Sometimes I wonder if Mary and I are the only ones that liked this album. I mean I know it sold 240,000 copies the 1st week, with a little help from this song, and another off the record, which no doubt helped it debut at #2, but the reality is, it’s actually hard to find a favorable review of the record. We can’t be the only ones! Can we? Shit! It’s sold 1.3 million copies as of 2007, I would imagine it has to be close to 2 million by now!
So, why was this album so disliked by so many? Maybe because it lacks the depth? Matter of opinion, if you ask me… Maybe because of the commercialism of the record, with Dodge being the driving sponsor of the tour? I’ve seen worse sell-outs, and even then, I’m not sure they sold out, as much as cashed in. The album, like many others through the band’s career, didn’t receive too many favorable reviews. I sometimes wonder if the critics let the music even sink in, before inking their pen.
Namely the Boys From Sunapee… Not So Much for This One…
Creating what they would later call their “1st True Record”. They were starting to get an idea of what they wanted to do, what direction they wanted to take. For me, I was an 11-12 year old boy with nothing left.
Still just a young boy, the “Last Child of 9”, it was a little rougher than most others I knew. It would be a few years still, before I would even know what a Gibson Guitar was, or the difference between a harmonica, and an accordion… Well, I knew, but I wasn’t much interested, I really didn’t care. All I cared about was what I lost. Probably a bit too involved in my “Ma tellin’ me about her ordeal, and her soul she could not feel”, after all…. in her eyes, Papa died. Continue reading Number 73 –1974 Was a Good Year for Some, Namely the Boys from Sunapee, But Not This Boy
The Beauty of a Boy’s Mother, Is Unequaled by any Other…
Let’s see what it should be…
Number 72 is an off the wall choice, at best. Again, one of those songs forgotten by many with less than stellar reviews. Shit, you’d almost be hard pressed to find one at all. At least a positive one anyway. Who knows, maybe they’re right. Maybe that’s why this one is more in the rear view mirror, rather than the windshield.
The song comes from a dry time in the career of the band. Ironic to the title I guess… a period of years without real and substantial new material. Maybe the lack of decent reviews are because the song is so very, very far off track of who this band has always been. Maybe that’s why I have a fondness for it. It’s a different side, a different look. Maybe the word “side” is the wrong term or word to use, but more like a glance, a trait. Another interest, like we all have. Is it our inner desire to paint, to build, to write, to create something different?
There are many stories out there of who, and what, this song is about, whether it be about Steven and Cyrinda, or Teresa, or some other unknown girl. But the truth is probably a lot different than we all assume. Sure, I realize Steven will always put sexual or relationship connotations to a song, in order to sell its appeal, and that works, so why not? But the reality and beauty of this song is not as mysterious as one might think. In fact; although Steven and Valance will get most of the lyrical credit, the true meaning belongs to Joe.
Let’s go back to “Walk This Way”, The autobiographical book of the band, Let’s go back to “Rocks”, My Life In and Out of Aerosmith, let’s go back to the lyrics in “Combination’; “Walking in Gucci, wearing “Yves St. Laurant, barely stay on, ‘cause I’m so God damned Gaunt…”
What was written and realized, was that Joe’s mother couldn’t stand the sight of the junkie he had become. After Joe’s father died, his mother moved to Arizona, because she needed a warmer place to retire, but also to create a distance between herself and what he had become. There were times in my life, before this song’s existence that I can relate to. In many ways, I’m sure similar to Joe’s original intent…
In the spring of 1981, the year after I graduated High School, and already almost 3 years on my own, I found myself as an 18 year old kid in a constant state of paranoia, living alone with no direction. “So God Damned Gaunt” the word ‘malnutrition’ might come to mind. And you know what? You’d be right. In my little apartment in Bennett Valley, Santa Rosa, I was very much alone. While my friends at the time, were busy taking classes at the local JC, giving an effort to start life, and partying on weekends, yet always returning home to mom and dad, for meals and laundry, maybe even asking Pop for a few duckies for the weekend, I was sinking, falling further and further.
There was no school, no college, only darkness walking into walls. My minimum wage job was nothing more than a means to afford my habits. I know, you’re 1st thought is; “Minimum wage, living on his own, how much of a habit could he have had, and still paid rent and eaten food?” Well the truth is, some of you may be old enough to remember the days of Full Service Gas Stations, and instead of swiping the magnetic strip of the credit cards, we had to take imprints and carbon copies. We also had to often get authorization over the phone inside an office, out of view of the customers. By running “Double Slips’ in the machine, and getting authorization for twice the amounts of actual purchase you can begin to see where a kid, without direction, without parental guidance, but a keen artistic hand, can easily afford a habit way beyond his means.
Knowing I was completely lost to the drug, with the lyrics of “Combination” haunting my paranoid psyche on a daily basis, I continued down this very dark road. Even friends tried their best to bring me straight. Telling me stories of the FBI watching me at work, watching my every move at home. Countless nights of peeking through the curtains in wonderment of just who was watching me, but at the same time always getting more… It was during that previous year’s Christmas that my mother came to visit. My mom, my ever loving beautiful mom. A mother with a ton of “fire in her eyes” toughness, and yet all for the “tear in her eyes” love of her son, she saw the world I was living in. Although she never addressed it, she knew… But with that knowledge, insisted I leave where I was, and once again live with a parent who cares, to finally make a break, to accept help, to accept love.
I took my mother AND my sister up on that offer in the spring of 81. I so desired “real”, “normal”. I leaped at the offer, as if someone was throwing me a life preserver in the waters I was drowning in. The truth is though, it’s one thing to want to be rescued by someone, it’s a whole ‘nother to not dive right back into the waters you were pulled from.
