Number 71 –Man! Talk about a feeling, And all that you do, is nothing, except an empty shoe

Man! Talk about feeling,
And all that you do, is nothing,
except an empty shoe

Up 11 spots from last year

Close call between this one and “Crash” last year

But I think Crash was a little bit too dark. Maybe even a little bit to relatable.

And this year it was close to losing its spot to Baby Please Don’t Go, but Fuckin’ A if that one doesn’t hit the fucking spot right now.

Then I thought Avant Garden for number 72, such a cool song, but the only garden I have, nothing grows… I guess that makes sense

But his one… this one stays for another year. Especially with the reference of a garden that doesn’t grow! Futile desires and dreams. Idealism and ideals that is nothing more than someone else’s predetermined plan. Continue reading Number 71 –Man! Talk about a feeling, And all that you do, is nothing, except an empty shoe

The World According to Joe Perry

Joe PerryAt any given Aerosmith show, Joe Perry can usually be spotted with a Les Paul dangling around his neck. The legendary guitarist is such a Les Paul fan that on top of playing a range of varieties of the guitar over the decades, he also has a signature model, the Joe Perry 1959 Les Paul.

Perry recently made headlines for something other than his music: a new book. ROCKS: My Life In and Out of Aerosmith tells his life story and the ups and downs of rocking with one of the biggest bands in the world. In the following quotes, Perry talks about his new book and the first moment he heard a guitar sing. Continue reading The World According to Joe Perry

NUMBER 70 – How Much Is This Ride Gonna’ Cost Me?

AMERICAN IDOL: Aerosmith performs during the season 11 AMERICAN IDOL GRAND FINALE at the Nokia Theatre on Weds. May 23, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. CR: Michael Becker/FOX

Take a Walk Outside Your Mind…
We all heard the starter’s gun…
Oh wait, that can’t be the right one…

Last year’s #40; probably sit’s a little more comfortably closer to where it belongs…

You ever have one of those days, when you put on your shoes to go for a walk, and you don’t get 25 feet from the door, and your left foot is soakin’ wet on the bottom of your feet, because your shoe has a hole in it? Oh wait… nevermind….wrong sole?

Anywayyyyys…..

This Is another Aerosmith Power Ballad, written by Steven, Joe, and Desmond Child. It’s probably right where it should be on the list… sometimes that happens. It’s songs like these though, that are really, really good, but then I say to myself; “Self, you’ve lost all credibility with “Hangman”. Maybe it’s because of the emotion that comes through when I hear it. But let’s do this… Continue reading NUMBER 70 – How Much Is This Ride Gonna’ Cost Me?

Number 69 – Oh That Blessed Handbook!

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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? Continue reading Number 69 – Oh That Blessed Handbook!

Number 68 – The Coolest Guy on the Planet

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Last year’s top 30,
may have fallen down,
and gotten a bit dirty,
But still stands sturdy…

For any one out there that are true fans of Joe’s you’re gonna love this one! And if you don’t, well I guess that’s cool too…

I’m gonna’ keep this one short and sweet. Not sure what it is about this guy… While he doesn’t really need the introduction, he also never seems to get the introduction he deserves.

My daughter says I have a total “Man Crush” on this guy. That’s probably very true. Not in any way gay thing, “not that there’s anything wrong with that”… but damn! I’d just like to go cliff jumping, and have a BBQ with this guy. I often post him as “The Coolest Guy on the Planet”, and I truly believe that. I think every single band member believes that too. Hell even to the point that it upsets some of them sometimes. But I also don’t think he started out that way, or even makes any effort to be that way. I truly think this guy was a real geek at a young age, but because he just did “his thing” and stayed true to himself, his emergence into cool, was a something sensational to watch. Most people that are geeks, or nerds somewhere in life, are aware of it, and because of that awareness, they try “REALLY” hard to be someone else. This man just followed himself. Nothing more to it. I don’t even think he even knows to this day his own level of cool. And that sense of self, that sense of humility accentuates the “cool” Continue reading Number 68 – The Coolest Guy on the Planet

Number 67 – Aerosmith Sacrilege

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Used to be great… Now it’s just late…

Some Pay More Dues Than Others, and Sometimes Others Reap the Rewards of the Dues You Paid

Get ready for Aerosmith sacrilege…

I wrote most of this last year, and it’s okay just the way it is. Enjoy, or don’t, the choice is yours to make. Don’t shoot the messenger even if he wrote the message.

