Number 58 – Bitter Sweet Toxic Love Child

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Come on, have a little class…
If you wanna’ drink from my glass…

I may be committing more Aerosmith sacrilege here once again, but let’s remember whose book this is. I’m just playing with you guys with that statement… I would never argue anyone else’s list, but it would be just that; “their list”.  I’m not saying it’s not a great song, and I can certainly understand it being in somebody else’s top 50 or top 10. Just not mine, maybe because of where I’ve lived for the last 20 years… The local Classic Rock radio station only has one continuous tape of maybe 100 total songs. So yeah, this one, Dream On and Train, are all you really ever hear from this group, at least where I live. So maybe with me, it’s just because of an imposed lack of depth. However, I definitely respect it.

What do you say about a song that is the essence of the toxicity of the band that created it? The song itself is a four minute biography of how it split the band. Sure it happened 4 years after the song was born, but the seeds of destruction were already sown. Everything I’m saying has been said before. Except maybe my personal view, which is; “This song is the Toxic Love Child of the all the principals that who was Aerosmith and their inner circle at the time…”

Okay here we go; this song goes back to before there was an Aerosmith. No it wasn’t written that long ago, but the content was there over five years time. Let’s go back to Lake Sunapee ’70, ’71, and a few characters go back even further. And my hunch is, they go deeper. There were a few different people involved in the making of the song. A very young adolescent Steven Tyler knew this girl from the summers he spent at Trowrico, who was pretty darn close to the definition of “Drop Dead Gorgeous”, even as a very young girl. Of course she didn’t give Steven the time of day, as he was pretty much an awkward, and kind of a strange teenager. At least that’s what’s been said publicly, and in print. However, some of us who follow these guys a bit closer than what might be deemed healthy, have a different opinion on that. But as is written, Steven did have a huge crush on that girl. (You can only know this by reading between the lines of all the books written)

Over time Steven and Joe met at a burger joint Joe was working at, in the resort town of Lake Sunapee. Joe flippin’ burgers, and Steven and a few of his buddies eating them, as well as throwing them around the restaurant during food fights. Over more time, Steven made his way down to see The Jam Band play, really more to see Elyssa than to see Joe, but never-the-less this was Steven’s first Joe Perry experience in musical form. and an experience it was!

What hasn’t been written, and is pure speculation on my part, as well as others, but again is that this girl and Steven knew each other a little more intimately than has ever been told, I’m sure out of respect for all involved. Joe likens the previous friendship of Steven and Elyssa, to a kind of “Kissing Cousins” relationship. Maybe that’s true, I don’t really know. My thoughts are though; Yeah exactly that, and then some. Some of us learn about girls and sexuality at a very young age, some of us way younger than what would be considered the norm. We discover things we can’t really comprehend at such an age, but damned if presented the opportunity, we won’t try. My own belief in life, is that this isn’t because two kids are perhaps left alone together too long without parental supervision, it’s a lot more simple than that. It’s my belief that extremely sexual and sensual people are born that way, and when two of them meet, no matter the age or comprehension, they will explore who they truly are.

With those early lessons, come confusion and thoughts of love before you even know what love is enter your mind, but the aftermath of those types of “Discovery Years”, for lack of a better description is what becomes the strong sometimes lifelong connection. No, it may never be the boyfriend – girlfriend connection that we think could have and often think should have happened, but none-the-less a lifelong connection is created. However, without having the experience and knowledge of what to do with that discovery, where to go with it, sometimes a tension is created that has far reaching effects onto other people and even into others’ own personal relationships. And it’s all because of an innocent discovery made by two kids with curious minds, left alone for awhile, with nothing better to do. This strange connection would later play a key part in the making of the song in later years, and the breaking of a band.

Steven saw Joe on stage, and even then at a very young age, he could see the Rock Star in Joe, that Steven so desperately wanted to be. He saw his ticket, so to speak. He also saw this gorgeous girl in the front row, The same girl he’s known so long, but truly really never knew, and yet wanted too, especially now in later teenage years. She was there by the way, to see nobody else but Joe. This was a strange dynamic for Steven to process. Steven wanted to be a star in his own right for many reasons, but in all truth, maybe even more than fame itself, he wanted the attention from the girls. And this girl in particular was perhaps the girl he wanted the most attention from at that moment in time. So, you can see here, that even before the “Toxic Twins” were as close as brothers could be, there was already a dynamic created of envy, of jealousy, respect, appreciation, and competition. There was a lot goin’ on there!

Two things were brewing in Steven’s mind. First, he pretty much knew right away that if the two of them, he and Joe, got together,  they would “Make It”. The second, although there was envy for Joe having the attention of the girl he had a crush on so bad, it wasn’t so much the girl, as it was Joe was the Rock Star that Steven wanted to be. But at the time, the egos were bigger than the truth. Steven’s crush on Elyssa turned into jealousy and hatred over the next five years.

