“Rhythm and sex go together and that’s where I come from as far as the music goes. Rag Doll and Love In An Elevator are such sexual songs that you put them on & the strippers go NUTS!
I Like a little Sleaze On my slide, if You Please…
Man, how long has it been?
When the album came out, the guys finally quenched that thirst we’d all been lost in the desert with, for so many years. We all thought we had a taste with DWM, but it was nothing more than a drop of water. But this album…
As corny as it may be now, let’s go back to 1988, and re-live the fun that this song was… and you know what? I have no doubt, these guys could still entertain the crowd with this one….
Steven and Jim Vallance, wrote most of the lyrics, with Joe putting in that signature only “Joe Perry lick”, creating “sleaze in sound”. The song started out as one title, but Kolodner didn’t like it much, so he called in Holly Knight, from Pat Benatar’s “Love is a Battlefield” fame, to help out. She gets credit on writing, but basically, she just changed the original name from what it was to something else, What a way to make a livin’! Then Steven and Jim took off with it… Funny thing though, Steven and Jim already suggested changing it to the same title, and it’s well written, Kolodner drove Steven nuts saying “no” to that suggestion too, but then he loved it when Holly Knight came in, like it was her idea.
But back to the fun of the song during the time… The video for the song, was the 3rd one directed by Marty Callner, who also did “Angel”, and the more similar “Dude”… I think this video though, was Extremely Monumental in Aerosmisth’s 2nd rise to the top of the mountain.
The song for me personally represents all that is good, all that is positive perception of sexual promiscuity. It speaks to those of us that never saw sex as taboo, but more as a pleasure, a right! As unique in each experience, as the rivers and rapids a kayaker chooses explore. It calls to me of an age in my 20s, when life itself was an experience waiting to be had. The women in and out of my life. Each of them beautiful I n their own right. Some of which were timid on the outside only to be opened to the discovery of their own inhibituions. Some of which were absolutely provocative on the outside and yet sheltered and naïve in the privacy of the “new”, and some so vibrant in each and every way, wearing their sexual nature and sensuality as if it were a jewelry to shown off, and as much, when in private that sexuality is unleashed in blind fury.
That’s my take on this song; not to be just a gigolo, but sure, if that’s what they want… Not as if these women were conquests of sorts, unless they wanted to be conquered… to be what and who THEY were looking for. If they needed, even just for a night or even a few months, someone … well, different than who they were used too, whether that “who” be their boyfriend or husband didn’t really matter much, at least at the time. I was glad to be of service.
No, not at all in the sense of fiction, or even non-sincerity, actually just the complete opposite. To be myself, and knowing not just in belief, but in absolute, that I was who they needed, at least for a moment in time. Sometimes more than a few moments, but the point is made clear in this song, that yes, it’s absolutely sexual in every sense. No it’s not just about the sleazy side, but then it doesn’t say “no’ to that either. It’s all encompassing, it’s permission granted.
It maybe a very simplistic way though of us who played on that field for awhile justified our behaviors, and shit… why not? There’s a lot of more worse things one can be guilty of, rather than being a man of pleasure without commitment.
Callner captured everything the song was. It was sex, and fun, and slapstick, and sleazy, and cool, and hip, and rock n roll… Joe’s Steel Guitar licks and slide, along with Joey’s 1-2-1-2 drum beat, especially in the opening, immediately makes you get up and move. It shows just how smart Kolodner was, and also that was NOT right… He didn’t get that the name “Ragtime” wasn’t something the kids could reach and touch, but he also didn’t get that Aerosmith’s whole nature was to reach out and “touch”. They will bring you the underside, but they will do it in your face and have a lot of fun doing it.
With the filming taking place in New Orleans down on Bourbon St, with Joe keeping it so simple just kickin’ back slidin’ with a single amp, and the parties goin’ on at a (real) local Frat house, among other local shoots was perfect, and to close out and give cred to that famous Rock N Roll lingo of “The Back Door Man”, by leaving that way Steven did is just icing ion the cake… so to speak… heh heh heh.
Come on! Steven driving a Shelby Cobra down the street, with every girl in every house running out to wave… Tell me if that doesn’t just grab every kid in America looking for a cool band to follow…
This is “Rag Doll”