Set It Free… If You can
This was originally written during a time of my own indiscretions. Yeah, that’s the best word I can use I guess. Some call it cheating. Some call it being a pig, a dick, or whatever name they want to use that helps with their lack of understanding of what my version of the truth is. Either way, the pains of those I love most in my life, seem to be the constant payment of my relations with them. I don’t & won’t ever ask anyone to forgive me. I won’t ask them to see things the way I do. I won’t make them understand. The only thing I will ask; is that they try to see things through a different window once in awhile.
By the time you finish reading this little book. You’ll maybe learn some useless trivia about a band and a bunch of songs. On top of that, you’ll learn a few things about the author. You may or may not agree, condone, or have compassion for him at all, and that’s cool too, I just ask while you’re looking through that other window, that you see a man, a human being with flaws, but who’s main intention in life was to do good, be good, and have fun. 2nd to those things, he was a man who had a lot of love to give, a lot of compassion, he just wasn’t really clear on how to present those things all the time…
Tough to write,
With what it incites
Man sometimes this shit is just plain hard to write… I thought about just skipping the frickin’ song altogether… Then I thought about trading it out with some thing like “Painted on my Heart”, or “Loretta”, or “Bridges Burning”, and I really like “Biscuit Blues”, but I have to go back and say to myself. There’s a reason, why those songs never made an album. There’s a reason why this song was chosen. There’s a reason why this song was as big as it was…
Sometimes we go through some shit, and it just makes everything hard, fresh, and… well, it’s just hard… Sometimes you just gotta’ let that shit go…. And sometimes you just can’t
UltimateClassicRock.com lists the song as number 9 all time of the band’s… Obviously I don’t agree, since I’ve got it here at number 62. And as a side note, if you’re really paying attention, you can quite possibly get an idea of what this list’s Top 10 might look like, but you really gotta’ look…. Then again, things can always change, right?
I’ve said this before; I’ll say it again… It’s not always the beginning, or even the end, that is most important… It’s what’s in the middle. It’s what happens along the way. Sometimes there are things, places, people, that we can’t ever forget, won’t ever forget… can’t let go, won’t let go. But there’s always the middle…
How do you become the biggest rock band in the world? Expand your audience… You have to appeal to more than just teenage boys in blue denim and navy blue derby jackets. You need the chicks too. No not just the hardcore rocker chicks. They’re a dime a dozen, and they’ll be at door after the show. And as fun as they are, and they are a lot of fun, they’re a minority presence in the world of record sales… So whadda’ ya’ do? Where do ya’ go? You look for the middle….
They already line up… You need the girls that would listen to Heart, and Pat Benatar and Journey. You need the girls who were looking at Bon Jovi and Poison…. Not necessarily as a gimmick, like those bands were doing, but rather to go after their desire. You need to let them believe that they have a hold on you. You need to get the girls that wouldn’t give this band the time of day 15 years earlier. Make them feel like they’re more than just a “Ragdoll”. That’s for the Hardcore Rocker Chicks, they like the whole Ragdoll thing… These girls, are the ones that will grow up and never know the meaning of WTW, or Cheesecake, or Walkin’ The Dog, or Get it Up, the girls that have no clue what a “Wet Nap Winner” is. And that’s cool, maybe they don’t need don’t need to know… They need the girls who want Angel, and Dream On, and IDWTMAT. They need that crowd. That’s the crowd that’s gonna’ buy 7M records! The crowd that will learn the term “The Bad Boys From Boston”, but then ask that they don’t play the songs that gave that nickname.
This is that song. Hook line and sinker! Reel them in. Generation number two, “Welcome to the Show!
Steven and Joe and Desmond wrote this little piece of lyrical and instrumental genius, to capture a whole new audience. An innocence not before seen, or heard by this band, at least not by these types of kids. Don’t get me wrong, if I didn’t like the song it wouldn’t be on my list. I truly believe it’s an absolute work of art.
The group recorded two official videos for the song…. Very clever, especially for such a Honky Tonk type of song. My favorite is the link below, where after they finish an Arena Concert, and then go do a show at a Dive Bar behind chicken wire, and all Hell Breaks loose… I love the heavy drum beat, and super sliding fingers on guitar, along with an almost country solo by Joe, give me the harmonica, the accordion, and Brad and Tom’s smooth rhythm to just keep pace, all the while listening to Steven’s total sense of loss, as he portrays it in lyrical fashion…
How do you forget? How do you let go of something so huge, a part of you, part of your self…. You don’t! In a way, it’s relatable to grieving. In my opinion that’s where the song goes… A love that dies… how do you move on? How do they move on? How do you not think about me? How do I not think about you?