After some time away, even abroad chasing other Rock gods of the era, Elyssa came back to New England and of course re-grouped with people she’s known her whole life. Steven being one of those people, she came to know Joe a little better too. Now Joe at the time was making his way through the life as a young rock star, albeit not well known, he definitely was starting to experience the benefits of female attraction to musicians. He’s even had time with a very famous celebrity of the era, Judy Carne, but that’s another story. After meeting Elyssa again, he also seemed to be experiencing some pretty strong attractions to this chick himself, but didn’t quite feel an invitation so to speak. Maybe because of Steven’s strange connection to her. To be honest, from all I’ve read and have seen over the years, I’m sure there were hundreds who felt the same way about Elyssa.

After some partying together of Joe, Steven, and Elyssa in the apartment Steven and Joe shared, it just happened that Elyssa wound up in Joe’s bed. I think it’s easy to say here, that Elyssa had an attraction to Joe since their early teens, but Elyssa always seemed to choose the guy who gave her the fastest track to financial security. Now this being the time between Aerosmith’s 1st album and their 2nd, it’s my thought that Elyssa allowed her attraction to Joe to gamble on future success. That next morning, to say Steven was surprised, and a little jealous would be an understatement. Now there is a few books on this story, so I’ll stop with the tangent there, and say it’s only given to provide basis.

Now it’s not quite that simple either. The life of Aerosmith as a band was nothing at the time the song was written, if not sex, drugs, rock and roll, but all the while, they were just 5 middle class 20 somethings who liked to have a good time. There were women everywhere anytime, anyplace. But for Joe, it was different; Joe’s personality was to be loyal to one woman, and that woman was Elyssa, his wife. Listen to “Lick and a Promise” again… The Rock Star of the band, the real star did not “play” with the rest of the band.

When you’re involved in guilty pleasures and indulgences, it’s always good to have your best friends around to tell you it’s okay. And it’s only natural that while your best friend (Joe), is going the other way, you question your friendship. And when you question your friendship, you create blame. Whether it was real, or contrived it didn’t matter. And now you bring cocaine and even harder drugs into it. Now your best friend is not only not partying with you anymore, he’s taking his drugs, AND his woman, THIS woman, the same woman Steven had a crush on since childhood, and just going the other way.

Yeah it’s true that there was a triangle, a “Toxic Triplets” so to speak, and later even a Pentagon of people involved in the lyrics of the song. But one thing I don’t think Elyssa Jerret gets enough credit for, is the support, encouragement, and confirmation that she gave Joe. Yes she was instrumental in helping Joe pursue a solo career but she was also instrumental in Joe becoming the talent that he is, although later, perhaps out of admission of a mistake,  confirmed that the band together, the five of them, is bigger than anything else. I know that Joe’s present wife Billie gets most of the credit for putting them back together. Maybe deservedly so, I don’t really know… but it’s my opinion that if they didn’t split, they would have just petered out, never knowing what they could have been.

So from a very complicated triangle of personalities to “locking the door with a chain”, to spilt milk, comes an anthem that describes the fiber of this band. The most ironic thing about the song is in its title, which so many casual fans just don’t get… It ain’t “Sweet” at all!

Over time and years, not unlike other songs, the song took on its own identity, with Tom’s signature Bass Line that gives the song its initial sexual and sensual appeal, along with Joe’s iconic Talk Box giving it a different dimension, and even further sensuality… Toss in Steven’s play on the “Vibraslap” almost as if you feel the electricity of a touch that will lead no where, except for “there”… And the Maracas that keep it going… But make no mistake about the true meaning of the song behind the sudden, and explosive sounds, not once, not twice, but 3 times, each time becoming more intense, to tell the story of seduction, illusion, betrayal, destruction, and eruption!… Each time becoming more, and more intensified.

The lyrics are so very profound. We’ve read and heard through our fandoms of certain celebrity bands who have used their own tumultuous lives to create masterpieces in music, ie Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Rumours’. And although Fleetwood Mac isn’t alone in this process, sometimes other band’s do the same, but with the brilliance of double entendres creating a masterpiece that can be interpreted in the vain in which it was written, or in fact a listener can create his own interpretation to mean what he or she needs it to mean. This song does both so very well.

Time and public demand would turn this song into what may very well be the 2nd or 3rd most identifiable song of the band’s more than 40 year career. Rightfully so, so simple and yet so very, very complex. But it’s more than just an iconic song for fans to hear and see in concert. This song, right here, as I said earlier is the band’s Toxic Love Child.

From it’s infancy in the 70’s creating tension between all principals involved in the birth of it, the raising of it, to it’s rebellious and often misunderstood adolescence of the 80’s, to it’s coming of age as a song that is so good, so powerful, from every member, to be a show closer in it’s adult years, as if a final statement is made. In essence this band presents the culmination of a lifelong relationship of 5 brothers and their families, through good times and bad, and it stands as strong as ever, more powerful than ever. They use it to close out concerts to show the audience, a song written about Toxicity, has matured into a song of pure strength, the song that tore a band apart, is the very song that binds them togetdownmloadher, stronger than ever. It exemplifies this band!