I’m sure a lot of you thought maybe this might make the top 30, 20, or even 10… And I’m positive you all think it SHOULD BE at the top, or close to it. I would never argue that in somebody else’s list. Just not on mine, for whatever reason.

I do give this song a ton of respect, the respect it deserves. To know that Steven wrote the song, or at least most of it, when he was 17 or 18 years old, with his parents in mind, and the sheer genius of those lyrics and the Melody, at such a young age… Well it’s just amazing!

My take on it comes from various different view points. First I remember hearing it on 610 KFRC AM, San Francisco at the age of, what?… 10, 11, 12? I can remember liking it a little bit. But being the youngest of nine, it haunted me. I didn’t like it, with the fact that I was watching the woman I loved more than air getting older, the lines on her face getting clearer. I was watching my dad dislike her more every day, for no other reason than vanity.

My mom was 36 years old when I was born into a family who already had 8 mouths to feed. A mistake my father would remind of over the years. As I grew into my pre-teen years, with the whole world in front of me, as confident as a boy could get, I was often immune to the heartaches happening around me, or maybe I was just blind. Too young to see the effects of what is being lost along the way. Maybe confidence was just a word used to mask the ego that insecurity saw in the mirror…

At the exact time in a boy’s life where every boy in the world should be doing nothing more than being a boy, I couldn’t help but notice, that maybe my own carefree and often unbothered nature was being challenged by family with stresses that I didn’t understand, and yet being asked too… No, forced to understand before being ready. Now I don’t want to make this into more than it was. It was divorce, and at the time half the marriages in the country did the same, and maybe my parents’ divorce wasn’t a lot different than any other, but for me, it was total destruction.

Over the course of a few years I watched my father become more and more absent. It meant nothing to me at the time, and yet my older siblings always knew something I didn’t. Maybe they knew where he really was, I still don’t know. Probably doesn’t matter. But what I saw, what I noticed was my mother’s love for her children, her happiness of just being a mom and a wife turn into a job. And it seemed to me at least, it was a job she no longer reaped the benefits from.

I can clearly remember many trips to Little League games before the actual divorce happened, my mother asking me, almost in a girlish manner I f I still thought she was pretty. I can remember her looking in the rear-view mirror worried about the wrinkles appearing more clearly on her face. I can remember her telling us how the sun, which she worshiped her entire California life, could and would cause us harm. They same sun she used to be the Beautiful Tanned Blonde woman my dad always wanted her to be. I can remember her complaints, mild as they may have been of her years and time spent working the ranch or backyard to create a better home for all of us, and yet take time away from herself being pretty. In my mind, my mom was beautiful, so I didn’t really understand.

The truth is though I remember this song coming on the radio, and my mother wiping a tear. I remember those questions of lines on her face after the song. I remember her turning the station because of how it made her feel. I remember my father’s girlfriends so much younger, so much less weathered, so much more taken care of. The song for me was beautiful, but also hauntingly imminent, in a way that will stay with me for generations. I remember as clear as day, almost like a book we were reading in school, the chapters of a happy wonderful life, a great childhood, a happy family, changing with each turn of the page into the past. It was slow, it was methodical in a sense to see the life you once led, become a past life, and yet when it was done some 3 or and 4 years after the questions my mom asked me in the car, it seemed as though it went by with a blink of an eye.

I heard it again when Toys came out, but again didn’t really get it. Hell, I think I might have been about 12 or 13 when Toys came out. Before I heard the 1st album, I didn’t really get Toys either. So again, the song was sad to me, and being a kid of divorce, and a kid who just wanted to have fun, it didn’t leave much of a mark, at least not yet.

A few years later, when I became a true Aerosmith fan, I got it! I loved it. I played it over and over, and over again! Maybe even too much… I kinda’ started to feel like Joe feels towards the song. “You have to do it… it’s who you are”. I have to like it, I’m a fan, but the reality was, unless I was hearing it live, I wanted to hear something deeper from “my band” on the radio.

The lyrics though, the lyrics and melody always stuck with me, “lived and learned from fools and from sages” you know that’s pretty true for me, and damn if I haven’t paid my dues by now. Yeah, I relate, it’s just not always a feel good song for me.

This song was a peek into the genius level of the lyricist Steven would turn out to be. This video and performance of the song is the best I’ve ever seen, and frankly makes it hard to only rank it at 67. But again this is my list, right?