Over the next 15-16 years, I would continue my ways, never a full blown needle using addict, but definitely a weekend binger, with a habit that was hard to afford, and even harder to break. I like to call it controlled addiction. Although the truth is, if I really had any self control at all, I wouldn’t have fallen as often as I did. And it wasn’t unusual for the weekend binge to follow into Monday, Tuesday, or start early on Thursday.
I’m not sure what’s worse, a person in denial of what he is, only because he has a schedule, or the guy who admits it, but never asks for help. The point I’m getting at is this; Although my mother never lost faith, never gave up, I continued a path of self destruction for many years to come. However, upon my true and real emersion from the dark, my mother and I were as close as ever. I wished that I could have been the son she always wanted me to be, but I’m so happy that she was the mother I always wanted, and although my path that I was walking was severely shaken at times, my mother always kept faith that I was a good person, and that I would come out the other side, someone she could be proud of and respect.
During my mom’s last years, I spent the time that a son needs to spend with his mother. I had nothing left to regret in our relationship. Pure love. Sure, there were annoyances as most have. Sure there were disagreements, but all was said. All was felt. And that alone is the beauty of the bond between a mother and her son. You might say; “I found the key, the key to the vault.”
In the sobering years of 87-89 Joe and Billie visited his mother in Arizona, which is where the inspiration for the song came from, according to Jim valance. It was Joe’s song, but it didn’t fit on “Pump”. It was a song to, and about his mom. Living in this place, so very different from home, but the beauty of it all. A boy’s mother in his eyes, in a setting, that accentuates that beauty, that different kind of love. It’s a song about coming full circle, and being okay with where she is now. It’s a song about apology without saying sorry. It just says love. Joe and Billie were so impressed by the serenity of where they were, and the serenity his mother had found, that the he was influenced to put those feelings of his mother and their relationship to music. The embodiment, the contrast of what he once was, to where he had once been, and to who and what they were now.
The song was never finished that year, and sometime just weeks before “Devil’s Disguise” came out Jim valance got a call from the band’s receptionist at their management office, asking him if he remembered any un-released songs he might have wrote with Aerosmith?’ Thinking the question was odd at the time, he answered with “Legendary Child”, and another… but the receptionist asked him again if he remembered “Sedona something” specifically. At that point he remembered, but also states they never finished it. However Aerosmith still gives credit to him, for his assistance. Jim has true respect and appreciation to Steven and Joe for remembering him, on a song that was almost forgotten. A song that just never fit anywhere, at least until the right time.
I would be remiss, If I didn’t give the obligatory bad Rolling Stone Magazine review… But hey… this time, I’ll side with them. The record really was a contractual obligation… but without it, who knows if we would have ever heard this beautiful gem of a song, dedicated and written to a boy’s mom in her after years. Amazing, the feelings of serenity after the storms have passed.
Rolling Stone Magazine;“The album’s two new tracks are a nice addition, but they don’t really merit a real reason to buy the CD if you already have a decent collection of the band’s hits. “Sedona Sunrise” features the band’s signature guitar sound and Tyler’s voice screeching out a quasi ballad. Sadly, “Devil’s Got a New Disguise” starts out as a hard guitar “classic” Aerosmith song, but quickly changes into an up tempo “pop rock” song that is easily forgettable.
Look, RS Mag, has never been a friend of the band’s from day one. So, even with such a beautiful song as this is, with the meaning behind it obviously lost on shallow critics, I ask that you listen to the music again, listen to the lyrics again, for the 1st time…
And if you’re wondering how your mom feels, ask her… and then tell her how you feel. That’s what it’s all about…
“It’s as clear as a sunrise in Sedona Just what it is that’s blowin’ in the wind It’s the fire in her eye’s It’s the tear when she cries It’s the heat when I fall to my knee’s That I’m thinkin’ of…”
The funky, filthy classic that brought us “Walk This Way,” “Sweet Emotion” and uh, “Big Ten Inch” turns 40
Boston hard-rock thrill-seekers Aerosmith have not only been massively popular for the better part of 40-plus years now, but also lay claim to some massive links in the chain of rock’n’roll history. They ruled MTV, sure, but they also laid down one of the blueprints for hip-hop in “Walk This Way,” later to be remodeled by Run-D.M.C. thanks to Steven Tyler’s proto-rap delivery and Joey Kramer’s unforgettable backbeat. They invented the power ballad altogether with 1973’s “Dream On,” which they’d go on to perfect further with “Angel,” “Janie’s Got a Gun,” and “Cryin’,” reclaiming the territory a decade later from other glam-inspired “hair metal” bands who owe the original article quite a bit.
And they made classic albums, including 1989’s all-killer-no-filler Pump, and the unassailable mid-’70s one-two of Toys in the Attic and Rocks, which combined the Stones’ tight-grooving strut with the New York Dolls’ outlandish, pre-punk appetite for shameless indulgence. Both enjoy critical adulation to this day, but the former also spawned major hit singles in the aforementioned “Walk This Way” and the psychedelic blissout “Sweet Emotion.” It also gave Cheap Trick a run for their money with the power-pop nugget “No More No More,” and did the same for Elton John with closing ballad “You See Me Crying.” Smack dab in the middle was “Big Ten Inch Record,” a swinging, dirty blues by Bull Moose Jackson that these riff-fisting sleazeballs made their own.
We all heard the starter’s gun…
Oh wait, that can’t be the right one…
Last year’s #40; probably sit’s a little more comfortably closer to where it belongs…
You ever have one of those days, when you put on your shoes to go for a walk, and you don’t get 25 feet from the door, and your left foot is soakin’ wet on the bottom of your feet, because your shoe has a hole in it? Oh wait… nevermind….wrong sole?