You can only understand this when you experience this Final Encore of today’s shows. They present to you, in a true vision of growth through sound, the soft beginnings of the song, it’s infancy of sorts, and yet a personality within that infant, which tells the listener this is a child of its own identity, its own destiny. You can feel its birth out of a smoldering toxic relationship, yet not a burning tension of sorts. An almost inquisitive sense of what its life will become, the music alone slowly climbs to a period of breaking free from all that binds, and keeps its roots together. During the show, close to the end of the song, you will experience Joe taking his child off into a corner as if giving it a final talk of fatherly advice, to be strong, to be heard, to be loud, to make a fucking statement! As he comes away from that corner, this song, this Toxic Child reaches full maturity as powerful as a song can possibly be. And when you hear it, when you feel it, when you experience this song live, it comes alive! You feel that this band, this family has sent their offspring into the world to make its own mark. That is Sweet Emotion!

The lyrics tell the stories of the arguments between Steven, Elyssa, Joe, and even all the others, and their wives. It tells the story of fame and fortune gone to their heads. It tells the stories of taking their stash into solitude rather than previously sharing between brothers. It tells the hidden story of intimate knowledge that Steven has of Elyssa, or maybe wishes he had, almost out of spite, yet disguised as any groupie in the crowd. But make no mistake, this song, this Toxic Love Child, has a personality all its own, and if you’re lucky enough to feel it, to get to know it in person, you will understand the respect and admiration it deserves, and when you do, you will be Professionally Rocked like never before!

Elyssa from the Days of Joe’s “Jam Band” at the Barn in the front row, and then so many shows along the way..…

“Standing in the front just a shaking your ass,
I’ll take ya’ back stage you could drink from my glass…”

This song is deep, deeper than you think.

This is “Sweet Emotion

Number 57 – Every Dog Has His Day

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Let’s get out of the gate,
Without the obligatory hate

New to the list, new to the book. Shouldn’t have taken this long…

During the making of, in my opinion, one of the best albums they’ve made, Joe told MTV News; “I have a lot of motorized vehicles and plenty of firearms. It was a good time.”

Well I guess those types of things help when you have 5 guys together for awhile in a basement, some with OCD, Some with ADHD, and one with LSD.

Joe goes on to tell MTV News about how it came to be, albeit I’m sure something like this record had been in the processes and desires for quite some time. Joe remembers it like this;
“It’s kind of a response to what a lot of fans have been asking for …People come up and say, ’Wow, I like your new stuff, but when are you gonna’ make a record that’s really raw, and that sounds like the old Aerosmith?’ With this one, we tried to keep the songs more immediate and not really think about what’s on the charts. It was very reminiscent of the Rocks era.” “We wanted to do something we haven’t done before and that excites us. That’s what makes us want to do another record. Otherwise, we’d say, ’OK, we’ve done everything we can do, so why bother even going in again?

In my opinion, I think they accomplished exactly that. They found the “Raw” energy that is at the band’s core! No, not in genre, not even so much in sound, but just more of the “jamming” type of sound. It seems to me, they were able to reach into the glove box, and find the glove that fits them so well, with this album… It is the spark that ignites the engine. Without this type of energy, this feel, this groove, from vocals to guitar to drums to harmonica, without that, there is no point to jump off from. It’s this type of music, their understanding, their interpretation of the classics, and an even a new one that gives them the fire within to be creative.

In order to not only find, but keep that original “bite”, Jack was brought back into the studio… (well, Joe’s basement) to keep it simple, to capture the vibe they were looking for. Joey brought in his old little Ludwig drum kit, Joe and Brad also kept it simple with just a few instruments, along with Tom. Steven just a few acoustic panels, to reduce “sound escape”. Joe says; “
“We even did the guitar solos live and Steven was singing his ass off!
That is what you hear in this record. You hear them together!

With the title of the record originally starting off as a ST sophomoric, one-liner type joke, the guys thought it was funny, and all agreed. After all was said and done though, I think at least four of them maybe wish they had given it more thought. Personally, I love it! But that’s just me.

The album went on to reach some damn good commercial success though, reaching No. 5 on the Billboard Top 200.

The tour was absolute “COOL” in every sense of the word! Not sure if it was by design, to show the world, just how great and professional band they were, but going on tour with KISS, just cemented the notion, the conveyance from Aerosmith to; “Pay attention people, this is how you do it”… I almost felt sorry for Gene and Paul.