I have a friend, Jamie, who I want to thank for showing me a different side of this song. It’s not that I’ve never seen it before, I think I just never noticed it like I did until after she shared her story with me, of the love between her and her mother, and a bridge of sorts, that this song provided them. A truly loving relationship, in which they often sang together, and of course this song was one their very favorites. I’m touched deeply by her story, which is much deeper than I’m at liberty to divulge. I can say this though; there are songs in life that touch us on almost spiritual levels, almost as if someone is touching us from beyond through the melodies and lyrics. This is something I can not only appreciate, but also envy in Jamie’s case. Further, it makes me truly happy that she has that connection, and others have much more enlightened experience with this one than I.

Funny though, the different lines our tears follow, for different reasons…

So, as long as I put this one where I did, I value everyone else’s desire to put it much higher.

If you go undefeated, what did you learn? Even so, some pay more dues than others,

This is “Dream On”

Alice Cooper Says New Covers Album is “Mixed, Ready to Go”

Alice Cooper’s new star-studded covers album is finished and in the can. Speaking with Billboard.com, the veteran shock rocker said he’s “very, very happy” with the disc, which features an A-list of Cooper’s musician pals. “McCartney’s on it,” he says. “Zak Starkey’s on it. Dave Grohl is on it, [AC/DC frontman] Brian Johnson–and in places where you wouldn’t expect them to be. That’s the cool thing.” Other confirmed guests include Joe Perry and musician-actor Johnny Depp. A primary goal, says Cooper, was to pay tribute to the “Hollywood Vampires,” friends with whom he shared wild times in the early ’70s. Cooper declined to specify which songs he covered, but he did offer some tantalizing hints. “If you think of it, who were the Hollywood Vampires?” he says. “John Lennon was there. Jim Morrison was an early Vampire. We had Jimi Hendrix, Keith Moon, of course, Harry Nilsson, Marc Bolan. Those guys were all Vampires.”

By Gibson

Number 66 – Toxicity in Lace…

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Can you resist, what takes your breath away?

In order to write a proper “take”, ‘review”, “familiarity”, a “relation” to a classic Aerosmith song, as popular and as great a song that this once was, you have to take yourself back into the history of the band, the theme of the album, the song that you’re writing about. You have to understand the chronological history of the story.

In 45 years, a lot happens in a marriage, especially a marriage as polyamorous as this one, with all of the people involved being of the same sex, the same age, but with varied and differing personalities… But, also with so much in common, and the common goal of the band’s survival. Their survival as musicians!

The band, in 1993, were celebrating a few years of sobriety. Something still new, as far as experiences go. A newer driving force, and source of creativity. A lot comes out of insobriety, sometimes enough to be able to step up on a soapbox and tell the world that you now have a new moral fiber… I’m not sure there’s anything wrong with that, but you can rest assured someone will.

One of the coolest things about their sobriety was that it was happening at the same time their fans needed it to happen. America was sobering up from the wild decades of the 70s and 80s at the same time the band was, so the timing was perfect. America was looking for a moral compass, and the band was willing to play their part, even if it was to be short lived. But with this, you still need to know where the players of the game, that is the music business, put the band and their achievements, which were often not in line with the band’s fans.

Let’s take the “Haters”, or should I say Rolling Stone Mag’s obligatory negative review of an Aerosmith record. Keep in mind this album would go on to compete as the band’s 2nd best selling record of all time, just behind Toys, neck and neck with Pump. So take the following for what it’s worth, along with the obligatory “Stones” mention.

In 1993, Mark Coleman was given the task of tearing down another… uh, I mean “reviewing” another Aerosmith record. I’m not really sure what these guys ever really want or look for…. They slam the guys for being on drugs, and slam their moralistic message out of sobriety… Anyway…

Mark writes that; “…There aren’t enough “sweet-talking sassafrassies from Tallahassee who rear their tousled heads’ and that the “Motor-mouth verbal inventiveness is replaced by a decidedly calmer, more inspiring tone.”
Without denying Tyler’s hard-won sobriety, the problem with Grip‘s constant moralizing is best summed up by a line from Tyler himself: “I just can’t listen to all that righteous talk,” he wails on “Amazing.” “Don’t get deep”, pleads Tyler on the pounding “Shut Up and Dance.” Not to worry; when your songwriting partners are Jack Blades and Tommy Shaw of Damn Yankees, shallow is a stretch.”
“It’s hard to know how to take something as aggressively stupid and naggingly catchy as “Shut Up and Dance.”

Okay, I will go with the man on “SU&D”, because that one won’t come near this list, but come on dude, the album sold over 7M records!

