Number 61- A Lady In Disguise

2012 iHeartRadio Music Festival - Day 2 - Show

This One is a Bit of a Trick,
And to See it Live,
Would be Just “Sick”

More of “The Middle”… It’s a thought, not an admission, but an awareness that something ain’t right…. It’s after recreation, after experimentation, but before admission of addiction…

What I like about this song the most, I think, is the melodic transitions a bit more than the repetitive lyrics. I think it plays out so well, with a true partnership in creation. It brings different styles and abilities of play together, and marries them in harmony. The tempo changes in the song from beginning to end, with such smooth transition… This is what sells this song to me so well…  The song is such a treat! Most people know all the trivia of this one by now, but if not, let’s revisit…

This song’s main riff was created by the most unassuming, yet true Rock Star in the world, Tom Hamilton. Tom admittedly didn’t even know how to play bass for real back in 71. In 75 & 76 though, during the making of what some call “The Best Aerosmith Record Ever Recorded”, he came up with this riff. Tom was just playing around on guitar, showed Joe and Steven what he had, and then they just went with it for the recording. Joe picked up a bass guitar and started playing along, with Tom’s rhythm, Brad joined in with some lead and a song was born, a song that became almost a child of this band, a song that so many would come to identify with the band for generations to come.

The beginning of the song, with those rolling drums, and ratta tat tat, right along with the rhythm guitar, and a few nice lead solos, give Steven an avenue to plead for help. There’s a beautifully soft anxiousness about the rhythm, that Steven translates in lyrics perfectly, while Brad does a melodic lead through the beginning… A short solo after the second verse, in perfect harmony with the Tom’s rhythm, as they continue this beautifully through the middle of the song…

Then the “hush’ in the middle, the essence of being alone… needing help. But just trying to hold on… Just rhythm guitar and drums… as Steven takes over on bass, allowing Joe to grab a guitar and dive into the song’s ending guitar solo that takes the song to another tempo change, another dimension… In the studio version you can actually hear the pause when Steven takes the bass from Joe, and Joe picks up his guitar and just starts whaling. Then it’s just unmistakable Joe Perry!!! That driving grit, that cutting edge! It’s powerful at this point. Joey introduces Joe’s insertion with some solid hits on the cans, and the song just flows… and then… Then the end,  almost soft, but still strong, where it fades, but allows the faint sound of an almost “Toy-like” like piano, and very, very faint sound of a baby’s cry…

There’s been a lot of assumptions about this song being about someone who is lovesick, and it probably is. My personal opinion is that Steven just put some good words down on paper to some good music… If it does have a meaning, I’m pretty sure it’s about being drug sick. Let’s remember this is off of Rocks. And Steven has often used the term Love for an addiction, used the female connotation in place of a drug; “You’re a lady in disguise”…

Listen to Combination and you’ll get my meaning. _. I’ve only heard the song once I believe live. I’ve seen this one played a few times in video the way they originally did it. If you ever get the chance, this one’s a lot of fun…

Deeper though, as you look into and listen to this song with all it’s typical Aerosmith double entendre’s… Is he writing about a girl, a friend, a lover, a drug? It’s up the listener to decide, and always the listeners decision, their interpretation will undoubtedly be correct. But listen to the ambivalence, the contrary of every line, every verse. This is classic Aerosmith, these are classic Aerosmith lyrics…

It’s a brief story of love AND hate within a relationship. It’s not one or the other… Where have we seen this before? But it’s different, less clear, yet very clear… Is it the drug in disguise as his only friend, is it the dealer as his only friend that he’s begging to, or is it his girlfriend that he doesn’t want to let her see him like this, or even see her with her head in the loo… All of this leads to that ever thought of, lack of satisfaction, compromise, concession. He calls her out, almost like a bully-ish  attack, and then pleads desperately for her, or him, or it to stay. The song is extremely complex in its narrative, and music alike. You can feel the softness of companionship, with the tension of a mistake. The song’s melodies are both almost tapestry like, and yet driving the tension of the quarrel you are in the room witnessing to the point of bouncing off the walls. It captures the pleading to get along to come together, and the demands to get out!

And kudos to Tom for coming up with such a great melody…It has a touch of “No More No More” in it, and maybe that’s why I like this one so much, it just takes a different path.

This is “Sick as a Dog”

 

 

 

 

Published by

BrotherSpike80

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.