Everyone has a favorite song in their lifetime…
Everyone has their own reasons for that song too. Sure it can change day in, day out, and even get replaced with something new over the years, but there’s always something about that song. It always comes back. It always surfaces. It speaks to you. It gets inside you.
Sometimes someone comes along and even tries to cover it, and sometimes it comes close… But rarely is it ever better. This particular band has done that often in their career, they’ve taken a song, and done it so well, that they’ve made it their own.
A version of this interpretation was handed to Joe, in an envelope at his book signing inside “The Passage” Book Store, at the Ferry Building in San Francisco, October 18, 2014. I like to think he read it….
It’s funny when we look back on some of the old time favorites the band has done. Certain covers come to mind. I was actually talking to my new landlord just before Mary and embarked on what would be the culmination of this book. Francie apparently is a pretty big Aero fan herself. Imagine that! We were talking about mine and Mary’s trip to Tahoe for the culmination of this thing I’ve been writing. The concert on July 3rd. 2015 at Harvey’s South Lake Tahoe. Fran was telling me how much she would love to go. I really tried to get her, and her husband Pat, to come along and get tickets there! As hard as I tried, I just wasn’t successful. Man that would have been a lot of fun though…
Fran told me of her favorite Aerosmith song, “Come Together”. Aerosmith’s cover, not the Beatles’ version. She went on about how she just loves them, especially when they do that song! I’ve heard others say the same for Big 10 Inch, Train, Walkin’ the Dog, Baby Please don’t Go, and others that they’ve covered over time. The key is that they took songs and not only Aerosmith-ized them up, but made them their own. They kept the respect for the song the way it was, but they put their own signature on them, and actually made them better.
It’s more than just a favorite song though… Everyone has at least one song that they can relate to. A song that invokes their spirit, touches their soul. Sometimes the lyrics mean something, sometimes they don’t mean anything at all. Sometimes it’s just the music, sometimes it’s a combination of the two. Whether it’s a Stairway to Heaven, or Sweet Home Alabama, or Sympathy for the Devil, or Dream On, or countless others, these favorites are often a peek into the listener’s character. Is that person truly “Free as a bird”? Or do they just want to be? Did that person truly “Dream until his dreams came true”? Or is she just a dreamer? I’m not sure the answer really matters. The key is that a group of musicians created a piece of art, and with that art, they connected with “somebody” or a bunch of somebodies, whom they will probably never meet, but they gave a substance to that person’s character. Sometimes it’s difficult to even put that substance into words of description. It’s easier to just feel it. That’s when, as a musician, you know you’re successful. Did you leave an impact? Did you leave a mark? Did your creation matter?
These guys mattered…
Sometimes in life there are alternate endings. Sometimes we even get to choose them, like in the way of a DVD rental, or a different path ‘up’, or‘down’ the mountain. Or, how we might wish to change for the better as we get older, or for the worse… Or, how we decide that the path we’re on isn’t the right path, and if we continue in that direction, the ending could be tragic, or and in no way am I trivializing such a loss of extreme impact, but when someone so loved by all, is on a path to live a complete and long life, respected and cherished by so many, but then decides to alter that path, by ending it in a tragic way. R.I.P. Robin Williams.
I believe wholeheartedly in destiny. But I believe destinies are optional, yet still specific to the individual. I believe in predestined occurrences. I believe in karma. I believe that we learn from where we’ve been, although where we’ve been was destined. Where we go from there, is a matter of weight. To choose what we have learned as a tool, or simply a memory. But I don’t believe we have a guide, although there are plenty of “guides” (hello Theresa!) that we meet in life. The trick is to recognize them when they’re there, and recognize who, or what the distractions are. I feel that we usually meet our destiny; it’s just that some reach it earlier than others. I am not saying that there’s no trying to change your direction, but I am saying that each of us is given a series of paths, options, opportunities, in life that are specific to his or her possible destinies, and that we don’t all get the same choices.
We need to do the best we can, with the choices we are given. It is truly a gift, for some who recognize, that they are on the verge of two destinies, one tragic, one triumphant. Then to have the where-with-all, the good fortune, to recognize it and make the right decision… Wow!
