Number 26 – Where The Hell is That Key?


   Talk with yourself and you’ll hear what you wanna’ know…
But when the voices start screaming, well… that’s a whole ‘nother story…

This might be a little more Aerosmith sacrilege. In fact, I’m sure it is to my fellow soldiers of The Blue Army, except maybe those who go deep. As much fun as this song is to see, and hear live, It’s not gonna’ make my Top 25. While it will undoubtedly makes most Aerosmith fans’ Top 20, and even some people’s Top 10

This song sits at 26 for me.

Maybe because of how many times I’ve heard the song, maybe because of its lack of depth. Maybe just because I like so many other deeper tracks of theirs… Yeah, let’s go with that… But make no mistake; I FUCKING LOVE THIS SONG!

Although the song itself does not come across as sexual, as I said earlier, Steven’s whole focus of this album was pure sexual interpretation, recreation, satisfaction, and even perversion. With that said, where’s the connection in this song? Could it be Lillian Hellman’s play of 1960, and the movie of 1963 of the same name, with its incestuous story and plot lines, along with “touched” sensibilities?

To wonder what is real… What are dreams?… To struggle with… no, to fight with your own desires, and your own fear, of even having those desires. Maybe it’s best to not let them be seen. At least that’s what you might tell yourself, right? The innocence is lost. Can you get it back? What is the “key”? Where is the key? Is there a key? Or was the innocence only a dream?

It’s my thought that the guys had the name of the album before the song, I mean it was the B side of a single that Steven forgot was even theirs. My thoughts are that they needed a song to fit the title. I don’t think it was as deeply thought about as I describe it. But then, these are my interpretations, right?

Or maybe not, since the album was almost named something else entirely. Doesn’t matter really… All that matters is what this album means in Rock History, and the title track’s importance in that. I think there are just a few critiques, and quotes of the album of the same name, that are worth citing here. ‘’ wrote, among other things, a pretty damn good review in my thought, even if it was way after the fact;
The rest of Aerosmith led by Perry’s dirty, exaggerated riffing, provide an appropriately greasy backing. Before “Toys”, no other hard rock band sounded like this. Sure, Aerosmith cribbed heavily from the records of ‘The Rolling Stones”, ‘New York Dolls’, and ‘Zeppelin’, but they didn’t have any of the menace of their influences, nor any of their mystique. Aerosmith was a gritty, street-wise hard rock band who played their blues as blooze and were in it for a good time; Toys in the Attic crystallizes that attitude.”

Then of course we have our ever unfaithful, and pathetically, even disturbingly wrong review from Rolling Stone Magazine. Almost as if there was some sort edict put out by the editor; anytime an Aero record came out, that by company policy, it must not be deemed good, even if it’s frickin’ awesome…
“… With their aggressive, ambisexual stance, reliance on bristling open chording and admitted mid-Sixties English rock roots, Aerosmith can be very good when they’re on, and material like “Walk This Way,” “Sweet Emotion” and the title cut adequately proves this once you’re past the generally oppressive production. “Big Ten-Inch Record,” “Uncle Salty” and “You See Me Crying,” though, are poor choices, changes of pace which deny the band the use of their strongest asset — hardnosed, aggressive raunch.  If Aerosmith can avoid the sloppiness that’s plagued their recent live performances, if they return to the production that made parts of Get Your Wings so memorable, and most importantly, if they avoid tepid, trite material, then their potential is extremely high.”

Funny; If they can avoid being themselves, “their potential is extremely high”. Such a strange magazine….

The album only rose to number 11 on Billboard, hard to believe, right? Maybe too many people were putting their faith in the critics of Rolling Stone Magazine back in ‘75, rather than just listening to, maybe The Greatest American Rock Album of All Time…. Save “Rocks”.