I think Joe Pereles may have had the best and most applicable quote in his review of the album for Blender magazine, “instead of making “respectable” cover versions, they make quite unrespectable cover versions…” I think the Key in that quote is the use of the prefix ”un” in front of the word “respectable”. This is key, in that the word “unrespectable” exemplifies the sex appeal of the album as more than  a tribute to the Blues artists of yesteryear, or even the amped up blues of the British invasion. It tells you a few things, Number one being that; No, it not disrespectful at all. That word doesn’t even enter the conversation, but the word used gives the listener a taste of what Aerosmith does. They give you the seedy side, the sleaze, if you please. And this song, this original done with respect to those before them, but true to that Aerosmith persona, that redolence, that flavor that is only theirs…

Let’s talk about number 57 though…

I think Joe, Brad and Joey get me hooked from the 1st note. Yeah it’s blues, but it’s more than that… it’s “BLOOZE”… And Tyler jumps right in with that unmistakable voice saying “Guess what, Kiss butt!… Eat what?”… It’s an attitude reminiscent, if not in sound, in style to Janis, to even Mick, but more than any other… to himself! This is Steven Tyler’s attitude, his personality coming out in sound…

I can just see the man saying; “Yeah, I’ll admit it! Shit Yeah, I’m missing you, but I’ll admit it with a snicker… You figure it the fuck out!”

The guitars and bass tell the story between the lyrics, they give the sense of stress, but stress with a grip… they are the fists hitting the table, they’re the slamming of the fridge, the kicking of the chair, and then they’re the soft admission of fault, and at the same time with that admission, the resolution that “it is, what it is”

The story is a man admitting how deep this shit is, and how toxic it’s been, but he wants more… he gambled, he lost, and she’s making him pay. She knows she’ll take him back, but he’s gonna’ beg for it. She knows he’ll stray again, but he wants to stay, and she will make him know it’s where he should be. But she also knows, she’s not just making him pay for this time, but for the times to come.

I think this song is right in line with Write Me, with Reefer Headed Woman, It’s Milk Cow, albeit a slower pace… Yeah, maybe this is what catches my attention. I hear the “raw”, I hear the “play”, I hear the good times, I “hear” the smiles… But what I hear most, deep inside a rockin blues tune, is the soulful vocals of a man who many thought at the time, was maybe on his way to The Farm. I hear 2 guitarists, as they always have speak to each other in emotion. They echo the singer’s key, they transfer a feeling of pleading, a feeling of weakness and yet desire…

In my opinion, The Boys not only captured the sound of The Blues, as we’ve come to know them, but also they transcended the raw almost organic, inexperienced sounds of 1973 into a sharper, cleaner, more impressive representation of who they are at their core, who they were in 1973.  This song takes you back, but in present form.

Not sure how many will agree with the placement here, but here’s my 57…

“How could a kiss like that knock me flat on my ass?
Heh hea…”

“Kiss butt… and guess what
Even double crossin’ dogs have their day… ha”

“Just like you knew I’d do
You made me trip into the grind…”

This is “The Grind”

Number 56 – She’s Got Some Spunk In Her Funk

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I love, LOVE, LOVE this song!!!!!!

You can search forever and just not come up with much of nothin’ on this song….

So, that leaves me with “me”. As you all well know by now, my takes are my takes. My parallels are my parallels, my opinions are mine…

“I look at the world through a different pair of sunglasses. I don’t ask that you buy the same pair, just take a minute to try ’em on and see how things look.”-moi

There’s no deep meaning here, just the boys havin’ fun with different influences and genres, along with some scat and rhymes, to come up with a song that I don’t think anyone really got when it first came out. During the ’77-’79 era, Disco, Boogie, R&B, and Funk were in their prime, and during these times, most people didn’t “multi-task”. In other words, you were either a fan of one genre, but not usually another, and if you were a “Rocker”, you just didn’t do Funk, or anything else for that matter. Kind of a shame when you think about it… Continue reading Number 56 – She’s Got Some Spunk In Her Funk

HM – It’s The Calm Before the Storm

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Honorable Mention

IT JUST IS…

Another song that just can’t find its way onto the Top 50, but absolutely is worth mentioning

There are no words
There’s nothing to say
It doesn’t have a spot in my countdown
It doesn’t have a place to be

It just is

It’s a feeling in sound
It’s the pause between exchanges in conversations
It’s not a good mood
It’s not bad…

It just is

It’s the exhaustion after what was
It’s the excitement before what will be
It’s a moment of brief thought
Thought not conveyed…

It just is

It’s the hello, but nothing else said
It’s so much said,
But maybe it should have just been hello…

It just is

It’s a glance on the street
It’s a glance caught…
It’s the calm before the storm…
It’s what’s left after the storm has passed

It’s the middle

I hope you like it
There’s really nothing to say

I love when Joe and tom do this one as a lead in to just about anything…

And Steven knows just what to add, almost nothing, but just enough…

Number 55 – “Rant and Rage”

Aerosmith Performs On NBC's "Today"

