Number 1 – Sometimes We Get a 2nd Chance, The Trick Is to Know The Difference…

ATU14aa

Everyone has a favorite song in their lifetime…

Everyone has their own reasons for that song too. Sure it can change day in, day out, and even get replaced with something new over the years, but there’s always something about that song. It always comes back. It always surfaces. It speaks to you. It gets inside you.

Sometimes someone comes along and even tries to cover it, and sometimes it comes close… But rarely is it ever better. This particular band has done that often in their career, they’ve taken a song, and done it so well, that they’ve made it their own.

A version of this interpretation was handed to Joe, in an envelope at his book signing inside “The Passage” Book Store, at the Ferry Building in San Francisco, October 18, 2014. I like to think he read it….

It’s funny when we look back on some of the old time favorites the band has done. Certain covers come to mind. I was actually talking to my new landlord just before Mary and embarked on what would be the culmination of this book. Francie apparently is a pretty big Aero fan herself. Imagine that! We were talking about mine and Mary’s trip to Tahoe for the culmination of this thing I’ve been writing. The concert on July 3rd. 2015 at Harvey’s South Lake Tahoe. Fran was telling me how much she would love to go. I really tried to get her, and her husband Pat, to come along and get tickets there! As hard as I tried, I just wasn’t successful. Man that would have been a lot of fun though…

Fran told me of her favorite Aerosmith song, “Come Together”. Aerosmith’s cover, not the Beatles’ version. She went on about how she just loves them, especially when they do that song! I’ve heard others say the same for Big 10 Inch, Train, Walkin’ the Dog, Baby Please don’t Go, and others that they’ve covered over time. The key is that they took songs and not only Aerosmith-ized them up, but made them their own. They kept the respect for the song the way it was, but they put their own signature on them, and actually made them better.

It’s more than just a favorite song though… Everyone has at least one song that they can relate to. A song that invokes their spirit, touches their soul. Sometimes the lyrics mean something, sometimes they don’t mean anything at all. Sometimes it’s just the music, sometimes it’s a combination of the two. Whether it’s a Stairway to Heaven, or Sweet Home Alabama, or Sympathy for the Devil, or Dream On, or countless others, these favorites are often a peek into the listener’s character. Is that person truly “Free as a bird”? Or do they just want to be? Did that person truly “Dream until his dreams came true”? Or is she just a dreamer? I’m not sure the answer really matters. The key is that a group of musicians created a piece of art, and with that art, they connected with “somebody” or a bunch of somebodies, whom they will probably never meet, but they gave a substance to that person’s character. Sometimes it’s difficult to even put that substance into words of description. It’s easier to just feel it. That’s when, as a musician, you know you’re successful. Did you leave an impact? Did you leave a mark? Did your creation matter?

These guys mattered…

Sometimes in life there are alternate endings. Sometimes we even get to choose them, like in the way of a DVD rental, or a different path ‘up’, or‘down’ the mountain. Or, how we might wish to change for the better as we get older, or for the worse… Or, how we decide that the path we’re on isn’t the right path, and if we continue in that direction, the ending could be tragic, or and in no way am I trivializing such a loss of extreme impact, but when someone so loved by all, is on a path to live a complete and long life, respected and cherished by so many, but then decides to alter that path, by ending it in a tragic way. R.I.P. Robin Williams.

I believe wholeheartedly in destiny. But I believe destinies are optional, yet still specific to the individual. I believe in predestined occurrences. I believe in karma. I believe that we learn from where we’ve been, although where we’ve been was destined. Where we go from there, is a matter of weight. To choose what we have learned as a tool, or simply a memory. But I don’t believe we have a guide, although there are plenty of “guides” (hello Theresa!) that we meet in life. The trick is to recognize them when they’re there, and recognize who, or what the distractions are. I feel that we usually meet our destiny; it’s just that some reach it earlier than others. I am not saying that there’s no trying to change your direction, but I am saying that each of us is given a series of paths, options, opportunities, in life that are specific to his or her possible destinies, and that we don’t all get the same choices.

We need to do the best we can, with the choices we are given. It is truly a gift, for some who recognize, that they are on the verge of two destinies, one tragic, one triumphant. Then to have the where-with-all, the good fortune, to recognize it and make the right decision… Wow!

This song represents, for me, an “Alternate Ending” to my Top 100. It represents the beginning, without direction. A beginning with the whole world in front of them. A beginning with so many paths to choose from, unknowing where each will lead, and then…. And then, the “Alternate Ending” which, represents a look back to who you are, who they were. To reach deep inside and touch the root, but to change it, to fine tune the good parts, and discard the bad.

This song is transformation from young to old, from inexperienced to experienced, from unknowing to wise.

This song is my #1. It still tells you to be true to yourself, it still tells you to hold your home close to the vest. It still tells you not to let those who will do you harm, too close. It tells you to stay focused, and you’ll arrive to your destination. But it’s a journey getting there. So, if you need to pick up and go, just to stay home, then c’est la vie… But it also tells you to notice what needs to be fine tuned along the way.