This Is another Aerosmith Power Ballad, written by Steven, Joe, and Desmond Child. It’s probably right where it should be on the list… sometimes that happens. It’s songs like these though, that are really, really good, but then I say to myself; “Self, you’ve lost all credibility with “Hangman”. Maybe it’s because of the emotion that comes through when I hear it. But let’s do this… Continue reading NUMBER 70 – How Much Is This Ride Gonna’ Cost Me?
Some Pay More Dues Than Others, and Sometimes Others Reap the Rewards of the Dues You Paid
Get ready for Aerosmith sacrilege…
I wrote most of this last year, and it’s okay just the way it is. Enjoy, or don’t, the choice is yours to make. Don’t shoot the messenger even if he wrote the message.
I’m sure a lot of you thought maybe this might make the top 30, 20, or even 10… And I’m positive you all think it SHOULD BE at the top, or close to it. I would never argue that in somebody else’s list. Just not on mine, for whatever reason.
I do give this song a ton of respect, the respect it deserves. To know that Steven wrote the song, or at least most of it, when he was 17 or 18 years old, with his parents in mind, and the sheer genius of those lyrics and the Melody, at such a young age… Well it’s just amazing!
My take on it comes from various different view points. First I remember hearing it on 610 KFRC AM, San Francisco at the age of, what?… 10, 11, 12? I can remember liking it a little bit. But being the youngest of nine, it haunted me. I didn’t like it, with the fact that I was watching the woman I loved more than air getting older, the lines on her face getting clearer. I was watching my dad dislike her more every day, for no other reason than vanity.
My mom was 36 years old when I was born into a family who already had 8 mouths to feed. A mistake my father would remind of over the years. As I grew into my pre-teen years, with the whole world in front of me, as confident as a boy could get, I was often immune to the heartaches happening around me, or maybe I was just blind. Too young to see the effects of what is being lost along the way. Maybe confidence was just a word used to mask the ego that insecurity saw in the mirror…
At the exact time in a boy’s life where every boy in the world should be doing nothing more than being a boy, I couldn’t help but notice, that maybe my own carefree and often unbothered nature was being challenged by family with stresses that I didn’t understand, and yet being asked too… No, forced to understand before being ready. Now I don’t want to make this into more than it was. It was divorce, and at the time half the marriages in the country did the same, and maybe my parents’ divorce wasn’t a lot different than any other, but for me, it was total destruction.
Over the course of a few years I watched my father become more and more absent. It meant nothing to me at the time, and yet my older siblings always knew something I didn’t. Maybe they knew where he really was, I still don’t know. Probably doesn’t matter. But what I saw, what I noticed was my mother’s love for her children, her happiness of just being a mom and a wife turn into a job. And it seemed to me at least, it was a job she no longer reaped the benefits from.
I can clearly remember many trips to Little League games before the actual divorce happened, my mother asking me, almost in a girlish manner I f I still thought she was pretty. I can remember her looking in the rear-view mirror worried about the wrinkles appearing more clearly on her face. I can remember her telling us how the sun, which she worshiped her entire California life, could and would cause us harm. They same sun she used to be the Beautiful Tanned Blonde woman my dad always wanted her to be. I can remember her complaints, mild as they may have been of her years and time spent working the ranch or backyard to create a better home for all of us, and yet take time away from herself being pretty. In my mind, my mom was beautiful, so I didn’t really understand.
The truth is though I remember this song coming on the radio, and my mother wiping a tear. I remember those questions of lines on her face after the song. I remember her turning the station because of how it made her feel. I remember my father’s girlfriends so much younger, so much less weathered, so much more taken care of. The song for me was beautiful, but also hauntingly imminent, in a way that will stay with me for generations. I remember as clear as day, almost like a book we were reading in school, the chapters of a happy wonderful life, a great childhood, a happy family, changing with each turn of the page into the past. It was slow, it was methodical in a sense to see the life you once led, become a past life, and yet when it was done some 3 or and 4 years after the questions my mom asked me in the car, it seemed as though it went by with a blink of an eye.
I heard it again when Toys came out, but again didn’t really get it. Hell, I think I might have been about 12 or 13 when Toys came out. Before I heard the 1st album, I didn’t really get Toys either. So again, the song was sad to me, and being a kid of divorce, and a kid who just wanted to have fun, it didn’t leave much of a mark, at least not yet.
A few years later, when I became a true Aerosmith fan, I got it! I loved it. I played it over and over, and over again! Maybe even too much… I kinda’ started to feel like Joe feels towards the song. “You have to do it… it’s who you are”. I have to like it, I’m a fan, but the reality was, unless I was hearing it live, I wanted to hear something deeper from “my band” on the radio.
The lyrics though, the lyrics and melody always stuck with me, “lived and learned from fools and from sages” you know that’s pretty true for me, and damn if I haven’t paid my dues by now. Yeah, I relate, it’s just not always a feel good song for me.
This song was a peek into the genius level of the lyricist Steven would turn out to be. This video and performance of the song is the best I’ve ever seen, and frankly makes it hard to only rank it at 67. But again this is my list, right?
I have a friend, Jamie, who I want to thank for showing me a different side of this song. It’s not that I’ve never seen it before, I think I just never noticed it like I did until after she shared her story with me, of the love between her and her mother, and a bridge of sorts, that this song provided them. A truly loving relationship, in which they often sang together, and of course this song was one their very favorites. I’m touched deeply by her story, which is much deeper than I’m at liberty to divulge. I can say this though; there are songs in life that touch us on almost spiritual levels, almost as if someone is touching us from beyond through the melodies and lyrics. This is something I can not only appreciate, but also envy in Jamie’s case. Further, it makes me truly happy that she has that connection, and others have much more enlightened experience with this one than I.