Bad to the bone ain’t worth a fuck
If you’re alone because you suck

“I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Ms. Lewinsky. I did not lie, and these allegations are false’
-Bill Clinton

Steven says; “Nine Lives was my rant, my rage”. He  also said that; “’Hole in my Soul’ puts into perspective, what it means to get laid somewhere else, besides where you should have, and how will kick back on you” “it’s often not what’s been said, but how you lived it”. He’s trying to tell the reader, that he truly sees a huge difference between “fucking, and sex”, between “making love” and “sex”. Sure ‘most’ men and women will SAY they see a difference… until the scenario enters their home. Then it’s as if all these worldly conversations never took place, men and women both. The reality is, that if you’re the one who sees a difference, where others don’t, the effects of what you just done, come down on somebody else… Truth!

”Number 56 was written by Steven, and Joe, and Glen Ballard, as were most of the songs on Nine Lives before Joe just got fed up with Glen, and booted him. The song was originally released as the first the single off the record in ’97. One those very “Aerosmith” rockin’ tunes without the metal… It has that hard-smooth, but thumping bass line, and hard hitting cans, along with a very up tempo track , which gives it mass appeal. It has a lot of the ‘GAG’ type resonance. The horns arrangement, which was actually written by Steven and David Campbell, partner perfectly with Joe’s very tight lead solos, and Tom’s bass line. Continue reading Number 55 – “Rant and Rage”

Number 54 – Careful Wit’ Those South Side Ladies

Mike 2204 (7)

Just a great song
Same day…
Different shit

This one actually climbed 4 spots from last year. Funny how these songs tend to come back around, and hit me again for the 1st time.

I can’t make this shit up, so I won’t. I’ll keep it brief and straight from the hip.

Typical of the Toxic Twins before they were toxic, the two would get together and come up with a song within minutes. Yep, that quick!… This one is the “same”… Joe sits down picks and slides a riff, and Steven says; “What was that, do that again”.., he scats, and that is that. A song is born. The song was consummated, and born within minutes.

As the story goes; while they were living on Beacon St., hangin’ out, Joe discovered the opening riff. He was still sitting on the amp playing with it, when Steven walked up and just started scatting some random words and sounds right in tune with his riff. Brad joins in with that dueling lead that is so  AEROSMITH… That alone can, and maybe is, the key to this band… Two guitarists perfectly understanding each other, two people in perfect conversation with instruments, as if it’s orchestrated naturally, without a plan. They read each other, and then a singer with a perfect voice, who sings in perfect tune with guitar… Throw in some horns, and Wah La!… Absolutely amazing! Continue reading Number 54 – Careful Wit’ Those South Side Ladies

Number 53 – Smoke Her If You Got Her

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Oh! Mr. Perry!
Give Me Some Whiskey
2/5ths Will Do…

Sometimes…. SOMETIMES…

I’m not gonna’ pull a lot from this album, but what I do pull are “True ‘Blooze’” Aerosmith, purebred, through and through. It’s who they are, it’s what they are, and this song defines that special kind of sound, that only this band has ever been able to deliver to me, in a non-contrived way. Don’t get me wrong, I love music. I love The Blues. I love Rock n Roll… and so many deliver it well. True blues men like Stevie Ray, with that drawl that’s not only in his voice but in his fingers, The Stones tremendous respect for The Great American Blues from the Black South and Chicago, but these guys give “me” something so very different… It’s like blood to me, it’s like water on hot summer day… it’s refreshing and it’s pure.

The song was originally written and recorded in 1938 by Bill “Jazz” Gillium. Then the Buster Bennett Trio recorded the song, which is probably a bit closer to what the boys were looking for when they put it on the table, and although the basic structure of the song is still there, the boys have a way of “Aerosmith-Izing” it, that brings on a whole new groove, a whole new ear to it… Slowing it down, way down, down slow enough, but strong enough to feel it ooze through their veins, your veins.

The album, and the times have been told, and retold a 100 times just by me, let alone a 10,000 other people, so I won’t go through it all again. However, after their fastest selling album (to date, of the time period), which would soon be mocked as the “Black Out Album”, DTL’s lack of critical acclaim, and support, it seemed as though the wheels were coming off pretty fast… that would play out in all the ugliness that industry could hand out at the time. Thank god there was no social media in 1979!

However, with all that history and what was done and not done, a few gems came out of Night in The Ruts. This song, being one of them. It’s funny really; When I see the song’s title, or even the cover of the album, I feel a little… well, uninterested. But as soon as I hear that slow, hard, deliberate beat of Joey’s drums, those crying guitars, and methodic Bass line of Tom’s, and that harmonica!… That fucking Harmonica! That same simple instrument played by a Master, the same way it took me on the 1st album, I’m 100% embedded in this song, just anticipating, with passion Steven’s voice as he wails this one out!

