It’s Not the Friend That Leads You Down the Wrong Path, It’s Your Desire to Have a Friend That Will Go With You.
Thank God they’re still alive –
And “The Handbook” continues… It’s as if they have a window into my soul, into my life. That’s not necessarily a good thing by the way… Or, as if I am somehow connected. I’m not writing this as if I’m alone with this view, or concept, this perception. I’m writing this, on the behalf of not only myself, but many, many others, who have similar experiences.
It’s not unusual for a person to relate, on an extreme level, to a song, or two from an artist or group… But catalogues upon, catalogues? You have to admit, it’s as if it’s a kind of soundtrack in a sense. Maybe it’s because of the subject matter that almost everyone can identify with, at least at some point in their lives. Although even with that said, I’m still not sure if some of their biggest fans really understand some of this stuff.
This is such a beautifully sad, and frankly pathetic song. I don’t mean pathetic in a sense of artistry, rather pathetic in the sense of character understanding. It’s pathetic in the sense of what some of us do to “feel”, to give “feeling”, and sometimes even though there was never any harm intended, just a matter of caring that probably went too far. Farther than one is qualified to care.
“Oh… when you cross that line that ’choo know you can’t erase
To fall in lust not love ain’t no sin at all…”
Chris Willman of “Entertainment Weekly” said;
“The songs to not listen to on the album are “Fly Away from Here”, “Luv Lies”, “Avant Garden”, “Just Push Play”, “Drop Dead Gorgeous”, and “Outta Your Head”, but the rest of the songs on the album are tolerable… and thinks, the album overall is good but not great”
Who knows, maybe at the time it came out, I felt the same way. But now-a-days, there’s just too much depth, to not give notice. I will agree, that structurally the song doesn’t give us much, but lyrically, for me at least, I think its top shelf… Maybe it’s because the majority of the people that listen, really can’t relate. Maybe it comes across as “shallow”, and cheap to some… I don’t get that… I mean sure, it’s there, if that’s where you wanna go with it, but for me, It’s about crying out. Crying out to feel, and doing, and going, and giving the feeling that you want in return, and the lengths you’ll go to not only give it to someone who wants it, and needs it, but to hopefully receive it…
In this world we live in, we don’t have a comprehension, an understanding, of what’s in the “middle”… How do you say to someone, you don’t want to love them, you just want to fuck them? But you don’t really wanna “just” fuck them, you want to “experience” them, on a level that’s not just lust, but it certainly isn’t love either. And maybe it’s not about sex at all, but more about a deep caring connection, but you don’t understand how to do just that…
Sure we’ve all been there, some of us more than others. However, it is most often the case that it was never as easy as we thought it would be. And almost always is way more complex than we ever could have imagined. It’s often the case, that those three words we have the hardest time saying to those closest to us, come out easily to those who will never be that close…
“So much for mind games you play to win
‘Cuz first you lose your heart’s desire
Then you get it back
But ignorance ain’t bliss
There’s so much more behind the kiss… I’m feelin…”
David Fricke of Rolling Stone, said;
“They’re still a good band and it is lucky for them to still be around, but he also said that they “had not made a ‘great album’ since ‘Rocks’”
I’m not sure who wrote the following, but for me, this sums up the aftermath of this song… Some say, what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger… You know what? Maybe it does you, but for me, and my experiences, it takes an awful lot out of me and those around me. I’m not sure if I’m stronger, or that it’s even given me more character… But I do carry on the best I can, the best I know how, with what’s left in the middle…
“Count your blessings — and theirs. By now, after thirty years of big rock, hard drugs, wasted fortunes and seesaw chart rides, singer Steven Tyler, guitarists Joe Perry and Brad Whitford, bassist Tom Hamilton and drummer Joey Kramer should either be dead or babbling incoherently. Instead, Aerosmith are our most treasured and reliable warrior clowns, the original Ol’ Dirty Bastards. They don’t carry on with the dignity of old blues buddhas — Aerosmith just plain carry on.”
However, whoever wrote the above, also wrote the following… I guess my point here is that, yeah sometimes the ballads suck the “Rock” right of the “Roll”… But then sometimes I’m not sure that people like the guy who wrote this, ever really rolled at all…
“Frankly, whenever Aerosmith get sentimental on Just Push Play, I wanna push fast forward… “Luv Lies” comes with a dash of blues-cough harmonica and a lyrical twist — it’s basically about the kind of people who say “I love you” just to get laid — but never surges beyond cigarette-lighter la-la-la.”
