NUMBER 71 – From What I’ve Seen, If You Have the Money, You don’t Need the Character…”

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And all that you do is nothing,
except an empty shoe

Close call between this one and “Crash”.

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

And for this book “Baby Please Don’t Go” was close to losing its spot to this one, but Fuckin’ A, if that one didn’t hit the spot!

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

But this 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 – From What I’ve Seen, If You Have the Money, You don’t Need the Character…”

HONORABLE MENTION – Creme de Gardenia, Drop Dead Gorgeous

Mike 2204 (19)

How do you write about a song that
no one liked?

How do you like a song from an album
that the leader of the band dissed so badly

Look… I like what I like. Maybe it’s Joe taking center stage, maybe it’s Steven’s awesome back up vocals, maybe there’s no real reason at all…

Even though the album debuted at #2, with almost a ¼ million copies in the 1st week, it doesn’t seem like too many people liked it. Not even Joe.

Joe said;
I don’t think we’ve made a decent album in years. Just Push Play is my least favorite. When we recorded it there was never a point where all five members were in the room at the same time and Aerosmith’s major strength is playing together. It was a learning experience for me: it showed me how NOT to make an “Aerosmith” record.

Stephen Erlewine, who has never been kind to the boys from New Hampsha’ didn’t quite know what to say, which didn’t help, calling it their best work since “PUMP”, but then critiqued them for “Not acting their age”…  Then in classic Erlewine fashion he pulls the Jagger/Richards card and compares their first production under the name “The Boneyard Boys” to Mick and Keith’s “The Glimmer Twins”. The man just can’t get out of his own box.

Others, like Blender mag, along with a few others basically tore it up. But the worst was; Darryl Stredan who said; “They’re not a band anymore, they’re a marketing company, and they should just stop producing new music.” Shit even UltimateClassicRock.com ranks the album the 14th worst Aerosmith album out of 15, but then they ranked Nine Lives 15th worst, so…? And a lot of these guys said Nine Lives was worse… What the fuck??? Is it just me?

The song itself was at the very bottom of all critiques of the album, so I guess I’m pretty alone here, but I love the psychedelic mood of it, and hell I hated psychedelic back in the day… go figure. I know the whole album consisted of trying new things and new songs and new sounds, maybe that’s why I like it. These guys never sold out. They just kept creating new stuff.

Rolling Stone, of all the mags! Highly unusual, they liked it… they had really good things to say about the album… maybe not this song, but… Then again, in true Rolling Stone fashion, they slammed it at the end and said Aerosmith hadn’t made a good record since ’76.

Maybe they called on Frederickson, and Hudson a bit too much on this one as they co-wrote almost the entire album…

Maybe it’s shit like this; for an Old Blue Army hormone crazed 16 year old dude:

“Rolling Stone:
New century, same old Aerosmith. Same five guys. Same iron-boned riffs and crack-the-sky choruses. Same dripping-body-juice metaphors too, like this fragrant spoonful from “Drop Dead Gorgeous,” on the band’s thirteenth studio album, Just Push Play: “Creme de gardenia/And black vaseline . . . She’s tasting like cherries/Sweet love’s grenadine.”

There’s a lot more really good things rolling stone wrote, but I’ll leave that for ya’ll to look up on your own, and just say this;

It makes me listen….

Joey liked… I liked it…

And if you don’t like it, well a lot of people weren’t thrilled with the 90s. Besides, we’re just starting out here…

I love Joe’s vocals, and the impact of Joey’s beats on this one. Steven gives a whole ‘nother dimension as a “Back Up” singer., and actually trades lead. Very, very unique for these guys…

“sss…. sweet almond eyes just to see and be seen
She’s naturally drop dead gorgeous
She tasting like cherries sweet love’s grenadine
She’s naturally drop dead gorgeous
Makes love like a rabbit to my velveteen
She’s naturally drop dead gorgeous
A ten with a smile like a young Norma Jean
She’s naturally drop dead gorgeous… gorgeous…”

This is “Drop Dead Gorgeous”


 

NUMBER 100 – HOW MUCH DO YOU NEED TO FILL YOUR WANT?

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Number 100
Be careful what, and who you adore,
There’s always a trap under the floor…

From Joe’s admissions… at least publicly, this was one was written almost 20 years ago. It’s his angst on paper, in sound, in melody of those who stole the golden egg, so many years ago… So why now, on this last album? Why in 2012 does it make a record?

