Number 69 – Oh That Blessed Handbook!

1976 and it went like this!
I love this song for everything it is, and everything it’s not

Oh that blessed “handbook”
I’ve often said, these guys wrote the handbook to my life. This song is two stories in one. The sexual innuendos that mean no sex… What? Wait… this is Aerosmith… What?

Kind of the opposite of what Chuck sang, I actually learned to read and write pretty well, but I could never play the guitar like ringing a bell. So yeah… I read, and I listened to the manual the textbook… At the same time though, there was always a lesson or two, that needed a little tutoring just to make sure you got it right. I thought I got it right?

In that year, I was lucky enough to have had a really good “tutor”. You see, sometimes 14-15 year old boys have a tough time with their lessons. Sometimes they have to have a “hands on’ type approach, a visual, if you will…

Linda, was twice my age, and a Southern Belle who could melt your ice cream all over your fucking hand, with nothing but a wink and a smile… and if she spoke, fuck… just fuck! Fuck, fuck… FUCK!….
Some would probably have her arrested in today’s world, but for me… I was just glad to be a student. It’s not that I wasn’t already attending class, but Linda helped me become a top notch “A+” student. I could go on, and on here about Linda, and I promise I will another time, but this one isn’t about Linda, as much as it is about the song, and the lesson in the handbook. But she did teach me what kind of promises a boy could make with just a lick…

For those of you that know the manual… and for those of you that don’t. This is a lesson about satisfaction. About “return customers”… There’s a story that goes back in time, around the time of the 1st original corporate break-up of a monopoly in America, at least the 1st in my lifetime. In the 60s and 70s Bell Telephone Co. became maybe the biggest corporation in America. Not by profits, but by customer base. You see, they were the “ONLY” Telephone company in America at the time. But there was one problem…. Profit margin was so very low.

Bell telephone’s profits were almost miniscule for a corporation that had a one of a kind product, in every single home, and business, and even street corner in America. But they were spending more money on service,e than they were making in sales. So what does a company do? Their product is so well made, that people only bought one phone every 10-20 years. Shit, the electrical and phone lines broke down before the actual phone. A product that was better than cars, better than TVs, better than appliances…

You need to create a “return customer”, this is the lesson Linda was teaching me, with a different kind of approach. But the end result was the same; Make them come back for more… So the “slim line” telephone was born. Made to make the “customers” come back and get another one. That one singular product, was responsible for creating the biggest conglomeration the country had seen since the Industrial revolution. It was also the beginning of the break-up of Bell Telephone. The point is, create something that makes them come back for more, and more, and more…

Bell telephone got so big, the government had to break up the company….
similar to Aerosmith, they got so big, they had to break up. But they always gave that “lick” that “promise”. That’s along way to go, to get to the meaning I’m getting’ at. The page in this chapter of the book is all about giving them something that will make them come back for more. It’s about the promise of something better, something more. And how to deliver that promise, so it’s not just words…Linda taught me how to deliver that message without words, how to make a promise that stands above the rest.

The song has the lyrics that tell the story of Joe Perry under the guise of the name “Johnnie”. It tells a fantastical story though, through the eyes of the singer’s envy of “cool”. It tells the story of the singer’s awe in his witness to something, someone that is enviable and almost unattainable to him. He see’s a man, so in control of himself. So full of his own desire to perform, for appreciation in it’s most raw form, rather than appreciation from a chick he will never see again. “Johnnie’s full focus is on the crowd, focusing on him… sure the drugs feed the frenzy, but the fortune and fame, are his reward way more than the offer of carnal delight.
Johnnie’s appeal is to everyone in the crowd, but no one more than the singer…

We hear the word, and if you’re someone like me as a young boy, you learn it as a verb, a way to make yourself stand above the next, above the rest… You use it as a sophomoric mantra to achieve status. But the reality is in the lack of intended double entendres, Johnnie is giving a promise of more, but it’s a promise of a noun. The ‘lick” is Joe’s promise to the crowd. The singer presents a picture clear as day, that he gets his woman every night for free, but forgets all of their names, because, he doesn’t go there. Joe doesn’t play…. he plays! That’s how he appeases. It’s all about the “lick”.

Right out of the book, or should I say recordings? I learned this one very early in life. I may have learned it wrong, but it was all right for me. And thank God for that, ‘cause God knows how i would I have gotten through it, if I wasn’t paying attention . So for all the young men out there, you have to know just how to appease. It’s not the question so much as the answer…

Wow! Did he just say that?
Just keep your nose out of the freeze!

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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.