If you say goodbye,
Does it ever really go away?
Not really sure why this one lands where it does, maybe because we’ve all been able to witness how the daughter has become such a beautiful human being. Maybe because I love when she favorites, and re-tweets my tweets. Maybe more than anything else, because the song itself means so much to me personally.
I can’t let go, and I probably wouldn’t if I could.
I envy those who are able to do what the song suggests. I hear people, both close to me and acquaintances, tell me to “Just let things go”, who tell me that “their past is who they ‘were’, not who the ‘are’…” To me, it’s all just wishful thinking. I’m exactly who I’ve always been. I am the branches of my roots. My past is my make up. I hold onto it, to never forget. Yes, I will be the 1st to admit, that with that characteristic, I am also haunted by it. It lingers into my present, and into those lives of the ones I love, who would rather it not. That’s where the envy comes in. I sometimes wish, although I know I would never allow it to happen, but I wish that I could simply kiss it goodbye.
I’m not sure anyone really cares what I think, but I do think… Obviously sometimes more than I should… and I also think this song has a meaning to it. No I don’t believe he’s singing to a prostitute, at least not in the perceived sense of one. My opinion; and that’s primarily what this book is right, my opinion? Steven wrote the lyrics in this one, not just for…but to Cyrinda Foxe. Such a sad and tragic story…
Yes the divorce was long before the song was made, but Cyrinda had a way of always repeating the same mistakes over. She never seemed to be able to take care of herself, let alone Mia. That’s not to say she didn’t love her daughter. She did, very much so. At the time of their divorce though, Aerosmith was not yet propelled into superstardom Everyone that ever knew this band, knew what they were capable of doing, including Cyrinda. And while she and Steven were apart, and Aerosmith was ascending, she always felt that, even in a small way, she was owed a part of that success. Albeit, she might have shared some responsibility in why they didn’t achieve it earlier.
Steven helped Cyrinda where he could, and helped support his daughter Mia, although probably not in the way most people expect a father to do, at least not at the time. You can find the words in the song where he stops talking to Cyrinda for a moment, and turns his attention to his daughter.
“Trust your heart… now baby don’t you cry
I’m never gonna’ leave ya’ baby… let it fly
So kiss your past goodbye
Trust your heart… I’ll never make you cry
I’ll never leave you never leave you… let it fly”
Keep in mind, this song came out about the same time that Cyrinda started writing her book “Dream On: Livin’ on the Edge with Aerosmith, and Steven Tyler“. There was a motive behind everything she ever did, , or at least it seems that way. That’s not necessarily a bad thing at all, mostly, it was just survival. That’s probably not unlike most of us really. Steven knew of some of the things that she wanted to put in her book, including private photos that he ended up suing her in order to keep them out. However in 2000, Cyrinda created a website to sell the nude photos anyway.
It’s my beief, this song is a message to Cyrinda saying a few different things. “You made your bed… And instead of throwing mud, isn’t it easier to just kiss and say goodbye?” He’s also saying goodbye to the toxicity of what they were together. The rest of her story is very, very sad. The song is also complex mix of introspective thoughts, transgressions and his own accountability, along with empathy and compassion for character he’s singing to.
After suffering a mild stroke in ’01, she was basically surviving on welfare, but also homeless. Famous author and biographer Myra Freidman put together an event at CBGB’s to try and raise some money to help Cyrinda out. Steven upset, and frankly embarrassed of her, agreed to meet her and Mia at a New York restaurant, then agreed to donate a signed Aerosmith guitar to the benefit. It didn’t bring in much in today’s standards, and maybe not even very much in those days, for a woman of Cyrinda’s standards. One time lover of hers, David Bowie, also donated to the event.
You’ve probably discovered by now how I feel about ballads in particular. For me, they’re a tool to grasp the attention of the casual listener, and the softer side of an audience. It’s a requirement really. The ballads which, big time rock groups perform is a mere way to expand their customer base beyond their core. I liken it to a burger joint who also sells salads. Frickin’ awesome mouth watering burgers, and fantastic fries! Maybe thy’re even drenched with garlic and butter, or even chili & cheese! That’s what people want! That’s what these joints are known for!
But then there’s always the chick that just wants a salad…. You get my point here, right?