I’m not fluent enough in music to tell you what kind of guitars were used, or even if Joe actually finished the original recording with a Les Paul, or a Strat, or whether Brad finished this up after Joe left…. What I do know is that this one was a beloved Project song also. Some of, in my opinion, Joe’s best playing EVER! At least when it comes to The Blues. Steven screams it, Joe bleeds it!

Sometimes the blues is just what I wanna’ hear from these guys….

Man, They do it so well… As far as I’m concerned this song was written 41 years earlier for this band! They fucking nail it!

Still love those AeroBlues!!!

Love this stuff!
Enjoy!

“Lord I got to drink me two fifths of whiskey
Just to get just to get half as high…”

Number 52 – Rock Me Hard Baby

Mike (34)

From the shores of Sunapee
To the Sierras of Tahoe
For the show which will be
The first of the three

Not every song I introduce to you in this book will have a close meaning, a close relation, or some kind of special meaning. Sometimes they might just be a Bad Ass Fuckin’ Song!

The song I’m setting up for number 52, has no meaning to me, other than I love when these guys do their brand of this genre, and on top that, the man has THE  voice for this type of song..

So, if you don’t mind, I wanna’ stay on the same page a bit, and just let this man go!

When Aerosmith started out, and even back in Joe’s “Jam Band” days, the boys had some really different influences. One of those influences was early Fleetwood Mac, I mean EARLY F.M., and their style of good ole’ American Blues. Aerosmith would often play an old standby version of “Rattlesnake Shake”, as if “it might as well be” their own, as Steven says on an old bootleg recorded in either September, or October of ’73 (the actual recording date still seems to be unclear), but yeah the one for the Cincinnati radio station. Great frickin’ record!… But I Digress

Joe has said many times before, he would love to play more of their stuff, but at the time felt he/they weren’t good enough. At least not until this album.

Personally I’m thinking Joe’s singing in their earlier days left a lot to be desired. (No offense Joe). But as time went on, and the success of the late 80’s and 90’s gave credence to just Who The Fuck these guys were, and ARE, and as the drugs faded away, Joe slowly, but eloquently, became what he always had the potential to be. He became what Steven and Elyssa saw from Joe’s Jam Band days at The Barn, what Joey, and Tom, and Brad, and even Billie saw all along.

He was finally ready to play, and even sing the songs of some his idols. He was full, he was confirmed, he had emerged as not just the Lead Guitarist of Aerosmith, behind Steven, but as the Rock Star he is! He was accomplished. He was not only good, he was great! He was Joe Fucking Perry! But he was still Joe through, and through. And he, more than anyone else, wanted to pay tribute to where this band came from… the American Blues, via England and back to the good ole USA. He wanted to tell the world, this is what we are, where we came from.

In 2003 the band finally felt they were good enough. They were ready to make the album they’d talked about, and wanted to make for years. No longer afraid of the possible consequences, like being criticized. Nope, they already made their way, they already proved themselves. They went into Joe’s basement studio to work on what might be one of their proudest albums they had made since ROCKS. Jack Douglas came back to help out, and they just all got together and recorded what was mostly live sessions, playing together, using single takes on the music they loved so much.

This album birthed maybe one of the best, and most professional concert tours I’ve ever seen, Absolutely my Number 2 of all time! They had fun… Real fun! You could hear it, and if you were lucky enough to see this tour, you would have seen genuine fun! No… This is no “act”… This is a show with 5 guys that love what they do…

All of you from the new century, this will give a taste of ’73. You just can’t beat this shit! I will say this again, and again, until the day I die… If you are ever lucky enough to Steven play the Harmonica right in line with Joe, you truly have “Seen It All”!

However, if you want to see 9+ minutes of Joe just being Joe, I highly suggest you search YouTube for Stop Messin’ Round Costa Rica 2010

Enjoy this tribute to early Fleetwood Mac, and their home town Boston Boogie Blues. I don’t know if it’s as good as Peter Green, but its Aerosmith good…

And that’s really Fuckin’ Good!

This is “Stop Messin’ Round”

 

Number 51 – Rub a Little Salt On It, Cleans It Up Real Nice…

Uncle2

It won’t hurt as much,
But it won’t take away your vice

Funny, the choices we make…

If there’s one thing that drives me “Insane”, it’s hearing some guy, or some chick with a Porsche, or “whatever” the social status symbol of the year is, along with an overblown sense of their own grandiosity, and self importance, telling the world that their good fortunes are a result of hard work. Then telling everyone that anyone can do it, implying of course, that anyone without fortune obviously didn’t work hard enough, or made bad choices…

We all make choices….