Maybe that’s true to some, but I choose to believe different. Aerosmith has plenty of songs about “just getting laid” and doing whatever it takes to make that happen…. But this… this song is different on much deeper levels. This is a song about connections made that people don’t understand, and because they don’t understand it, there is confusion, frustration, and pain… and lies. Lies because you don’t know the truth, and if you do, right or wrong, you care enough about the people involved to try and protect them from truths that don’t even matter. And the aftermath of that… that mistake… That lack of understanding of yourself… the lack of comprehension of what you’ve done…
Maybe from my own introspect, maybe from trying to justify some of the life long paths I’ve followed, as if they were somehow different than the way society sees them, I’ve come to terms with mistakes made out of compassion. In my lifetime I’ve learned that people as a whole “feel’ on so many different levels. It’s difficult to comprehend just how many levels there are, and what one person wants or needs doesn’t even scratch the surface of another. Maybe that’s why some people come off as cold, or unemotional, and then others so warm and caring. Maybe that’s why some are regarded as prudish in their acceptance of intimacy, while others need to take it to the extreme. I don’t judge.
For me personally though, the intrigue is when you cross paths with someone who just wants to feel, and be felt. Intriguing as it is, it’s also so very confusing in so many ways. Our society is so quick to judge, so quick to categorically compartmentalize people’s actions and needs and wants turn it into whatever fits their comprehension best. For so many of us, it’s difficult to navigate the alley-ways between what is acceptable, what is shameful, what is freedom, what is empowering, and what is simply satisfying. We as a society have demanded more from the intimate encounters we might have, when in fact, maybe there just isn’t more than the feeling of intimacy.
We manufacture a reason behind a need, we will say things to give credibility to nothing more than a connection of souls. And yet at the same time, while we are desperately trying to build on nothing more than maybe a moment in time, we don’t acknowledge a simple greeting on the street. How we interact in our lives on a daily basis, whether it be, intimate, discreet, or social, carries weight in the make up of our self worth. It leaves a mark. And sometimes without understanding the depth of our own interactions, that mark can leave scars.
I’ve noticed through my time, that many of us, sometimes often in our lives, reach points of loneliness, and yet want to be alone, and yet don’t want to be alone at all. That in it’s self can be a very strange concept to understand, even for the individual. Moreover as a person of compassion, we often want to help that person not feel lonely, and yet have no clue really how to do that, other than help them “feel”. This is the area where we often find ourselves crossing, and even asking the individual to cross into, and over emotional boundaries that we may not even realize exist, all for the willingness to “feel” and give “feeling”. It’s a dangerous path, but also one that many of us would take, and do take, just to show someone they matter. To help someone feel wanted, needed… And even more so, when that person is already close to us in some way, by friendship, or maybe acquaintance. Realizing what you may give up beforehand though, is another story.
It’s difficult for me to judge anyone who has crossed that line, with the integrity of nothing more than compassion for another. It’s hard for me to judge the individuals who allowed themselves to cross that line, of course given these are their true motivating factors. However, it’s when those lines that were crossed, it’s when these people have found themselves in a state of “what do we do now”, that is the most difficult area to navigate. This is when the pain of expectation without reason comes. This is when the pain of rejection because of inability to follow through comes. This is when the pain of not understanding the differences between compassion and passion hit so very hard. This is when the pains experienced of those around you, are in ways never imagined. This is when the realization of your own lack of comprehension remain.
“When loneliness and paranoia feeds me
God help the person… fff… who needs me… yeeaaah…”
We revert back to the original reason for the connection in the first place… we manufacture what needs to be heard, words, actions, feelings, to create a reason that we care, as if it needs further definition. This is what this song is about. This is not only about those connections in life, random as they may be, but also the ones that we have cultivated over years and years of time, when maybe the passion is gone, but compassion remains. This is about the guilt, the realization of what a partner, friends, society will label you as, without knowledge, or even the slightest understanding of what is real, of what or who you actually are. It’s about knowing who you are, or better yet, “what” you are, and also knowing that it is not generally accepted.
No this isn’t about “Just getting laid”…
If you ever find yourself in a position to “Tell I Love You Lies”, try real hard to just recognize the moment, recognize the consequences, recognize the future pains that are sure to follow. When the lies start, they can’t be fixed, they might be forgiven, but they won’t be forgotten. Not by you, not by those involved. Careful what you give up, careful of those affected.
“If Ignorance is bliss, take me off the list”- Simply meaning, nobody needs that kind of bliss. The pains that follow loves lied, are promises never meant to be kept. You can’t fix that.
There are a few people I know that have disdain for Marti Frederickson, and Mark Hudson, because of the baggage they bring, and although I don’t know Joe personally, I do know that he is one of the people who have expressed those views. However, I choose to take a different stance… It’s not the friend that leads you down the wrong path, it’s your desire to have a friend that will go with you.
Enough of the lectures earned on lessons learned. Enjoy it for what it is, it’s when we make more out of it than it is, is when we make mistakes.
“And tell me when your wit’chor best friend’s friend
Do you still feel outta place
No thanks I took that ride
God only knows I tried believin’…”
Simply put, these guys can write a song! I’m not one for ballads all that much, but sometimes…
No thanks, I took that ride…
I’m not going to give up what I got…”