This is one of the Power Ballads I support though; I can go with this one, not only because of my own belief of its convoluted connection to his former wife, and mother of his 1st born, but because of my own struggles in life. My own reluctance to forget. My unwillingness to forgive, but even beyond that, to try and hang on with a fondness. Albeit sometimes a demented fondness when it comes to bad times, but none-the-less. It’s kind of like family in a way. You may have a very strange cousin, but he’s still your cousin. Further, I’m in love with the music, such basic strumming and picking, that slowly grows into a tone, an argument with a point that needs to be made, but made with extreme compassion…
My whole life has been made up of pieces. Sometimes broken, sometimes glued back together, and sometimes the pieces barely hold together with the glue used. It’s in that sense that I envy the strength of those I know, who can “get past” the obstacles, and head for open grass, never looking back. For me, every obstacle is a part of the road map. Every place in time has left an impression on my soul that is irremovable. So, many many good times, but shared with so many hardships. A very complex journey that I often look back on, not so much so to get lost in what once was, but to give myself a sense of self appreciation for the efforts given.
My closets are full, my attic is loud… the sounds I hear are the questions I’ve had along the way, left unanswered. My past is full of loves, and lusts. It’s full of distaste and anger. It’s full of adventure and laughter. It’s full of stagnation and bewilderment. Torment and Joy, Success and Failure. Pleasure and Pain… And all of it, I hold onto as if it’s all of my belongings all piled into one little suitcase, or a nap sack on a stick of a Hobo from days of old. I carry it. I carry it wherever I go.
I don’t believe that we fall in love, to eventually hurt another. I believe that each of us, are put on this earth for the experiences of being human. And with that experience, comes immense emotions of both pleasure and pain. However, I think where some of us get lost is when we fail to comprehend that it is, or even was just that, an “experience”. I don’t believe these experiences should ever be forgot. I don’t believe, evil or good, we should ever forget. Sure we can move on, but in my mind, for someone to say “they are not their past”, is a failure to acknowledge who you are… WHY you are! I’m sure it works for some, and that’s cool too, just not me. But I also believe that we as humans, are better for it, from the multitudes of experiences we may have, and share in our lives. Was it Frank Sinatra who quoted Alfred Lord Tennyson; “It’s better to have loved and lost, than to have never loved at all.”?
The core of the song, is about saying “goodbye” to your past. It’s bittersweet, in the effect that it’s asking the listener to understand that our experiences are just that… It’s not asking you to forget, it’s just asking the listener to separate with fondness, of what the experience once was, but no longer is. It’s not asking for confrontation, but also expresses all the emotions in sound that one would feel in letting go, and yet still comes back to compassion.
The band follows Steven on the song so well. We’ve all heard how Steven sings with Joe’s playing in perfect pitch. What I hear in this, although we all know, in most recordings, vocals are tracked last, it sounds to me that Joe and Brad are playing to stay in pitch, in tune with Steven’s vocals… towards the middle-end of the song, the musical arrangement gets confusing, and even chaotic in a sense, I believe by design in relation to context. And just when Steven’s vocals end, Joe and Brad continue the emotion further, as if the words are echoing off the walls… deep into a canyon, so to speak. As if they are delivered but they never land…
Close to her end days, Steven paid for a room for Cyrinda at the Gramercy Park Hotel, where on August 28, 2002, she married Keith Waa in a non-legal, but spiritual wedding, before her impending death a week later. Mia, and Rick Derringer’s wife Liz were in attendance, along with Kathy Freston who was the wife of the Head of MTV at the time, Tom Freston. Cyrinda died from an inoperable brain tumor on September 7, 2002.
I didn’t know her. I need to make that clear, but from my standing, I think she was a good person who just got involved in bad things. She was put on a path of heartache and trouble, and just never really found her way off that path
I hope you enjoy this song, and if you have a different take on it, that’s cool to, I could be all wrong…
“I’ve been so lost I must confess
I had my share of loneliness
But yeah it’s hard to keep a good man down
The loves you lost were all in vain
The past lives on inside ’chor brain
I don’t think you need those memories hangin ’round…”
“It’s later than a deuce a ticks
Your broken heart it needs a fix
You’re feedin’ off a high that would not last
And people they don’t seem to care
And sorry just don’t cut it yeah
It seems to me you’re gettin’ nowhere fast…”