Number 10 – Rise Above…


Try to take a higher road…
The views are better up there anyway…
In time, you’ll get to where you’re goin’


“We weren’t too ambitious when we started out. We just wanted to be the biggest thing that ever walked the planet.” 
– Steven Tyler

This song could easily be my number 1 song… It’s that frickin’ special to me! And maybe it is, you just never really know when you’re in the Top 10. I hold this one close for several different reasons. First; because it’s one of the original 4 “hooks”. This is one of the first 4 songs that I first truly heard from these guys. I’ve said before, that I’d heard “Walk This Way”, I’d heard “Dream On”, maybe even heard “Train”, but these 4 were different. At the time, I had no favorite bands. I liked the Doobies, Marshall Tucker, The Eagles, I liked a little bit of Skynard, a little Steve Miller, a little Zeppelin, and I really liked the Stones, and loved old CCR… But this… this music was penetrating me deep! And this song was about as deep as any could be.

Going back once again, to my Step Brother Ronnie, he showed me how to listen to the meaning. What the melody, the groove was saying, where it was taking me. What did it make you, not only think about, but feel? Yes there were things involved in that process that helped with that discovery… But hey, who didn’t, right? This song reminded me of a childhood I “had”, but was now gone, and if not gone, it was fading fast. With the faint references to sparkin’ up. The questions you ask yourself, as you go into adolescence. The 14 year old fantasies of life in a Rock Band, and at the same time keeping family close. …


The music took me to the same place that CCR’s ‘Green River’ took me, but when I got there it wasn’t what it used to be. It took me to the “aftermath” of CCR’s ‘Lookin’ out My Back Door’, the other side of Bob Denver’s ‘Country Roads’. Much like the way my life was going at the time, it was a reflection on what was once a better time, but not as in a distance. No, the song represented to me, the presence of a world changing around me so rapidly, and yet all I wanted was to be where I once was. Maybe because, I’d already moved so many times in my young life, always starting over. It seemed every time, I started to settle, it was time to pack our bags once again. By the way; that would be a trend that would continue another 25+ years. Yeah, the song is close to me, in many different ways, but more than anything else, it’s gritty where it needs to be, and retrospective and smooth in the proper place, but really, it’s just “Fucking Raw”!

I think the song has the same type of theme in a different tone, a different melody as Seasons of Wither. I’m not saying it has the same meaning, but it comes from the same place. It talks about something that changes around home, and it’s time to move on. Whether he meant it literally to move, or just “move on”, to me it’s in the same vein, but very a different melody and feel. It definitely has the feel of Lake Sunapee before the tourists arrive.


From Walk This Way, Autobiography-
Joe remembered it this way to Spinner Magazine- He said;
 “Their 1st Roadie was a Truck driver for a waterbed company, so that’s what they had at 1325 Commonwealth, waterbeds. He and Steven were sitting on the edge of the bed together and this song just came out.”

Steven remembers writing the song, and knowing this was his, and the band’s ticket. It was this song! Not “Dream On”, not “Mama Kin”. Although Mama Kin may have been the one in actuality that peaked Clive’s interest, it was this song that the band thought was their meal ticket, at least at the time anyway. Steven told his mother the weekend after they penned it, on a trip back home to Yonkers; “Mom we’re gonna’ have to move out of this house, because this new band of mine is gonna’ be so big, there are gonna’ be kids in the bushes, kids peeking in the windows, kids all over the place”. He really did know…


Tom talks about rehearsing for their first concert together at Nipmuc H.S. Gym in ’70. He gives all the credit to Steven for teaching the band how to actually “play” and make music, rather than just be loud with instruments. Typical conversation between Joe & Steven:
Steven: “Joe you can’t play that note there!”
Joe: “Why not?”
Steven: “It isn’t right.”
Joe: “But I like the way it sounds”
Steven: “you can’t go there from there! It isn’t right!”
Joe: “What the fuck?!”

Not much has changed….


“We were America’s band; we were the garage band that made it really big – the ultimate party band. We were the guys who you could actually see. Back then in the seventies, it wasn’t like Led Zeppelin was out there on the road in America all of the time. The Stones weren’t always coming to your town. We were. You could count on us to come by.”
– Joe Perry

Slash on Aerosmith, Rolling Stone 100 Greatest Artists-
“I don’t think this generation has a clue what classic Aerosmith was all about. But they were the template for what I do, as well as plenty of bands that came after Guns n’ Roses: Soundgarden, Nirvana, Alice in Chains and Pearl Jam all owed a serious debt to old-school Aerosmith.”
My big awakening happened when I was 14 years old. I’d been trying to get into this older girl’s pants for a while, and she finally let me come over to her house. We hung out, smoked some pot and listened to Aerosmith’s Rocks. It hit me like a fucking ton of bricks. I sat there listening to it over and over, and totally blew off this girl. There was just nothing cooler than Aerosmith coming out of America at that point. What else was there? Foghat?
When I was just starting to learn how to play guitar, Aerosmith gave me the shove I needed. I identified with Joe Perry’s image, both soundwise and visually. He was streamlined in a way that reminded me of Keith Richards, was always wasted and had a careless guitar style that was really cool. But I was also totally into Brad Whitford’s guitar solos, and he had a more direct influence on the way I play than anybody realizes. And anyone who sings needs to be exposed to Steven Tyler.

If you’re one of the lucky few to see this one in concert, then you can write it off as if; this song alone was worth the price of admission. They don’t usually play the song more than only a few times, if not once per tour.

1325 (3)

I give you Original Aerosmith. I give you the beginning, without a clue of where they were going. I give you two 20 year old soon to be legends, sitting on a waterbed, just playin’; music. I give the 1st song ever written by Joe and Steven together. I give you what could easily be my #1, and anyone else’s #1, just because of the iconic meaning behind it. And if that isn’t enough; as Steven says; “listen to the harmony between notes…”

Let’s use the studio version on this one for effect, imagine that vinyl sound…

“Good mornin’ glory ‘allelujah to ya
What is the story
And what’s been goin’ through ya…”
“Level with God and you’re in tune with the universe
Talk with yourself and you’ll hear what’choo wanna know
Gotta rise above ’cause below it’s only gettin’ worse
Life in time will take you where you wanna go…”“Where ya’ wanna go?…”This is Movin’ Out:


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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.