Funny though, the different lines our tears follow, for different reasons…
So, as long as I put this one where I did, I value everyone else’s desire to put it much higher.
If you go undefeated, what did you learn? Even so, some pay more dues than others,
In order to write a proper “take”, ‘review”, “familiarity”, a “relation” to a classic Aerosmith song, as popular and as great a song that this once was, you have to take yourself back into the history of the band, the theme of the album, the song that you’re writing about. You have to understand the chronological history of the story.
In 45 years, a lot happens in a marriage, especially a marriage as polyamorous as this one, with all of the people involved being of the same sex, the same age, but with varied and differing personalities… But, also with so much in common, and the common goal of the band’s survival. Their survival as musicians!
The band, in 1993, were celebrating a few years of sobriety. Something still new, as far as experiences go. A newer driving force, and source of creativity. A lot comes out of insobriety, sometimes enough to be able to step up on a soapbox and tell the world that you now have a new moral fiber… I’m not sure there’s anything wrong with that, but you can rest assured someone will.
One of the coolest things about their sobriety was that it was happening at the same time their fans needed it to happen. America was sobering up from the wild decades of the 70s and 80s at the same time the band was, so the timing was perfect. America was looking for a moral compass, and the band was willing to play their part, even if it was to be short lived. But with this, you still need to know where the players of the game, that is the music business, put the band and their achievements, which were often not in line with the band’s fans.
Let’s take the “Haters”, or should I say Rolling Stone Mag’s obligatory negative review of an Aerosmith record. Keep in mind this album would go on to compete as the band’s 2nd best selling record of all time, just behind Toys, neck and neck with Pump. So take the following for what it’s worth, along with the obligatory “Stones” mention.
In 1993, Mark Coleman was given the task of tearing down another… uh, I mean “reviewing” another Aerosmith record. I’m not really sure what these guys ever really want or look for…. They slam the guys for being on drugs, and slam their moralistic message out of sobriety… Anyway…
Mark writes that; “…There aren’t enough “sweet-talking sassafrassies from Tallahassee who rear their tousled heads’ and that the “Motor-mouth verbal inventiveness is replaced by a decidedly calmer, more inspiring tone.”
“Without denying Tyler’s hard-won sobriety, the problem with Grip‘s constant moralizing is best summed up by a line from Tyler himself: “I just can’t listen to all that righteous talk,” he wails on “Amazing.” “Don’t get deep”, pleads Tyler on the pounding “Shut Up and Dance.” Not to worry; when your songwriting partners are Jack Blades and Tommy Shaw of Damn Yankees, shallow is a stretch.”
“It’s hard to know how to take something as aggressively stupid and naggingly catchy as “Shut Up and Dance.”
Okay, I will go with the man on “SU&D”, because that one won’t come near this list, but come on dude, the album sold over 7M records!
He goes on to say; “As a spoof of early-Eighties pop-metal trailblazers like Night Ranger and Lover-boy, it’s frighteningly letter-perfect. But listen to Tyler wail away earnestly on the slow-burning torch numbers “Cryin’” and “Crazy” and you start to suspect that Aerosmith has lost touch over the last couple of years.”
Fuck you dude! These are classic hits! Maybe if you had a clue as to what the songs were really about… but while you’re talking about shallow song writing, you didn’t even go deep enough to figure it out…
And get ready! Here it comes…. “Cryin’” grinds away with enough “Stonesy” élan to make you ignore the hack formula: atrocious rhymes, simplistic melody, sentimentality measured out in buckets. This caterwauling power ballad could be a hit, but it could also nail the coffin shut on that decaying commercial genre.
I guess we won’t be needing that coffin, huh Mark?
Signs of hope do exist, however, even in Grip‘s most dragging moments. “Line Up” skates along with a zesty horn line and bop-shoo-bopping chorus, its sharp arrangement a welcome relief from the surrounding melodrama. Co-author Lenny Kravitz is hardly a verbal wizard, but his input makes an agreeable difference: “Line Up” fires off a lighthearted spark that’s largely missing from the rest of this too-serious album.
Really Mark, you’re only spotlight on the album is gonna’ be the anthem to Pet Detective??? Fuck me!
You know what I think? I think Rolling Stone Magazine should take their own advice, F’n A, loosen’ up, or “Shut ‘chor lip”!
I swear you can’t win for losin’ with these guys… I guess with the name of your rag being “Rolling Stone” everything that is not the Rolling Stones, has to be identified that way…. Whatever….
But what is the song really about? Fuck R.S.M., they wouldn’t know a masterpiece if they were staring at the Mona Lisa! Most people would say it’s about a person who finally breaks free from a relationship that is nothing but bad from the word “Go”. Whether that be from physical abuse, mental, or verbal abuse, or just a bad, bad match, those people would be absolutely right! But it’s more than that… If you know this band, it’s more than that. If you know these song writers, it’s more than that. If you know their story, it’s more than that. It’s definitely more than that, if you’d lived a similar one.
Taylor Rhodes was brought in to help on this one, along with a few other writers for the rest of the album. It’s been told that Geffen Records was extremely unhappy with almost every song the guys originally wrote. Kalodner was the “Ax Man” assigned by Geffen to say “These songs suck”, which helps you understand how Steven never really liked this guy more than what was tolerable. At the same time though, John is maybe the biggest reason for their 3rd generation of success. And that makes every member, to a man, extremely grateful. John knew it was more important to breed success, than to form friendships., Steven and Joe and Taylor put down the bones to the song, with a balance of extreme passion and pathetic whimpering. But again, it’s the passion of the song that creates the hook!