Is it really about all the money that they didn’t get so many years ago? Is it really about all the bad deals along the way? Is about the royalties never paid? Money owed, and bridges burned?… Money is always personal. You can call it business all you want, but when you’re in a man’s wallet, you’re in his pants, and that’s pretty fucking personal.

In an Interview, with Rolling Stone’s Steve Apelleford, in November of 2012, Joe said:;
“It’s a short bit of angst and pissed-off-ness about these people that ripped us off forever. The funny thing is that 20 years later, there’s a whole new batch of people I’m pissed off at. The lyrics still work.”…

As a fan, I can’t help but wonder after so many years, and so much success… of course this is before Joe’s book, “Rocks” hit the shelves, and I have to ask; “Joe who are you ‘Still’ pissed off at? You have a wonderful family. You’re immensely successful, as a member Hall of Fame band and most successful American band in history; Aerosmith. You’re a partner of a Hall of fame song writing duo. You’re renowned world wide as a solo, and honorary guitarist. You have adorning fans in multiple countries. You have made the money needed to set up your family for generations to come, Shit dude, you even had a Kick Ass BBQ Sauce line, that you gifted to ypour son Aaron… So what is it Joe? Wait…  ‘Who’ still pisses you off? Or was it a moment in time? A moment in recent time?

Look, I know it’s my “Fan’s disease to speculate your ass”, but damn if this one doesn’t ring of the phrase; “there’s a lot goin’ there!” Continue reading NUMBER 100 – HOW MUCH DO YOU NEED TO FILL YOUR WANT?

NUMBER 99 – HELLO… IS ANYBODY THERE?

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Number 99
Pick Up That Jug Over there, and Just Blow…

The song is as old as the hills… Sung from the ridges and valleys of the Appalachians, to the community gospel churches of the Mid West’s Evangelicals, to the Baptist Houses of Fury in the Great South and California’s Southern Central Valley…

Or at least when you hear it, it has that kind of feel to It., but for all I know, Mississippi Fred McDowell wrote it, back in the 60s

It’s been done in Bluegrass style, it’s been done in Country, it’s been done in gospel, it’s been done in Evangelical style, but I think Aerosmith does the song, and Mississippi Fred justice and honor by staying with the “Hill Country Blues” style of their version. This is the same music that goes back to what we saw as kids in cartoons, and books in the 60’s and 70’s. It’s the music that came from the porches of Appalachians, just blowin’ into empty bottles and jugs, playing percussion on chairs, hittin’ tin cans with spoons, all of it coming from the “feel”, from the emotion. Yeah it’s come a long way since then, but make no mistake, that’s what this is.

For that reason alone, I can respect what the boys are doing, but more than just a cultural type of music, they honor one of the best Blues Musicians of days gone by. Like I said, so many have done the song, Ry Crooder, The Staple Singers, and many, many others, both known and unknown, but I think it’s pretty special when these guys can keep the song close to it’s roots, and yet, give it that Aerosmith touch and feel, with Brad and Tom keeping rhythm, they keep it pretty damn real, with Joe using an old school guitar from his collection. Playing with finger picks, it comes out so clean! Just pickin’ and slidin’!

With a Blues/Gospel song like this, Aerosmith brings in the multi talented Tracy Bonham to give it that Hill Country sound via her perfect violin collaboration with Joe’s picking. Her deep and strong soulful voice is absolute matrimony to where Steven reaches so deep to find the feel of this song. They trade Lead perfectly. Not as a duo, but shared. Recorded at Steven’s barn, called the Briar Patch, it becomes a family affair, by bringing Jack back in to help produce and direct.

Jack’s touch to the band, and assistance to what they’re trying to do here, is like putting on an old sweatshirt. It’s comfortable, warm, and it fits. With Joey and Chelsea, singing background, it kinda’ says what the song’s all about. It’s about support. It’s about what is close to you. It’s about believing, it’s about faith in what you love.

The video below is from the making of “Bobo”, pretty sure this was in Joe’s basement, also with Mia singing back up in it, but it’s not the finished version. The next one down is from the album. A little more pronounced lead-ins from back up vocals, and much stronger Tracy. I love this song primarily because it’s something that’s felt. It’s a vibe that can be spread, understood by many. It’s not culturally specific. Yes the song’s main character is the Lord and Savior, but I think it’s about more than that. It’s says to all, just “go get it”…

Joe’s basement

The Briar Patch

Mississippi Fred McDowell

NUMBER 98 – SLEAZE IN SOUND…

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“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!