This song has impacted me on a level I can’t describe. I can’t really tell you if it’s the lyrics, or the energy I feel from the raw, bloozy, almost bluegrass, but not bluegrass, feel of the music that gets inside me the way it does, but it does go deep. This is just a couple of guys reaching down deep inside of themselves, and finding a sound that would define the unique quality of who they are. It’s a mixture of other influences rolled into one. It’s got the deep, and delayed, at times, groove and feel of the blues. It’s got the rough edge of a new American Rock and Roll band, blended with the sleek polish of the British Invasion. It’s got a touch of that Muscle Shoals feel, like a southern vibe. Two guys just writing a song, no damn clue how good they are gonna’ be. One guy comes off as real serious, but really just wants to have fun. The other guy, who always comes off like he just wants to have fun, is absolutely serious. Opposites attract, right?

They sat down on the edge of a bed to jam and write a song. What comes out of it is a sound, no not just a sound, but a feeling, a character that I’d never heard before, and I’ve never heard since.

Now even better… Can you cover your own song and keep its purity, yet make it better? Sure you can, but It Has to Be Better! If you create something that is somehow “less than”, you not only didn’t succeed, but you also possibly displace, and trivialize the original. In my opinion, they not only accomplished what they set out to do with this cover of their own song, but they immortalized the song in this rendition…

Each song written leaves its own impression on the listener. We can all, as you’ve seen me do over the last 100+ songs, come up with our own meanings, our own interpretations, our own connections. I’m not positive any of mine are absolute truth, but I’m real sure I’m close. And if I’m not, well… they work for me, and I hope they’ve worked for everyone who has spent the time to read my rantings, of nothing more than a band, and their songs.

Funny how so often my life parallels the songs these guys wrote. If I didn’t know the truth, I’d say I know these guys well. Truth is, I’m just an old kid who liked a band, maybe more than some would say is healthy. But as you have read, these guys wrote “The Handbook”, I just tried to pay attention. It’s ironic, in such a non surprising way, that while I wrote this, I was once again was packing the pick up truck, as I’ve done no less than 35 times in my life, and actually moved as many times as I am years old. Each time getting further away… Not always by choice, not always by lack of choice… But this time literally right on the very edge of town.

I’ve given you all a peek into their lives and mine, and how they have intersected at times. Maybe it’ll become a book someday.

Then again…

But I want to say thanks to everyone who took the time to read these, with some special thanks to Natalya for allowing me an International Forum to just write. I also want to thank Kary, and Karen, and Jamie, and Rose, and Johnny, and Wanda, and Kim, for allowing me to publish these in their fantastic, and maybe the best FB Group site out there, We AeroNuts Love Aerosmith.  I also want to say thanks again to my wife Mary, and my daughter Natalie, for putting up with my constant typing… It’s over. And last, to all my other friends who have indulged me with their patience over the years.

Yesterday I gave you a song that I related to as the blood that flows through my veins, the air that I breathe… Today, in this version, in this form, This song defines my spirit, it defines my soul… It’s the same sound, the same banging on Joey’s drums, the same delicate, and yet driving guitars, the same lyrical symphony that Steven sings into my ears, as I get when I’m chasing waterfalls in Yosemite, and other parts of the Sierras… This is my number 1.  I hope you like it.

It was a fantastic show! How could ity not be? They’re just that good!…

The following is a video I made of my Number 1.
Remember; sometimes you can choose an alternate ending… Next week, it could all change…

“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…”

This is; “Movin’ Out” Alternate Version

A Night in Heavenly Valley July 3rd, 2015

July 2nd 2015

Upon checking into our room at the Station House Inn, in South lake Tahoe, we truly found that this little 3 day/2 night ride was in need to be savored, every little sip, like a cold Pyramid Beer on a Hot Summer’s day. The room was awesome! Small, but definitely a few stars more than Mary and I are used too. A welcome sight for sure… And a hot summer’s day it was, with unusually high temps for Tahoe in the high 80s & low 90s, guess I won’t need my Aero Sweatshirt tomorrow night… Continue reading A Night in Heavenly Valley July 3rd, 2015

The meaning behind the pictures…

10176241_10204287062771084_1406750803647615292_n

The following is a letter I handed to Joe, along with a few other writings… The discussion you see the pics, is this letter…

October 16th, 2014

Joe;

I hope you don’t mind…
I’m sure you get millions of people who just want your attention for a bit, and that’s hard. Yeah, I’m a huge fan, but I also have tremendous respect for your privacy, and private life. I don’t want to take superficial time for my own joy. So with that said, I just wanted to give you a few things. Keep them, share them, toss them, whatever you wish, I just ask if you wouldn’t mind taking a look.