I think these quotes below, tell us how “Rocks” and “Pump”, and “GAG” and the rest came to be, always getting better, never settling in a comfort zone. The 70’s were frickin’ awesome! But I’ll say this; if that’s all you heard, if that’s all you’re still listening too, you missed the point. wrote and quoted Steven with their reviews;
As far as Steven was concerned, whatever pressure the band might have been feeling was decidedly secondary to his growing belief that Aerosmith could stand shoulder-to-shoulder with any of the greats. “I knew we’d made it,” he wrote in his book. “I was the kid who put my initials in the rock ’cause I wanted the aliens to know I was there. It’s a statement of longevity. The record will be played long after you’re dead. Our records would be up there in the attic, too, with the things that you loved and never wanted to forget. And to me, Aerosmith was becoming that. “This was the year it all changed for us,” Tyler later reflected in his memoir. “The album got good reviews and people started taking us more seriously — about f—ing time!”

Joe had a similar, and yet still different take on the success of the album as gave his version;
Toys in the Attic‘s success wasn’t necessarily a sign that Aerosmith had made it; instead, he seemed to feel a responsibility to try harder than ever. “Often times I wonder if I’m doing it right. If I’m actually contributing. Are we doing something good, or are we just followers?” Perry told ‘Cream’. “I don’t know. We can go the ‘BTO’ route, be a really commercial band, do the road trip. But to satisfy my own artistic needs, I wonder if the things I write … maybe I’m not getting better on guitar. Maybe I’m no better than your average guitar player. But I’ll tell you — if I find out after a year or so more that I’m not improving, I’ll just quit touring and work on my cars.”

I think it’s safe to say he got better, and although there’s nothing wrong with working on cars, I’m glad he can now pay someone else to do it. I think we’re all better off for it.

The song is something like number 228 out of the top 500 rock songs of all time. It’s number 26 in this book.

It’s a very simple song. 3 minutes and 5 seconds of chaos. If “Uncle Salty” is an example of Steven slowing it down. This one is an example of Joe getting angry, going fasterlouder! It’s the chaos of not knowing. It’s the chaos of the indecisive wonder of reality. Its fast, its anxiety, its disturbing, its nervosas…

When I see the attached video, I even question myself, how can that NOT be in the Top 20? Hell! How can it NOT be in the Top 10? The reality is, its frickin’ awesome live, but then aren’t they all? If we see this live, which it’s almost guaranteed, my focus will be on Brad and Joe, just picking and sliding with frenzied fury! Fast and precise from beginning to end! It’s classic and very, very Aero!

Just about as Aero as it gets, right here! And let’s not short Joey’s frenetic, blistering, relentless beats… and of course Steven’s signature “eruption” of a water bottle, which seems to get the ladies off every time, and maybe even a few guys, I’m sure!

Before you go singing along with this one, be careful you don’t look to foolish… Typical Tyler, he loves to change the lyrics in the verses during the live version, just to watch the crowd stumble over themselves trying to sing along…

“Does the noise in my head bother you?”

In the attic lights
Voices scream
Nothing seen
Reals the dream…”

“Leavin’ the things that are real behind
Leavin’ the things that’cha love remind

All of the things that’choo learn from fears
Nothin’ is left but the years

Voices scream
Nothing seen
Real’s the dream…”

This is; “Toys in the Attic”

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I am a man of simple means. My family is what's important to me. My family and my 3 girls mean more to than the sun! If you ask me what I think, I will tell you straight! So don't ask if you don't wanna know. I like people who are real and don't like those who aren't. You'll know where you fit with me pretty quick. I give most everyone the benefit of the doubt, at least until they prove me wrong. I've lived most my life like there was no tomorrow, at least until my daughters were born, and then even a bit after. By the way; That is NOT good advice... just a statement. I don't believe in "Halfway" Why put on the skis if you're not gonna at least try the face? But I also believe that there is more than Black and White. I believe in where I came from, I don't believe what I went through was ALL worth it! I believe in doing the right thing, more than doing what's right! I believe in "true" friendship, I also know that 99% of them aren't true. I will live a happy life and die a complete man if my kids learn from my mistakes.