I truly believe that fate; destiny, opportunity, and luck have more to do with your standing in life than any other factor, or choice of factors. It’s really hard for me to buy into what seems to me, an ultra elitist mindset that everything that happens in one’s life, is by choice. That thought process maybe true to a point, but I also think it may be important to realize that, not everyone is given the same choices to choose from. A single mom’s choice may be; “What should I do, buy food and eat this week, or do I pay the gas & electric so my kids don’t freeze?” Another woman’s choice might be; “Should I tip him $20.00 for hand washing my Escalade or just $10.00 because I still want to get a latte” He’s probably hoping for the $20, so he can both, feed his kids, and keep the heat on.

This song is about fate. It’s about destiny…

I also know that there are a ton of people out there right now, that will not agree with this, no matter what! Maybe because they’re so far removed from these types of decisions, or maybe they never had to make decisions like these. Or maybe it’s because they did, but then their own destiny put them on a path out of it, and they feel as though because they made it out, everyone else should be able to also. It’s simply not the case. But by whatever means necessary, people will most often justify their good fortune with fortitude and decisions, without regard to anyone else who might have had the very same fortitude, and even decisions, but on a different path.

It’s your soul, your spirit inside, that is on a path. Only if you are truly, truly conscious, can you make the decisions to change what has been predestined. I do believe that there are a few people in this world who are absolutely in tune with their souls, and although they make choices like the rest of us, to have a peanut butter & jelly sandwich, or a turkey sandwich, they have no desire to control. Most of us have intermittent glimpses of this kind of relationship with our souls. It’s when that one wonderful shining thought comes to us, or that sense of déjà vu, or knowing when you can trust someone without even knowing them yet. All of those are things that come to us without choice. Don’t get me wrong here, we cannot go through life without making choices every single day, business choices, family choices, personal choices, but the choices we are given, are part and parcel of our destiny.

While it is true that we all make choices in life, it’s also true that we don’t all get the same choices to make. While one person may choose to transfer 5k into an IRA, or invest in gold, another might be choosing which park is safer to sleep in tonight. And a child may simply be making the choice between running away, or staying at home and withstanding further abuse.

My own life has been nothing but choices made. Admittedly, many of the wrong ones, at that. But no, my choices often weren’t the same as people who weaved in and out of my life. Whether be as a young teenager comparing my choices of dinner every night of fried bologna or fried cotto, and what to have as a side dish, mustard or a pickle to my friend’s decisions between going home to mom’s pot roast and potatoes or splurging for a pizza with the $20 pop gave him before he left the house. Sure, I made a choice to go to college, the college chose to not accept that choice, because they made a choice of how much college would cost. That was a choice I couldn’t afford to make. So instead, I made choices to work, and work, and work my way up, only be told the company’s choice of ceiling I could reach without making the choice to go to college.

I could go on and on here. Many will argue; “Anything can be possible”, for which I’m inclined to agree, but with that comes the age old law; For every action, there is a reaction, meaning; “Anything can also be impossible”. I didn’t make a choice to get hurt at work. I didn’t make a choice to lose my job because my injury created a disability, which no longer allows me to meet the minimum requirements of my duties. But yeah sure, my employer did make a choice to not use the  knowledge, and 30 years of valuable experience as a further asset. Yes my employer did make a decision to Administratively Discharge an injured 53 year old into the unemployment line. It was their choice to make.

Yeah, we all make choices in life…

I’ve been a very controlling person most of my life, and I envy those that can put their faith into a phrase like; “if it is meant to be, it will be“. Personally I still struggle with control, and lack of control on a daily basis…

Funny thing about this song, she cries out for help, but no one came…

People often say “if you need help just ask“, but then they complain to the City Council, or their best friend about the homeless entering their neighborhoods, or the guy in front of the store asking for change. The song is pretty sad really, but the guys make it so that you can listen without a bleeding heart. This is an excerpt from Wiki; I couldn’t have said it better myself;
“The song is about a neglected and abused girl. Her mother is a prostitute (“Soon she found her mother’s love for all the others”), her father is a criminal (“Daddy he was busted”), and her uncle (“Uncle Salty”) takes care of her (“Left her to be trusted ’till the orphan bleeds”). The little girl, once she’s old enough to make her own decisions, goes into prostitution herself, most likely to try and feel loved. It’s sung from the perspective of the young girl.”

“The window is “key” in this song… And there’s always a key….
What would it be like to be in someone else’s world? It would certainly be nice to maybe not be in this one. It’s a beautiful world… out there.

Off subject from above, if you listen closely, you will hear Steven’s influence of slowing everything down to let it land on you, and affect you. You will also hear Joe’s desire to speed it up, to feel the angst of what the song is about. But the really cool part is how they keep it just this side of “screaming out loud”. It gives the impression of madness. As if when you actually do yell and scream, there are demons being released, as opposed to not screaming, not letting it all out, keeping the demons inside… It only “almost” goes there, but it doesn’t. Further into the list, I will discuss the “Body” of Toys in the Attic, this is one of those songs, enjoy.