“Now there’s not even breathing room, between pleasure and pain”
Interpreted, as I said above as some sort of song about a “Relationship Roller Coaster”, you need to ask yourself what was going on at the time, that would give these guys the source of motivation for that type of song… Sure those songs will always sell, always have, always will, and with that motivation you can come up with something that will fill album space… But in order to write a song this good, this successful about that type of relationship, it has to come from somewhere. And yet at the time, all the band-mates were skatin’ pretty good in their personal relationships with this new found sobriety. Sure Joey was having some personal issues, but even then, they hadn’t really surfaced yet.
We have to remember what the theme of this album was about. Just like Pump, it was about sobriety and a sort of reflection of their history of drug abuse. “Amazing”, along with the title track “Get A Grip” spell out that theme pretty clearly. So, who… Or should I say “What” is this song really about? For those who have never been “In The Cellar”, those who have never screamed the words “No More, No More” while alone in a room with the curtains drawn trying to turn day into night, those who have never had to “Draw the Line”, you may not get this. But for those that have had a “Monkey on their Back”, those who have been at “Critical Mass”, those that have ever felt “Sick as a Dog”, or felt like “The Living Dead”, you’ll understand just who… or should I say “What” the girl Steven is singing to in this song is.
The song in my opinion, and I’m pretty sure I’m right, is 100% about a toxic relationship, but it’s not a relationship with a girl, or a guy, but it is absolutely the “killin’ kind”.
If you change out the word “Girl” and put in the name of the drug of choice, you may just begin to understand the “Grips” of a relationship that an addict has with his or her chosen love. And as the song describes a person that has emerged, or at least is making that struggle to emerge, from the hold that the addiction had on him. She recognizes that she has to part ways, but also realizes the difficulties he will have in resisting temptation. The “kiss” is your first high, the one that you forever chase.
The love for the drug is real. The “sweetness” is the addict’s comfort zone, it’s a friend and lover who will never judge, never expect, but because of the lack of accountability it needs from the addict, because of the absolute darkness, it’s also “misery”. However, as with anyone who realizes their fate at the fork in the road of addiction, they have to proclaim their destiny. With admission, he doesn’t blame the drug, he says they’re “partners in crime”, he takes responsibility. She recognizes the drugs charm, so to speak, with “that certain something that takes her breath away”, and yet still decides to listen to what his or her friends and support group are telling him, and he’s making a break no matter what! The addict admits the sorrow of what the course of the relationship was from beginning to end, and everything in between.
The song is masterfully written for a vast audience. It captures all those who need a mantra, a torch song, to break away from ties that bind, whether it be from a significant other, a job, or drugs isn’t really the point. The point is that a masterpiece of personal, very, very personal struggles was written in a way that millions could relate too.
Although the song only got to #12 on the Hot 100, it did make it to #1 on the mainstream rock charts, and get this… Number 1 in… wait for it… wait for it…. Poland! The video went on to tremendous success for all involved though, earning MTV awards in 1994 for Music Video of the Year, Viewer’s Choice award, and Best Group Video.
The video for the song was Alicia Silverstone’s first appearance in an Aero video, and what an appearance she would make. She fit the lyrics; she brought the character of the girl that the singer is singing about alive. Full on fucked up!
Just a bit of trivia here; Alicia and the director Marty Callner are loosely credited with the responsibility of bringing naval piercings out of the alley, and into suburban American teenage girls minds…. Oh, and the church the band performs in… It’s the same church in Fall River Mass, that Lizzy Borden is famous for attending.
The song also went on to earn Grammy nominations for Taylor Rhodes 1993, who in my opinion, and it’s all assumed, may be responsible for that little bit of country twang within the structure of the song, which blends and changes courses to that high emotion “Love- Sick” Aero groove that we’ve come to not only expect, but love from this band…. Do I need to say anything at all about Steven and Joe being on the exact same page?
Interesting though, looking and listening to that influence, that Nashville influence… Take a listen to ‘Blind Man’, and “Full Circle”, also co-written by Taylor, along with the old ‘Polo’ fragrance commercial’s theme from The Jayhawks, “I’m Gonna’ Make You Love Me”, and the less than stellar, but still influenced of Nashville sound from a late Journey single, “All The Way”, just interesting. Personally I think it worked with this one though.
The lyrics along with the licks, the ups and downs, the roller coaster ride that this song is, is perfect for the message it was giving… nothing too deep, unless you swim in those waters, just beware of a love that can kill you! The up tempo, the down tempo, the wild tempo…
We all want “something we can’t resist”… the song definitely has it’s double entendres; but not in a sexual way. As much as this song is about good lovin’ gone bad, it’s about a once good love of drugs gone bad, and to try and stay away, knowing the ease of comfort with what is bad for you, is nothing more than sweet misery…
Listen to it for what you want it to be, what you need it to be. Watch the video again, but listen to the metaphors, the moral statement they make. Watch Steven’s obligatory spitting out of his mouth, a bad taste. Watch as Alicia punches out what makes her sick. Listen to Joe, wail on the guitar screaming his, it’s, desire to bleed out the pain. Listen to the passion in Steven’s voice for love and hate of toxicity. Let Joey bang out, as he does with force and munitions, the tension of the addiction to a love that’s not healthy…
Love wasn’t much of a friend a mine The tables have turned… yeah ‘Cause me and them ways have parted That kind a’ love was the killin’ kind
All I want is someone I can’t resist
I know all I need to know by the way
That I got kissed
We’re about to get to the meat of the beat
of Joey’s drum
Pretty soon its going to be time to take a seat
And get some….