-Joe Perry

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”

Number 92 – No Apprehension, to Give my Attention to a Song Ready to Receive a Pension

Some songs make onto lists like these, even though, in my opinion, they probably shouldn’t make it.. At least not anymore anyway. Some songs should probably just fade away into retirement, ride off into the sunset… You know, like that old Cowboy from days of old…. Maybe just bring it out once in a great while for a special live event. Or maybe hand it off to a newer group trying to find their way. I mean after all, that’s how this 1 got here in the first place. Continue reading Number 92 – No Apprehension, to Give my Attention to a Song Ready to Receive a Pension

Number 89 – What a mess! What a “Hot Fucking Mess”!

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Like Liquid Sugar… Pour It On!

And this is an awesome spot for it!

I’m not gonna put much down on this, just because of the time of day, but damn if this don’t deserve a spot. Maybe for nothin’ more than “another” defining Aerosmith song! This song is all about “sliding’, and ‘slipping”, and “moaning” ‘licks”… on guitars…

Where was your head goin’? Ah ha!!!! And of course, that signature IN YOUR FACE sexual innuendo to the “Umpth” degree!

Can’t believe anyone could ever leave this one out of a list like this. Maybe it was an Honorable Mention once, but with my personality… This one should be obvious…

Let’s go back to before the split…

Let’s go back to 1979. Let’s go back to High School… You knew her! I knew her… And I did everything I could to know her better, ‘deeper”. A few come to mind with this song, but I’ll just remember back to Kelly Fleer (the name is changed to protect the guilty)… Man O’ Man what a blast that girl was!!! And so very dangerous too….  Even at the very young age of what, 15? My kinda girl! At least for few months…

I met Kelly my senior year in high school, Santa Rosa, CA 1979, I think… Not even sure how, or when I met her, but it’s certain I’ll never forget her. Maybe it was one of the many parties I had at my apartment, which I shared with Mitch and Kenny and Kenny’s bullshit-bitch girlfriend, back then. Yeah, I was in High school and lived on my own. Not sure that was ever the right way to grow up, but there were plenty of things that were right about it. And Kelly was one of them. Continue reading Number 89 – What a mess! What a “Hot Fucking Mess”!

Number 86 – Are You Payin’, or Are You Chargin’? Or Are You Just Rakin’ in The Profits?

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Depends on your P.O.V. I guess, but If you know what the song’s about you might just change your opinion…

Here we have another “last choice” of songs to make it onto vinyl.

This one’s from their first 2nd chance.

You spend enough time in “Hell’s Kitchen”, or San Francisco’s Tenderloin District, you’re bound to take in some of the sights. Steven has never hidden his affection for the seedy side of life. Seedy in some people’s eyes, savory in others. Like I said, it depends on your POV. Steven has always been kindred to the hookers who give a lot, but don’t ask for much. Maybe because of the real time he’s spent with those trying to survive, he gets their plight without judgment. I’m not sure my opinions differ much either. I mean for a large part of my life, it seemed like just as honorable a profession as so many others who might wear a suit and tie, or even a uniform and a badge. Continue reading Number 86 – Are You Payin’, or Are You Chargin’? Or Are You Just Rakin’ in The Profits?

Number 85 – Fun While It Lasted, But I’m Kinda’ Hopin’, Were Past It…

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Son, you’re at ‘No’ right now, it can’t get any worse, but just imagine where it could go from there…”

There’s only a couple reasons why I have this one higher than “Thighs”, and none of them are because I think it’s a better song. Some of the reasons may have to do with what this song did for the band, or any of the other reasons might be because there’s no way it can be misinterpreted. Maybe because of the raunchy sophomoric style in which it’s written but, make no mistake about it, this is the real deal.

Any guy out there that has a past, worth writing about, even if it should never be published, or even if it won’t be read by anyone, knows this story… Maybe not the same exact details, but it might not necessarily be the elevator… It could have been the restaurant, the theater, the city park… Now of course, there’s has to be a girl, a woman, or ‘women’ that were ready, willing, and able to play the part. I mean it really does help. And “thank god for her!” the trick is finding that girl, and then knowing she’s all for it, and then some… Timing is everything… Continue reading Number 85 – Fun While It Lasted, But I’m Kinda’ Hopin’, Were Past It…

NUMBER 84 – How Much Are You Willing to Give?