This song represents, for me, an “Alternate Ending” to my Top 100. It represents the beginning, without direction. A beginning with the whole world in front of them. A beginning with so many paths to choose from, unknowing where each will lead, and then…. And then, the “Alternate Ending” which, represents a look back to who you are, who they were. To reach deep inside and touch the root, but to change it, to fine tune the good parts, and discard the bad.
This song is transformation from young to old, from inexperienced to experienced, from unknowing to wise.
This song is my #1. It still tells you to be true to yourself, it still tells you to hold your home close to the vest. It still tells you not to let those who will do you harm, too close. It tells you to stay focused, and you’ll arrive to your destination. But it’s a journey getting there. So, if you need to pick up and go, just to stay home, then c’est la vie… But it also tells you to notice what needs to be fine tuned along the way.
This song has impacted me on a level I can’t describe. I can’t really tell you if it’s the lyrics, or the energy I feel from the raw, bloozy, almost bluegrass, but not bluegrass, feel of the music that gets inside me the way it does, but it does go deep. This is just a couple of guys reaching down deep inside of themselves, and finding a sound that would define the unique quality of who they are. It’s a mixture of other influences rolled into one. It’s got the deep, and delayed, at times, groove and feel of the blues. It’s got the rough edge of a new American Rock and Roll band, blended with the sleek polish of the British Invasion. It’s got a touch of that Muscle Shoals feel, like a southern vibe. Two guys just writing a song, no damn clue how good they are gonna’ be. One guy comes off as real serious, but really just wants to have fun. The other guy, who always comes off like he just wants to have fun, is absolutely serious. Opposites attract, right?
They sat down on the edge of a bed to jam and write a song. What comes out of it is a sound, no not just a sound, but a feeling, a character that I’d never heard before, and I’ve never heard since.
Now even better… Can you cover your own song and keep its purity, yet make it better? Sure you can, but It Has to Be Better! If you create something that is somehow “less than”, you not only didn’t succeed, but you also possibly displace, and trivialize the original. In my opinion, they not only accomplished what they set out to do with this cover of their own song, but they immortalized the song in this rendition…
Each song written leaves its own impression on the listener. We can all, as you’ve seen me do over the last 100+ songs, come up with our own meanings, our own interpretations, our own connections. I’m not positive any of mine are absolute truth, but I’m real sure I’m close. And if I’m not, well… they work for me, and I hope they’ve worked for everyone who has spent the time to read my rantings, of nothing more than a band, and their songs.
Funny how so often my life parallels the songs these guys wrote. If I didn’t know the truth, I’d say I know these guys well. Truth is, I’m just an old kid who liked a band, maybe more than some would say is healthy. But as you have read, these guys wrote “The Handbook”, I just tried to pay attention. It’s ironic, in such a non surprising way, that while I wrote this, I was once again was packing the pick up truck, as I’ve done no less than 35 times in my life, and actually moved as many times as I am years old. Each time getting further away… Not always by choice, not always by lack of choice… But this time literally right on the very edge of town.
I’ve given you all a peek into their lives and mine, and how they have intersected at times. Maybe it’ll become a book someday.
But I want to say thanks to everyone who took the time to read these, with some special thanks to Natalya for allowing me an International Forum to just write. I also want to thank Kary, and Karen, and Jamie, and Rose, and Johnny, and Wanda, and Kim, for allowing me to publish these in their fantastic, and maybe the best FB Group site out there, We AeroNuts Love Aerosmith. I also want to say thanks again to my wife Mary, and my daughter Natalie, for putting up with my constant typing… It’s over. And last, to all my other friends who have indulged me with their patience over the years.
Yesterday I gave you a song that I related to as the blood that flows through my veins, the air that I breathe… Today, in this version, in this form, This song defines my spirit, it defines my soul… It’s the same sound, the same banging on Joey’s drums, the same delicate, and yet driving guitars, the same lyrical symphony that Steven sings into my ears, as I get when I’m chasing waterfalls in Yosemite, and other parts of the Sierras… This is my number 1. I hope you like it.
It was a fantastic show! How could ity not be? They’re just that good!…
The following is a video I made of my Number 1.
Remember; sometimes you can choose an alternate ending… Next week, it could all change…
“Level with God and you’re in tune with the universe
Talk with yourself and you’ll hear what’choo wanna know
Gotta rise above ’cause below it’s only gettin’ worse
Life in time will take you where you wanna go…”
This is; “Movin’ Out” Alternate Version