
“Stand up sit down Don’t do nothin’ It ain’t no good when boss man’s stuffin’ it Down their throats For paper notes And their babies cry While cities lie at their feet When you’re rockin’ the street…”
They also try real hard to keep that sarcastic humor thing going. It’s not just about the difference between home, and away, it’s also about what you DON’T BRING HOME from the road! They get a little sophomoric in the song, as is the band’s character from day 1, and the sarcasm, is not lost on this Last Child, I love it! Still do… With their references to NOT bringing home a social disease, and abiding to the “Ten Day Rule”, as discussed in the autobiography…
“Don’t come close to my Home sweet home Can’t catch no dose From a hot tail poontang sweetheart sweathog…”
Just before the band would come home, they would refrain from sex with groupies, kind of as a courtesy to their wives and girlfriends (except oral of course). But it truly does mean more than just the obvious. It means don’t bring your work home. This is home, don’t stain it.
It’s not just another Aerosmith “Bloozy” tune. This one’s got some Joe Perry “funk” that we all love so much, added into it for signature, with incredible Tyler-esque double entendres that make you rock back and forth, and up and down. You just can’t help it! I love how it starts out, almost fooling you into thinking it’s another ballad, but just as the song’s theme goes; “Oh Contrare…” it suddenly starts rockin! It’s a rockin’ blues melody where Brad stays low, while Joe goes up high. It sounds as if the two guitars are just playing with each other all the way through…
I can’t wait to see this one live! This is a showcase for Brad in concert, his talents are paramount… so much fun! And to think some people think it’s not his. WOW! And even some sem to think there are 1,000s out there better… I just have to shake my head.
This first video link is MY OWN homemade video from a blues cover by Cathy Richardson, and Wayne Baker Brooks, off the album “Blues On Fire Sweet Emotion, The Songs of Aerosmith”. This particular video of the song. Being the “Last Child” in a family of 9, one who has spent some time in the deep, this is my take. It shows pictures and artwork from Novato, Sonoma County, and of course my own familiar city, San Francisco. If you spend some time in the veins of the city, you’ll be able to see what people “up on high” would rather not see, and what many don’t see, refuse to see.
We all make our own choices in life… We are a product of the choices we make, right? What choice do I make now? What are my choices? Do I get the same choice as you? If you are the last child of nine, and Dad says he’s done, before he’s done, and says; “See ya kid, good luck on your own. You’ll be fine…” I guarantee you, if you’re just a punk in the street at 15, by “NO CHOICE OF YOUR OWN”, you will wear that your entire life. Sure you’ll make choices… they’re just a different set of choices, from a different set of options.
Some would just assume let it bleed out. The video will probably deliver my interpretation better than this whole intro did…
Then the last is my favorite live version.
If you haven’t lately people, It’s time to get back to the real nitty gritty…