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Went lookin’ the hive
And all I found was something a bit contrived,
But in my opinion, worth the drive

Stay with me here…

I had a hard time with 84… I looked deep, for something that fits. There aren’t many velvet gloves at this end of the hit list. I thought about “Wham Bam”, but speaking of contrived… Then I thought more… and in order to be me, as contrary as my personality is at times, I thought it’s best to be real, more than obscure… Not that obscurity isn’t known to me, or these guys. We both know the term, and do our best to stay away from it. So rather than pull an “out-take” like “Ain’t Enough”, I thought this might be a good spot for a change of pace like “Painted On My Heart”. Besides, I really do like the song more than most of what’s below it…

We all, remember our 1st kiss, at 9 years old… or 16, or 32 whatever works for you. But my point is, even if the 1st kiss you got was with your 12th boyfriend or 1st girlfriend, it’s a kiss that leaves a mark. Sometimes it’s a good mark, sometimes it’s a bad mark, but the good or bad isn’t the point. The point is that, there are people throughout our lives that make an impression. An impression that we look back on, and wonder what course might have been taken, if we had never met her, or him. Or, what course would life have taken if they were the last one, and even better yet, when they are the last one… I think Kary can relate to that last thought.

This one is difficult to write, because undoubtedly, it will create a sense of wonder for many. It’s not meant, for me at least, to be as melancholy as the song actually is. I decided to look at it from a different view. To hear it in the sense that nothing invested is ever wasted. At this stage of my life, I try to look at life’s loves as part of the ‘Handbook”. To look at them, as the very make up of who we are. Some people get hurt by past relationships, I try my best, as my daughter Cristina and I have talked often, to have a different thought… That is to be proud of how far you were willing to go, how much you were willing to give, and what someone was willing to give you. And with that, to welcome where you currently are. To hold onto that, if nothing else…

We all look back, we all wonder… And we all smile. The comfort is in knowing, and giving your love to the one you’ve chosen. And if you’ve chosen not to love again, then do it with the pride that it was your decision to make, but in no way regret where you were capable of going. Without that courage, what would you know?

Aerosmith recorded a version of the song for the movie Gone In 60 Seconds. There haven’t been many full out-take sessions that have been either released or discovered, or bootlegged from these guys. There’s been a ton of fakes, but only a few of the real thing. This one was released from the 2002 Maui sessions for the movie, along with “Oxygen”, which isn’t bad either, but maybe just a bit too much “Girls Of Summer:” I guess the producer wasn’t sold on the band’s effort. Not saying it was a mistake, just sayin’…. Whatever, they didn’t write it anyway. This was another Diane Warren, tear puller. So, with all of that said, I can’t get totally behind a song that the band never got totally behind. Besides doesn’t Miss Warren already get enough attention?

Fuck it, after all that, let’s go get another #84!!! I just can’t do “Painted on my Heart” here…

I can’t find much on this one, so I’m just gonna’ “Let The Music Do The Talkin’”
I love the feel…

I’d like to say; the 1st time I heard this was “Day on The Green” in Oakland, CA in 1978, but I couldn’t even remember my name that day… so let’s just go with Pandora’s Box, and to be honest, it wasn’t my “thang” when I did hear it. At least not for awhile, but being the “seasoned” fan that I am, and a life long Blue Army Soldier, Sometimes you have to let it bleed in. I get it. This is just who they are in their blood. It’s where they came from.

First recorded by Otis Rush in ’58 as one of those early Chicago Blues records, it lives on with true Blues musicians like John Mayhall & The Bluesbreakers, which of course Joe, Brad, and Steven give their hearts, and yes… their souls too.

The original, Otis Rush version actually has, of all people, Ike Turner as the 2nd guitarist… hmph, imagine that! And then, one of their idols, especially Joe… Peter Green says a lot of his influences came from this song, and used the same groove to write the classic “Black Magic Woman

Gary Moore, and Stevie Ray Vaughn are two of the better performers I’ve heard do this one, and this may not be the best version of the song I’ve ever heard, but I like it right here at 84. I like that Aerosmith knows who they are, and where they came from… this is the “tete” they were weened on?

Anyway back to this one… I hope you like it. I believe that the loves of our lives, are the bricks that built the houses that hold our hearts now.

Went lookin’ the hive
And all I found was something a bit contrived,
But in my opinion, worth the drive

Hope you like it
This is “All Your Lovin’