There’s a lot goin’ on here!!!!
True, we’re getting; to the meat of this band. Never being one to shy away from the sweet desserts before the main course, but alas, we don’t have many ballads left in the countdown, Although there are still a few of those left, and the bulk of them will come sooner rather than later, I’m hoping ya’all can at least see that we’re turning the first corner, So let’s pick up some much needed “speed” to get the inside “rail”, so we can “slow it down and make it last”, then let the horses loose again on the far straight-away. Continue reading Number 65 – Hey Hit the Light, Would Ya’…
Please don’t walk out that door, There’s got to be some more…
Timing is fucking amazing!
Maybe sometimes it’s better to just let ‘em go
Okay, we’re really getting somewhere now. We’re starting to turn the corners and get to what this band does best.
This song has been done by “EVERYBODY”, and most have done it really well. I really like the way “Them” did it, but their version is a bit too 60’s for my taste. Then again, Van’s vocals are almost made for this song. Wait, that might be a stretch Van Morrison, Don Henley, people like that are born to sing almost anything they want… The Heartbreakers did a really good version. That is until Tom started singing. That kinda’ ruined it for me. There’s a few things Ted does well, but this song IS NOT one of them. Bon Scott and AC/DC actually do one of my all time favorite versions. Bon Scott though, unlike almost any other rocker of his time, had a style all his own, without even being a great vocalist. It was his spirit, that came out in the songs he sang. And I know this sounds sacrilegious, but I’m not a fan of Muddy Waters’ version at all.
The song is commonly called; “One of the most played, arranged, and rearranged pieces in Blues history” Wikipedia says that the song was first recorded in ’35 by Big Joe Williams, and that it dates back to the 19th century in the times of bondage and slavery. There also seems to be an awful lot of “loose” credits to the originators of the song. Kind of a shame really, someone should get some major credit somewhere for this one. It’s that good! It’s one of those songs that even today, take us back to kind of a yesteryear.A time of festivals, and even small town revivals, whether it be annual Fireman’s dance at the local Town Hall, or something as big as the U*S Festival or even Woodstock, this one gets your feet movin’ and your hands a clappin’.
Aerosmith puts their own touch on this song that is so uniquely “The Boys from New Hampsha’” that it’s absolutely unmistakable when you hear it, just who it is. I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again. They don’t just play tribute to a song when they cover it, they “Fucking OWN IT!” They “Aerosmith it up”! Aerosmith-ize, so to speak. But what that word means, is that when you hear this version, you have to do a little more than clap your hand and move your feet… You gotta’ feel it!
Part of what pulls this one off for them, is an absolute true return to where they came from. This song is 1973 all over again. It maybe someone else’s song, but not while they perform it.
The “Honkin’ on Bobo” Tour was an all time favorite of mine. There’s just something special about these guys when they’re having the time of their lives, playing the songs they truly like to play. The Bobo Tour, easily ranks number two with me of all the ones I’ve ever seen. From Boston.com News in a 2004 review of a hometown ‘Bobo’ concert, their show was reviewed like this;
“An astute friend describes Aerosmith’s 25th album, “Honkin’ on Bobo,” as arena blues, and indeed, there was nothing back porch or down home about the generous selection of songs Aerosmith played from the new disc. They were lighter-raising, feel-good, slick, and super-size blues, and interspersed with cherry-picked favorites, they inspired the sort of bar-band energy and meat-and-potatoes riffs that hearken back to the days before hit soundtracks became a priority.” “The entire back end of the set amounted to a killer run: the obscure Fleetwood Mac track “Stop Messin’ Around,” dripping with Tyler’s dirty harmonica licks, fed into “Dream On” and “Draw the Line,” which sparked the vintage tunes “Baby, Please Don’t Go”…”
I think some of my favorite remarks in that review is about the lack of the overly syrupy IDWMAT, and the fact the “Boston” Concert was a meat & potatoes type of set. This is what True Blue Army has come to expect from these guys, not concerts filled with overly Pop Hits like some kind of album from “K-Tel Presents”! But alas, at this stage of the game, we take the shows we can get, and as Poppy as some of the songs they play now are, which in no way what-so-ever represent their nickname “The Bad Boys from Boston”, they have a way of even making them sound good… But, oh the times I could reminisce…
But getting back to Aerosmith; Steven writes from scratch. It’s a sound, a feeling from deep within his soul. He starts scatting sounds that turn into words, that turn into lyrics, that turn into verses, that turn into songs. Many Aerosmith songs were just Steven and Joe Jamming and Scatting, until something came out the other end. No, of course Steven didn’t write this one, but it’s the type of song that he very well could have, and the lyrics work so well with his writing style.
So when you listen to this version, in my biased opinion, the best version ever, listen to the tradition of the song, and listen to the unique sound Aerosmith puts on it, listen to them feel it, breath it, live it… ooze it! I love Joe’s quote about the album, so tongue in cheek. Knowing Joe, he’s saying the sentence backwards from the way he means it. Forever the High Road, but we get it Joe; “I can’t believe this is the same band that did ‘Don’t Wanna Miss a thing’”
The quote I like best from Allmusic.com on ‘Bobo’, without the rest of the mess, is; “Other rockers who have cut full-length blues albums have always played the music with a kind of scholarly reverence, taking care to pay tribute to their influences. Not Aerosmith. They turn up the amps and cut loose, playing slick and sleazy blooze-rock that feels indebted to second-generation blues-rock instead of blues forefathers.”
You know what? I’ll take that. I’ll take exactly that! I don’t wanna hear what everybody else does. I wanna hear Aerosmith, even if is your Grand Pappy’s song. I want to feel Aerosmithized!