10721072_930577843622263_10741800112_n

The picture is from a hiking trip that my, 17 year old daughter, Natalie and I took this summer, just outside of Yosemite. It’s close to where we live. We do these things a lot. The point of the picture is the lyrics on it. At one time in my early life, these lyrics meant exactly what they were written about. Now later in life though, they mean something entirely different… I can appreciate where you’ve been, and better… where you’ve been since.
Continue reading The meaning behind the pictures…

Joe Perry of Aerosmith

“I hope it’s entertaining at the least,” says legendary Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry of his memoir Rocks: My Life in and out of Aerosmith. [Amazon/Kindle or iTunes Books]

“Entertaining” is an understatement though. The book is downright riveting. In many ways, it reflects his legendary six-string style, bouncing back and forth between unbelievable and exhilarating and striking and soulful. Perry literally brings readers along on the roller coaster that has been his journey, and it makes for a thrilling read.

In this exclusive interview with ARTISTdirect.com editor in chief Rick Florino, Joe Perry talks Rocks and so much more. Continue reading Joe Perry of Aerosmith

Joe Perry: the Beatweek interview – Aerosmith, his new memoir Rocks, and life lessons

“I’d still be a rocker,” says Joe Perry when asked about what might have been. But the Aerosmith guitarist reveals that he flirted early on with becoming a marine biologist instead. His new memoir is called Rocks, and it’s a candid glimpse into his childhood, the ups and downs of his band, and what he’s learned from it. Joe talks about all of the above in our Beatweek interview.

Continue reading Joe Perry: the Beatweek interview – Aerosmith, his new memoir Rocks, and life lessons

Joe Perry on the Yardbirds’ twin-guitar attack: ‘That was proto-Aerosmith’

Aerosmith’s familiar twin-guitar attack was borne out of a moment of awe for a young Joe Perry — though it came during a 1966 murder-mystery film, rather than a concert. Continue reading Joe Perry on the Yardbirds’ twin-guitar attack: ‘That was proto-Aerosmith’

‘Aerosmith Rocks Donington 2014’ Trailer


Get theater & showtime information

Relive Aerosmith’s legendary performance captured live from the Download Festival in Donington Park, England on June 15, 2014 in ‘Aerosmith Rocks Donington 2014.’ Don’t miss this one-night only event coming to select U.S. cinemas! Continue reading ‘Aerosmith Rocks Donington 2014’ Trailer

Joe Perry Interview: Aerosmith Guitarist Talks Guitars, Gear & More

He wanted to be a marine biologist, like his hero Jacques Cousteau, but got sidetracked playing guitar. That was good for us, and it didn’t turn out too bad for Joe Perry either. At this point, it’s been 40-plus years of kick-ass music with “America’s Greatest Rock and Roll Band,” as Aerosmith has been called, and with his occasional forays down the solo path.

How can you quantify the impact Perry has had on the rock guitar world? Aerosmith has sold more than 150 million albums worldwide – more than 70 million in the U.S. alone. Is there anyone out there who hasn’t heard or learned to play Joe’s iconic riff in “Walk This Way” yet? Well, maybe Kanye West’s fans, but not too many others.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer made the rounds recently to promote his new autobiography, “Rocks: My Life In and Out of Aerosmith,” which surprises with its honesty, and its insight into the mind of both the young Joe Perry – the potential scientist – and the Joe Perry of today – the family man who has somewhat quietly been married to the same pretty girl for 30 years.

Oh, and of course there’s all the classic stories about the making of some of rock’s most revered albums, and the open discussion about the decades of craziness that have been his life on tour as one-half of the “Toxic Twins,” as he and partner-in-crime Steven Tyler were often referred. Certainly there’s no shortage of sex and drugs to go with the rock and roll in Perry’s excellent memoir.

When his publicist contacted me to set up the interview, I was told I had 20 minutes, and was given a list of “talking points,” all of which centered around a section of the book. But when Perry called at the end of what had already been a long day of interviews, he sounded relaxed, and when the conversation turned to guitars, he was in no hurry to end the call.

In our hour-plus conversation we talked about everything from how his bandmates responded to his book, to his early love of the water, to his relationships with Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page. But Joe really opened up when the discussion turned to effects pedals – he loves to check out new pedals and is on an endless search – and guitars new and old, including plenty of boutique dealers and lesser-known brands that are among his favorites.

And when we hit on amps and mics and live sound and recording techniques, Perry was eager to share, full of details, and seemed to really be in his element. Here’s how our conversation went: Continue reading Joe Perry Interview: Aerosmith Guitarist Talks Guitars, Gear & More

AEROSMITH’S DONINGTON CONCERT HEADED TO MOVIE THEATRES

‘Aerosmith Rocks Donington 2014,’ a film that documents the band’s performance at last year’s Download Festival, will be shown in theaters nationwide next month. Although nothing has been confirmed, it is expected that the film will be released on DVD on a later date. Continue reading AEROSMITH’S DONINGTON CONCERT HEADED TO MOVIE THEATRES