I won’t be choosy
long as I get a view of a bloozy
Still has enough heart to be in the Top 20.
Take me back to Bennett Valley (Santa Rosa, CA)… 1976 (like I said earlier, this was my discovery year). My, soon to be Step Brother Ronnie, who lived in an apartment with his brother Kenny, down on Maher Dr., across Yulupa Dr. from where I lived with my dad (at the time), two of my sisters, and a brother, in the “Bennett Valley Apartments“. There are a few people who might remember these days, and maybe even my early obsession with the Boys from Boston. You know who you are…
Ronnie introduced me to a sound… a “feel”, that was so uniquely American, so Rock N Roll, so raw, so fresh… this wasn’t the delta sounds of CCR, or the now very commonly known, sounds of Southern Rock, or the British tribute to the blues sounds of Zeppelin, or the Stones, nor was it the beautiful harmonies, yet wimpy sounds of The Eagles, or the wholesome sounds of the Doobies. This was new! It had an edge! It was “real” in every sense of the word!
It was energy in sound! Only AC/DC at the time had the same consistent edge, but these guys had meaning, and more fluid talent, with the lyrical genius of a Jagger and Richards, and the audacious and unrestrained energy of The Who, yet as American as anyone could wish it to be. It was a blend of all of the above with a little bluegrass, and funk, and soul thrown all together to make a sound so very different. This was not the ‘gimmick rock” of the age. This was not Gary Glitterer, or David Bowie, this was not KISS in full make up, or the New York Dolls. This was; “In Your Face”, “Take it, or Fucking Leave it” Rock n Roll! This was Aerosmith!
I would visit Ronnie quite a bit in the summer before my 10th grade year at Montgomery High School, my 1st year in Santa Rosa. Once again without a clue, in my short life already, of who my friends were going to be, or where I would fit in, and once again needing to prove myself to new people that I not only didn’t know, but for the most part, didn’t give two shits about knowing either… at least not yet anyway. You move 11 times in 14 years, two states, and 6 cities, and be the new kid in town / school 5 times between your 1st year in Junior High and your 1st year in High School, you kinda’ learn to just go with the flow.
With teenage adrenaline, and hormones flowing, you can’t help but search for something that is relatable, identifiable. I didn’t go looking for this band, in fact they weren’t that frickin’ popular out here in the west. But These Guys… These Guys spoke to me! And Ronnie helped translate what they were saying. Lot’s of pot, good pot! Lot’s of beer and whiskey, and other things that I won’t get into, created a definition of understanding that was not just “Sex, Drugs, and Rock n Roll”… but it certainly was the first chapter of The Handbook of my life, with a full dose of those three, just for good measure.
This song is deep with me, not only because it’s one of my first 5 real discoveries of the band, but the relation to it was spot on. As I was saying earlier, a 14 year old kid, who not only needed some friends in another new town, but damn… a girlfriend would be cool too! Someone who had a bit of floozy, but who could also stand up… I also knew, even way back then, that I would not be an easy guy to be with. A very complicated boy, who could never define the differences between need, and desire, and want, and satisfaction, yet very simplistic in what appeals to him.
Something many, many girls would find out along the way… and something very few among them would be willing to understand.
It’s weird in a way… a desire to have love, but then, “leave me the fuck alone!” Someone who would be cool enough to be happy with “what is”, rather than want something “that isn’t”. Unknown to me at the time, but then again… absolutely known, I was gonna’ lead a new life from these years forward.
No more silver spoons, only “sporks”. No more nice dishes, just paper plates, or the dishes someone was getting rid of because they were broken or chipped, and nothing matched. No more new clothes, no more new shoes, no more dental check ups, no more doctor’s appointments. There wasn’t gonna be any car daddy would buy. Hell, there wasn’t even any bread that daddy bought. Picked up on one side of the tracks, and dropped off on the other, and I certainly wouldn’t mind if I found a girl of the same background.
In a matter of months, I would find out what it truly means to be alone. Alone at 15 years old… It would be cool to meet some friends made of the same “steel” too, and a woman who could handle the road I would follow. It would take another 15 years to know her, and maybe another 15 years after that to realize I had already found her.
This song was supposed to be a hit in ’73. It was put out, as the B side single, opposite of “Dream On”. Who knew? Written by Tyler, and Steven Emsack, who was a friend of Tyler’s back in his days with William Proud, also one of Aerosmith’s 1st roadies.
John Mellencamp’s “I Need a Lover” is kind of written in the same vain as this one. Maybe that’s why I liked that one so much also. Such an upbeat song, the song is sung from someone who is so alone, yet not at all lonely. He knows who, and what he wants, but not in the sense of wanting too much.
One of my first favorites! That early backbeat Aerosmith rhythm with dueling guitars, and a raspy personal voice. A voice that sings WITH the guitar, on the guitar.
Wiki says ; “they haven’t played this song since 1988, but that’s not true, it was played on the “Get A Grip Tour” in 1993-1995. But I also know they played 102 different songs on that tour, and it was by far the best concert I’ve ever seen in my life! Although I did get to see a few of my other Top 20 favorite songs during that tour, along with the first known live performance of “Stop Messin’ Round”, but alas, I didn’t hear this.
Brad, when interviewed by rockcellarmagazine.com for the “Rock For The Rising Sun Tour” was asked; Which songs from their early career he would like to play? His answer;
“Yeah, there’s some. We talk about those kinds of things, but we still haven’t pulled them out of the freezer yet (laughing). We play the song “Somebody” from our first album. We always do it in rehearsal and it just kicks ass! But it never makes it to the stage. I think we’ll continue to pull out more obscure songs because it’s a lot of fun to play them. But a lot of times it’s difficult because you go; ‘Oh my god, I haven’t played that one in awhile, how does that one go? (laughing)…”
I hope they remember how this one goes. My life just may be complete if I see this one live before I leave this earth… (As if there’s another earth?)
If you’re an old soldier of The Blue Army, if you are of the ilk of Blue Army, whether you are 63, or 24, this one starts my Top 20. This is the boys from New Hampsha’! This is the boys from 1325! This is Nipmuc High School! This is the band and the beginnings, the infancy of the greatest rock n roll band in history!
I sure hope you like this one…
Enjoy the studio version, really is the best anyway.
“Good Lord send me… good Lord mend me
Send me down someone for me
Said I won’t be choosy, you could send me a floozy
Send me anybody ya please…”
This is; “Somebody”