He goes on to say;
“As a spoof of early-Eighties pop-metal trailblazers like Night Ranger and Lover-boy, it’s frighteningly letter-perfect. But listen to Tyler wail away earnestly on the slow-burning torch numbers “Cryin’” and “Crazy” and you start to suspect that Aerosmith has lost touch over the last couple of years.”

Fuck you dude! These are classic hits! Maybe if you had a clue as to what the songs were really about… but while you’re talking about shallow song writing, you didn’t even go deep enough to figure it out…

And get ready! Here it comes….
“Cryin’” grinds away with enough “Stonesy” élan to make you ignore the hack formula: atrocious rhymes, simplistic melody, sentimentality measured out in buckets. This caterwauling power ballad could be a hit, but it could also nail the coffin shut on that decaying commercial genre.

I guess we won’t be needing that coffin, huh Mark?

Signs of hope do exist, however, even in Grip‘s most dragging moments. “Line Up” skates along with a zesty horn line and bop-shoo-bopping chorus, its sharp arrangement a welcome relief from the surrounding melodrama. Co-author Lenny Kravitz is hardly a verbal wizard, but his input makes an agreeable difference: “Line Up” fires off a lighthearted spark that’s largely missing from the rest of this too-serious album.

Really Mark, you’re only spotlight on the album is gonna’ be the anthem to Pet Detective??? Fuck me!

You know what I think? I think Rolling Stone Magazine should take their own advice, F’n A, loosen’ up, or “Shut ‘chor lip”!

I swear you can’t win for losin’ with these guys… I guess with the name of your rag being “Rolling Stone” everything that is not the Rolling Stones, has to be identified that way…. Whatever….

But what is the song really about? Fuck R.S.M., they wouldn’t know a masterpiece if they were staring at the Mona Lisa! Most people would say it’s about a person who finally breaks free from a relationship that is nothing but bad from the word “Go”. Whether that be from physical abuse, mental, or verbal abuse, or just a bad, bad match, those people would be absolutely right! But it’s more than that… If you know this band, it’s more than that. If you know these song writers, it’s more than that. If you know their story, it’s more than that. It’s definitely more than that, if you’d lived a similar one.

Taylor Rhodes was brought in to help on this one, along with a few other writers for the rest of the album. It’s been told that Geffen Records was extremely unhappy with almost every song the guys originally wrote. Kalodner was the “Ax Man” assigned by Geffen to say “These songs suck”, which helps you understand how Steven never really liked this guy more than what was tolerable. At the same time though, John is maybe the biggest reason for their 3rd generation of success. And that makes every member, to a man, extremely grateful. John knew it was more important to breed success, than to form friendships., Steven and Joe and Taylor put down the bones to the song, with a balance of extreme passion and pathetic whimpering. But again, it’s the passion of the song that creates the hook!

“Now there’s not even breathing room, between pleasure and pain”

Interpreted, as I said above as some sort of song about a “Relationship Roller Coaster”, you need to ask yourself what was going on at the time, that would give these guys the source of motivation for that type of song… Sure those songs will always sell, always have, always will, and with that motivation you can come up with something that will fill album space… But in order to write a song this good, this successful about that type of relationship, it has to come from somewhere. And yet at the time, all the band-mates were skatin’ pretty good in their personal relationships with this new found sobriety. Sure Joey was having some personal issues, but even then, they hadn’t really surfaced yet.

We have to remember what the theme of this album was about. Just like Pump, it was about sobriety and a sort of reflection of their history of drug abuse. “Amazing”, along with the title track “Get A Grip” spell out that theme pretty clearly. So, who… Or should I say “What” is this song really about? For those who have never been “In The Cellar”, those who have never screamed the words “No More, No More” while alone in a room with the curtains drawn trying to turn day into night, those who have never had to “Draw the Line”, you may not get this. But for those that have had a “Monkey on their Back”, those who have been at “Critical Mass”, those that have ever felt “Sick as a Dog”, or felt like “The Living Dead”, you’ll understand just who… or should I say “What” the girl Steven is singing to in this song is.

The song in my opinion, and I’m pretty sure I’m right, is 100% about a toxic relationship, but it’s not a relationship with a girl, or a guy, but it is absolutely the “killin’ kind”.

If you change out the word “Girl” and put in the name of the drug of choice, you may just begin to understand the “Grips” of a relationship that an addict has with his or her chosen love. And as the song describes a person that has emerged, or at least is making that struggle to emerge, from the hold that the addiction had on him. She recognizes that she has to part ways, but also realizes the difficulties he will have in resisting temptation. The “kiss” is your first high, the one that you forever chase.