By the way, this is Tom’s writing debut…

“Uncle Salty told me stories of a lonely
Baby with a lonely kinda’ life to lead…”

“Her mammy was lusted
Daddy he was busted
They left her to be trusted ’til the orphan bleeds…”

“But when she cried at night no one came
And when she cried at night went insane…”

This is “Uncle Salty”

Number 50 – Do They Hear Your Screams?

Mike (38)

Déjà vu
I’ve been here before
Have you?

One of my favorites when the album came out…. Couldn’t get enough….

When you listen to a “ballad”, especially a ballad with ‘power”, you often think of love, or heartbreak, or something within that genre. You’re not gonna’ find those typical keys here. This one takes a step away from the ordinary. It’s powerful and kind of haunting when you think of what the song is really about. We don’t often think of Aerosmith in a Gothic sense, but much like what I said about “The Movie”, and even “Sight for Sore Eyes”, I like that the band does what “they” want to do. They have no fear of crossing boundaries.

During the making of DTL it’s a known the feeling of the time is that there was chaos in the band. My opinion is that the chaos really comes out in this song. It was a time of a destructive force within the band. Rumors were flying back then, that Joe was leaving. The reality of those rumors would play out in the coming few years, but even then he separated himself and his then wife Elyssa, from the rest of the band. The drugs and constant “Toxicity” of the relationships between He, and Steven, and, Elyssa, and even Tom’s wife, Terry, and Elyssa’s constant encouragement for Joe to go off on his own, were a driving force in his seclusion during the making of this album.

During the album, they were almost never seen in the same room, let alone the studio at the same time. At least that’s what’s been written. The only time Joe came out, was to shoot his guns on the property, or take his cars or bikes for a spin. Food was ordered up to the room. Drugs were delivered. For “most” of the songs, Joe recorded separately from everyone else.

So, where does this song come from? It comes from Steven, and the “L.I.3.”, along with Jack Douglas playing the mandolin on the track, getting together to write the song to complete the album… without Joe. The abandoned convent near New York City that the band rented out to live in while recording played a background in the song, giving it the feel, the ghostly presence. Its haunting melodies come from within the walls. It also relates to the wars within the band that were the ever present resonating under tones, of what was really happening.

Steven says, he “wrote the lyrics in reference to the all the holy wars through the centuries over religious purposes and reasons, and when it came to fruition, it just naturally took on a Knights of the Round Table essence.” He also says; “I’ve always had a fancy to do songs about anarchy and the church and government”. And that he “felt that he was there, with the Knights of the Round”

There’s also the realization Steven truly feels that he’s “lived this life before”. I have on good credence that Steven has told people close to him, of his past life experiences, his experiences in the “Astral Plane”, and various other spiritualistic and soul traveler type experiences. With a man of Steven’s character, wit, fortitude, brassy fearlessness, and sagacious nature, I cannot begin to doubt that. Men and women alike, of this nature often live a few seconds, if not years ahead of the rest of us. It’s as if the conversation you have with these people has already been had. “What you just done, so has somebody else

Even with all that said, as if I had some kind of insight to man I’ve never even been introduced to, I can’t assume I have any real clue. Maybe the song the just came from a new high, after watching Excalibur or something… what do I know?

Allmusic.com gives an excellent review of the song in which they describe the tempo this way;
Big, distorted guitars kick up the tempo after Tyler’s opening lyrics, while a screeching ‘Hitchcockian’ synth note hammers away in the background… The pace is maintained through the next verse as Tyler sings, “Sneer of death, fear only loss of pride/Living other centuries/Déjà vu or what you please/Followers true to all who do or die,” the tempo dramatically slowing for the lines, “Screams of no reply/They died. The arrangement at this point becomes grandiose, an orchestration of synth strings, chunking guitars, piano, and short guitar bursts which descends into a vamp on a wistful bass progression. The song is undeniable in its visceral sweep and distinctively passionate performance.

There’s a lot of big words there, but I get the sense they liked it…

The song also showcases Joey’s flair, and expertise to play with both intensity, and extreme patience within the same song, becoming elaborate at times and then slowing it down to a crawling roll… Brad leading the way for Steven’s trademark primal screams with screams of his own from his Les Paul, Tom keeps that haunting bass line all the through, as if it’s a safe place to return to, and as the song comes out of the calm, Joe picks it like it’s on fire

The song to me, in a sense, is Aerosmith’s tribute the “deep” of the 70s Rock n Roll, it’s their attempt at a “Stairway to Heaven”, or ELP type song like “Still, You Turn me On”, or something from Floyd. This isn’t their forte’, but they did it damn well! Still though, I think it’s related to the bands inner toxicity of the time. “Sneer at death… fear only loss of pride” “Déjà vu or what’cha please, Followers true to all who do or die”

The video has a bonus, just let it play

“Screams of no reply… they died
Screams of no reply… and died
Lordy lordy and then then they died
Lordy no then they died”