The boys recorded this song for their Blues Covers album, Honkin’ On Bobo, which, as I’ve said, was their “baby”… Their pet project! What they hold dear. Billboard Magazine describes the song as; “the kind of straight-ahead, hard-driving track that always typified the band’s [1970s] records”.
It was the first single to be released from the album, and it reached number seven on the mainstream rock charts. The video, directed by Mark Haefeli, really captures the feel of this song and Aerosmith’s mark on it. If you’ve never been to an Aerosmith concert… well, this is pretty close.
Listening to Tyler just “go” on this, you get a feel… and understanding of how he creates lyrics for so many other songs. You get a feel of the musical and lyrical genius. This, in my opinion is the heart of why, and how they make this song their own. No, he didn’t write this, but it flows through his blood, like water down a favorite river, and then exits through the fingers of Brad and Joe, and Tom, and Joey, as they impart the ‘Flooze’ to the Blues, while Steven keeps the sleaze ,that is the essence of the way they do this song, lingering from bridge to bridge with harp play that can only be described as sexually inspirational.
They don’t just pick, they slide, they roll, they groove, speed it up, they energize this song, with fever that just keeps getting hotter and hotter and hotter as it goes.
They are the one and only, with the sound that embodies their spirit of the coined description of “Bloozy”. Watch Joe, watch Steven, they feed off each other, they receive from each other the fuel that makes this band go. 3 and a half minutes of ‘ooze’…
I hope you like this, from the squeeze to the sleaze…
“Stop bein’ the dog Stop bein’ the dog… yeah Stop bein’ the dog… get’chor way down here Make you walk along Baby please don’t go…yeah”
This was originally written during a time of my own indiscretions. Yeah, that’s the best word I can use I guess. Some call it cheating. Some call it being a pig, a dick, or whatever name they want to use that helps with their lack of understanding of what my version of the truth is. Either way, the pains of those I love most in my life, seem to be the constant payment of my relations with them. I don’t & won’t ever ask anyone to forgive me. I won’t ask them to see things the way I do. I won’t make them understand. The only thing I will ask; is that they try to see things through a different window once in awhile.
By the time you finish reading this little book. You’ll maybe learn some useless trivia about a band and a bunch of songs. On top of that, you’ll learn a few things about the author. You may or may not agree, condone, or have compassion for him at all, and that’s cool too, I just ask while you’re looking through that other window, that you see a man, a human being with flaws, but who’s main intention in life was to do good, be good, and have fun. 2nd to those things, he was a man who had a lot of love to give, a lot of compassion, he just wasn’t really clear on how to present those things all the time…
Tough to write,
With what it incites
Man sometimes this shit is just plain hard to write… I thought about just skipping the frickin’ song altogether… Then I thought about trading it out with some thing like “Painted on my Heart”, or “Loretta”, or “Bridges Burning”, and I really like “Biscuit Blues”, but I have to go back and say to myself. There’s a reason, why those songs never made an album. There’s a reason why this song was chosen. There’s a reason why this song was as big as it was…
Sometimes we go through some shit, and it just makes everything hard, fresh, and… well, it’s just hard… Sometimes you just gotta’ let that shit go…. And sometimes you just can’t
UltimateClassicRock.com lists the song as number 9 all time of the band’s… Obviously I don’t agree, since I’ve got it here at number 62. And as a side note, if you’re really paying attention, you can quite possibly get an idea of what this list’s Top 10 might look like, but you really gotta’ look…. Then again, things can always change, right?
I’ve said this before; I’ll say it again… It’s not always the beginning, or even the end, that is most important… It’s what’s in the middle. It’s what happens along the way. Sometimes there are things, places, people, that we can’t ever forget, won’t ever forget… can’t let go, won’t let go. But there’s always the middle…
How do you become the biggest rock band in the world? Expand your audience… You have to appeal to more than just teenage boys in blue denim and navy blue derby jackets. You need the chicks too. No not just the hardcore rocker chicks. They’re a dime a dozen, and they’ll be at door after the show. And as fun as they are, and they are a lot of fun, they’re a minority presence in the world of record sales… So whadda’ ya’ do? Where do ya’ go? You look for the middle….
They already line up… You need the girls that would listen to Heart, and Pat Benatar and Journey. You need the girls who were looking at Bon Jovi and Poison…. Not necessarily as a gimmick, like those bands were doing, but rather to go after their desire. You need to let them believe that they have a hold on you. You need to get the girls that wouldn’t give this band the time of day 15 years earlier. Make them feel like they’re more than just a “Ragdoll”. That’s for the Hardcore Rocker Chicks, they like the whole Ragdoll thing… These girls, are the ones that will grow up and never know the meaning of WTW, or Cheesecake, or Walkin’ The Dog, or Get it Up, the girls that have no clue what a “Wet Nap Winner” is. And that’s cool, maybe they don’t need don’t need to know… They need the girls who want Angel, and Dream On, and IDWTMAT. They need that crowd. That’s the crowd that’s gonna’ buy 7M records! The crowd that will learn the term “The Bad Boys From Boston”, but then ask that they don’t play the songs that gave that nickname.
This is that song. Hook line and sinker! Reel them in. Generation number two, “Welcome to the Show!
Steven and Joe and Desmond wrote this little piece of lyrical and instrumental genius, to capture a whole new audience. An innocence not before seen, or heard by this band, at least not by these types of kids. Don’t get me wrong, if I didn’t like the song it wouldn’t be on my list. I truly believe it’s an absolute work of art.