Is this what the middle was? Just a place to jump off from? Who’s next?… Fuck me… This is what’s left from just one word out of a 1,000? 10,000? This is what’s left from the toss… What the frickin’ hell? Well baby, I’m “bettin’ on the dice I’m Tossin’” that “you just lost everything that was good in your life…” Yeah??!! Well, you’re the Boss of the Toss, right?
Seriously though, such a well written song, how so much love, so much life can turn on a dime. The touch of another that’s missed, but no compromise, the jealousy of the thought of another guy, but no forgiveness….
There were times in my life…
Some of us, throughout the course of a lifetime, get the opportunity to experience real love, true love, connected love. And sometimes we experience that kind of connection more than once in a lifetime, even more than twice. There’s an old saying that goes back, at least to the mid 70’s, maybe further, I don’t really know, but that’s my first recollection. The saying was; “If you love something or someone set it free, if it doesn’t come back, it was never meant to be”.
Not sure I believe in that crap all that much. Matter of fact I’m more inclined to say we all are given specific destinies in life, and during the course of a lifetime, we’re given choices to alter that destiny, choose a different one, or stay with the one you’re on. The trouble is, there is very seldom a map, or a guidebook so to speak. And if in fact you choose to “set it, or them free” you may have just offered that special someone a different path than yours. Good, bad? I don’t know. I just know that if that person was one of those connected loves, connected souls, you may have set them free, but you also put your whole life in a state of “what if?”
Out of all the loves, lusts, and just good time “carnival ride” type girls and women I’ve had in my life, and I’ve had way more than my fair share, or even unfair share, I’ve only had 3 of those types of love that touch you beyond explanation… Maybe 3 is too many, I don’t know. I’m just not sure how to ever really do that, let go that is. And that’s not without tryin’! I guess in an odd way, some of us are just a little more compassionate, if that’s the right word.
In my opinion though, that’s not always a welcome characteristic when it comes to this stuff. I envy those who can just move on, without looking back. I envy them and despise them both, at the same time, for having the ability to just toss it all away, as if it isn’t any different than an old t-shirt they used to wear, all ragged and torn. To me compassion is often a curse that we stumble over in the presence of others way too often. We trip, we fall, and / or clumsily walk through life with this view of people, places, and things so very different than the rest of society, that we often just look kinda’ foolish.
This song for many of us, brings the pains of love not completed, except maybe by someone else standing in your shoes. The hardest and saddest part though, is the realization, that he or she is actually one of those people with that character trait you both envy and despise. She can move on, she doesn’t look back, she leaves you wondering… even twice as hard for those of us, that do keep a shield up, who do go through life with an exit plan, knowing our passion and compassion can sometimes be hard to bare for the partner, we keep a distance from that 4 letter word. It’s a huge investment to commit on that level, but an even bigger commitment to ask for it in return. So, if “the word” is said, it’s said in a way to last forever. I don’t understand, and never will understand the people who can simply move on. It’s almost as if they never really dove in. You can’t help but feel it was all, in the immortal words of Don Henley, “Just Wasted Time”.
How does one throw away everything that was once good in their life? How does one accept another in the bed that they made, without the thought of another, at least once in awhile? How does one not miss a touch that lasts a lifetime? Is it as if it was all a lie? Or is it simply some of us don’t know what it takes to let it go. Some people are really good at letting go. “Don’t live in the past”, they say. Me, I say the past is the foundation of who I am, it’s the building blocks of me, I can’t let that go…
Maybe some just lie to themselves and each other, I wouldn’t really know, I’ve never done that. But maybe some are better at saying goodbye because it never meant that much anyway. Maybe they just tell themselves a different truth, easier to accept than the alternative. Three women, all beautiful inside and out. All loved deeply enough to last a lifetime. They left there mark on me, with a simple touch, a simple kiss, a simple smile, a simple presence. Not so different from more than a hundred others, and yet on a level so very few ever really feel. The effects of each, burned deep into my soul, letting two go, towards that different destination, never completely letting go, just continued love.
The third who was brave enough to let me go, and accept my return, and love me deeper than any other. The third, who didn’t ever completely let me go. The third, who saw the opportunity for a different destiny and stayed on the same path. Karma is a funny, funny thing.
i like to believe, and I think I’m right, that none of it was wasted time. That my mark was left on them as deep as theirs on me. That, although they may been able to move on and give themselves to another without thought of the other, that thoughts were had. Thoughts were often, and they were visited with a smile of what was once true love.
I hope you like it. Hard to write a review on a song that doesn’t need one. Hard to write about relations to a song like this, we all have one… maybe more. Hard to write about a song that is as classic as “Emotion” itself.
Have fun, listen loud, and then just say goodbye… if you can.
“Girl before I met you I was F.I.N.E. fine
But your love made me a prisoner
Yeah my heart’s been doin’ time
You spent me up like money
A then ya’ hung me out to dry
It was easy to keep all your lies in disguise
‘Cause you had me in deep
With the devil in your eyes…”
Different video, even better