The love for the drug is real. The “sweetness” is the addict’s comfort zone, it’s a friend and lover who will never judge, never expect, but because of the lack of accountability it needs from the addict, because of the absolute darkness, it’s also “misery”. However, as with anyone who realizes their fate at the fork in the road of addiction, they have to proclaim their destiny. With admission, he doesn’t blame the drug, he says they’re “partners in crime”, he takes responsibility. She recognizes the drugs charm, so to speak, with “that certain something that takes her breath away”, and yet still decides to listen to what his or her friends and support group are telling him, and he’s making a break no matter what! The addict admits the sorrow of what the course of the relationship was from beginning to end, and everything in between.

The song is masterfully written for a vast audience. It captures all those who need a mantra, a torch song, to break away from ties that bind, whether it be from a significant other, a job, or drugs isn’t really the point. The point is that a masterpiece of personal, very, very personal struggles was written in a way that millions could relate too.

Although the song only got to #12 on the Hot 100, it did make it to #1 on the mainstream rock charts, and get this… Number 1 in… wait for it… wait for it…. Poland! The video went on to tremendous success for all involved though, earning MTV awards in 1994 for Music Video of the Year, Viewer’s Choice award, and Best Group Video.

The video for the song was Alicia Silverstone’s first appearance in an Aero video, and what an appearance she would make. She fit the lyrics; she brought the character of the girl that the singer is singing about alive. Full on fucked up!

Just a bit of trivia here; Alicia and the director Marty Callner are loosely credited with the responsibility of bringing naval piercings out of the alley, and into suburban American teenage girls minds…. Oh, and the church the band performs in… It’s the same church in Fall River Mass, that Lizzy Borden is famous for attending.

The song also went on to earn Grammy nominations for Taylor Rhodes 1993, who in my opinion, and it’s all assumed, may be responsible for that little bit of country twang within the structure of the song, which blends and changes courses to that high emotion “Love- Sick” Aero groove that we’ve come to not only expect, but love from this band…. Do I need to say anything at all about Steven and Joe being on the exact same page?

Interesting though, looking and listening to that influence, that Nashville influence… Take a listen to ‘Blind Man’, and “Full Circle”, also co-written by Taylor, along with the old ‘Polo’ fragrance commercial’s theme from The Jayhawks, “I’m Gonna’ Make You Love Me”, and the less than stellar, but still influenced of Nashville sound from a late Journey single, “All The Way”, just interesting. Personally I think it worked with this one though.

The lyrics along with the licks, the ups and downs, the roller coaster ride that this song is, is perfect for the message it was giving… nothing too deep, unless you swim in those waters, just beware of a love that can kill you! The up tempo, the down tempo, the wild tempo…

We all want “something we can’t resist”… the song definitely has it’s double entendres; but not in a sexual way. As much as this song is about good lovin’ gone bad, it’s about a once good love of drugs gone bad, and to try and stay away, knowing the ease of comfort with what is bad for you, is nothing more than sweet misery…

Listen to it for what you want it to be, what you need it to be. Watch the video again, but listen to the metaphors, the moral statement they make. Watch Steven’s obligatory spitting out of his mouth, a bad taste. Watch as Alicia punches out what makes her sick. Listen to Joe, wail on the guitar screaming his, it’s, desire to bleed out the pain. Listen to the passion in Steven’s voice for love and hate of toxicity. Let Joey bang out, as he does with force and munitions, the tension of the addiction to a love that’s not healthy…

Love wasn’t much of a friend a mine
The tables have turned… yeah
‘Cause me and them ways have parted
That kind a’ love was the killin’ kind

Listen…
All I want is someone I can’t resist
I know all I need to know by the way
That I got kissed

Your love is sweet misery…

This is “Cryin’”

 

Number 65 – Hey Hit the Light, Would Ya’…

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We’re about to get to the meat of the beat
of Joey’s drum
Pretty soon its going to be time to take a seat
And get some….

There’s a lot goin’ on here!!!!

True, we’re getting; to the meat of this band. Never being one to shy away from the sweet desserts before the main course, but alas, we don’t have many ballads left in the countdown, Although there are still a few of those left, and the bulk of them will come sooner rather than later, I’m hoping ya’all can at least see that we’re turning the first corner, So let’s pick up some much needed “speed” to get the inside “rail”, so we can “slow it down and make it last”, then let the horses loose again on the far straight-away. Continue reading Number 65 – Hey Hit the Light, Would Ya’…

Number 64… Have You Taken That Ride?

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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…
Sometimes!

No thanks, I took that ride…
I’m not going to give up what I got…”