The group recorded two official videos for the song…. Very clever, especially for such a Honky Tonk type of song. My favorite is the link below, where after they finish an Arena Concert, and then go do a show at a Dive Bar behind chicken wire, and all Hell Breaks loose… I love the heavy drum beat, and super sliding fingers on guitar, along with an almost country solo by Joe, give me the harmonica, the accordion, and Brad and Tom’s smooth rhythm to just keep pace, all the while listening to Steven’s total sense of loss, as he portrays it in lyrical fashion…
How do you forget? How do you let go of something so huge, a part of you, part of your self…. You don’t! In a way, it’s relatable to grieving. In my opinion that’s where the song goes… A love that dies… how do you move on? How do they move on? How do you not think about me? How do I not think about you?
Is this what the middle was? Just a place to jump off from? Who’s next?… Fuck me… This is what’s left from just one word out of a 1,000? 10,000? This is what’s left from the toss… What the frickin’ hell? Well baby, I’m “bettin’ on the dice I’m Tossin’” that “you just lost everything that was good in your life…” Yeah??!! Well, you’re the Boss of the Toss, right?
Seriously though, such a well written song, how so much love, so much life can turn on a dime. The touch of another that’s missed, but no compromise, the jealousy of the thought of another guy, but no forgiveness….
There were times in my life…
Some of us, throughout the course of a lifetime, get the opportunity to experience real love, true love, connected love. And sometimes we experience that kind of connection more than once in a lifetime, even more than twice. There’s an old saying that goes back, at least to the mid 70’s, maybe further, I don’t really know, but that’s my first recollection. The saying was; “If you love something or someone set it free, if it doesn’t come back, it was never meant to be”.
Not sure I believe in that crap all that much. Matter of fact I’m more inclined to say we all are given specific destinies in life, and during the course of a lifetime, we’re given choices to alter that destiny, choose a different one, or stay with the one you’re on. The trouble is, there is very seldom a map, or a guidebook so to speak. And if in fact you choose to “set it, or them free” you may have just offered that special someone a different path than yours. Good, bad? I don’t know. I just know that if that person was one of those connected loves, connected souls, you may have set them free, but you also put your whole life in a state of “what if?”
Out of all the loves, lusts, and just good time “carnival ride” type girls and women I’ve had in my life, and I’ve had way more than my fair share, or even unfair share, I’ve only had 3 of those types of love that touch you beyond explanation… Maybe 3 is too many, I don’t know. I’m just not sure how to ever really do that, let go that is. And that’s not without tryin’! I guess in an odd way, some of us are just a little more compassionate, if that’s the right word.
In my opinion though, that’s not always a welcome characteristic when it comes to this stuff. I envy those who can just move on, without looking back. I envy them and despise them both, at the same time, for having the ability to just toss it all away, as if it isn’t any different than an old t-shirt they used to wear, all ragged and torn. To me compassion is often a curse that we stumble over in the presence of others way too often. We trip, we fall, and / or clumsily walk through life with this view of people, places, and things so very different than the rest of society, that we often just look kinda’ foolish.
This song for many of us, brings the pains of love not completed, except maybe by someone else standing in your shoes. The hardest and saddest part though, is the realization, that he or she is actually one of those people with that character trait you both envy and despise. She can move on, she doesn’t look back, she leaves you wondering… even twice as hard for those of us, that do keep a shield up, who do go through life with an exit plan, knowing our passion and compassion can sometimes be hard to bare for the partner, we keep a distance from that 4 letter word. It’s a huge investment to commit on that level, but an even bigger commitment to ask for it in return. So, if “the word” is said, it’s said in a way to last forever. I don’t understand, and never will understand the people who can simply move on. It’s almost as if they never really dove in. You can’t help but feel it was all, in the immortal words of Don Henley, “Just Wasted Time”.
How does one throw away everything that was once good in their life? How does one accept another in the bed that they made, without the thought of another, at least once in awhile? How does one not miss a touch that lasts a lifetime? Is it as if it was all a lie? Or is it simply some of us don’t know what it takes to let it go. Some people are really good at letting go. “Don’t live in the past”, they say. Me, I say the past is the foundation of who I am, it’s the building blocks of me, I can’t let that go…
Maybe some just lie to themselves and each other, I wouldn’t really know, I’ve never done that. But maybe some are better at saying goodbye because it never meant that much anyway. Maybe they just tell themselves a different truth, easier to accept than the alternative. Three women, all beautiful inside and out. All loved deeply enough to last a lifetime. They left there mark on me, with a simple touch, a simple kiss, a simple smile, a simple presence. Not so different from more than a hundred others, and yet on a level so very few ever really feel. The effects of each, burned deep into my soul, letting two go, towards that different destination, never completely letting go, just continued love.
The third who was brave enough to let me go, and accept my return, and love me deeper than any other. The third, who didn’t ever completely let me go. The third, who saw the opportunity for a different destiny and stayed on the same path. Karma is a funny, funny thing.
i like to believe, and I think I’m right, that none of it was wasted time. That my mark was left on them as deep as theirs on me. That, although they may been able to move on and give themselves to another without thought of the other, that thoughts were had. Thoughts were often, and they were visited with a smile of what was once true love.
I hope you like it. Hard to write a review on a song that doesn’t need one. Hard to write about relations to a song like this, we all have one… maybe more. Hard to write about a song that is as classic as “Emotion” itself.
Have fun, listen loud, and then just say goodbye… if you can.
“Girl before I met you I was F.I.N.E. fine
But your love made me a prisoner
Yeah my heart’s been doin’ time
You spent me up like money
A then ya’ hung me out to dry
It was easy to keep all your lies in disguise
‘Cause you had me in deep
With the devil in your eyes…”