Number 38 – So Close I Can Taste It!


Sometimes it’s an acquired taste…
Sometimes it’s completely natural…
Almost spiritual…

Welcome the adventure of the senses…

Most people I’ve ever talked to about this song, whether they be Aerosmith fans or not, would not put this one in their Top 50, let alone their Top 40. Maybe because of the album’s lack of “critical acclaim”, maybe because there’s even better songs on the album than this one, and when you try to put over 300 recorded songs, and 17 albums with original music inside some kind of “Top” list book, maybe they just don’t see this as a Classic Top 40 Aero song.
Well, obviously, I do…

We all know those people in life, who see sex in everything, and I mean everything! But the reality is; most of us who do, can’t really pull it off. Although some of us, who can, do, and do it often. But now, back to reality; American society has a thought process in that most of the people who have sex on the brain 24/7 are obnoxious, or even worse… creepy. I’m not saying that everyone who looks at a banana or a papaya, and instantly thinks of a girl, or even a guy they once knew, or even STILL knows, is trashy. In fact my personal feelings are just the opposite. Reality though, is that in modern Christian America, for the most part, it’s not welcome. Why is that? Is that because these people don’t have the forum to express these thoughts, so they’re better off suppressed? Is it because of our own 400 year old Puritan morals that not only do not accept, but don’t allow these thought processes? Can it be because of something we just don’t understand, similar to different world religions? Or can it be as simple as; those who think provocatively just have no clue how to convey… Well some us actually do.

When the album came out, it was immediately met with horrible reviews across the board. Many critics were stating that there is; “Just nothing new here”, and things along that nature. “Just more ‘GAG’ type music”. And maybe that’s true with some of the songs on the album, such as “Pink”, or “Hole”, which is what the label pushed, but I think where the album got the short shrift was in the body of the record, with songs such as “Ain’t That a Bitch”, “The Farm” “Knees”. Sure I admit, as a whole, not their best effort, but songs such as the one being introduced here WERE NEW! They WERE DIFFERENT!!! And yet classic Aerosmith, with flavor, a sexual message, and of course those Brad Whitford Joe Perry driving guitars. The song not only has a new sound, but still has that classic and true Aerosmith backbeat. The thing with this song is it shows me my band, who are always innovative, never giving up, always willing to express, and welcome new ideas, and genres and ways to Aerosmith-icize what they’re interested in.

During the Nine Lives tour it was nothing for the boys to do a 2 & half hour show, with a minimum set list of 12 songs, and a max of 28. To get the audience into the theme of the tour, they used Peter Gabriel’s, The Feeling begins” , which is on the soundtrack of “The Last Temptation of Christ“, as their opening background music. Very “Persian-esque”! I think if you YouTube that one, you’ll get an idea of, or for some of us, remember what it was like waiting for the show, just as the lights began to dim in the arena… This was different! The band, although still the Bad Boys from Boston, had matured into something new, something different. There was an intrigue as to what they were delivering, but still very Aerosmith!

The Nine Lives Tour is often a subject of trivia type questions regarding the band’s longest tour. Kind of a trick question really, as the tour itself ran the longest in their career spanning almost two full years. However, the tour didn’t have as many shows as the “GAG” tour did. Maybe it would have, but the tour itself was very tough on the band… 43 shows on the Nine Lives Tour were cancelled, and 36 shows were rescheduled, because of Steven’s knee injury, after dropping the microphone stand on it. And then on top of that, there was Joey’s freak accident at a gas station, ending up with 2nd degree burns. But wow! The tour started in May of ’97, and didn’t end until July of ’99, with AeroForce One landing in over 21 countries, to bring their music to the entire world. These guys are all about their fans, even when life gets in the way

I love this song for so many different reasons, some of which are very sophomoric. For instance, like I said above, the band instantly showed a direction of maturity never before seen. It was the band that all my friends, as a young teenager growing up in Santa Rosa, said they would never amount to more than Toys in the Attic. The same friends that said DTL was the end. And then reasons as old as the sky; the sexuality of the song, created from an interpretation of walking by an Indian Restaurant. These are the places my mind visits.

With those VERY heavy guitar riffs, and rough edges around a seductive and sensual lyrical ballet, the song delivers a message of pleasure above ordinary. Heavy, Heavy drum sequence! The song is a powerful expression of a male desire into a tantric scene, not understood by most American men, at least not in a traditional Hindu sense… NO! This is the American male’s interpretation of a sexual experience, maybe worshiped by some, but to us, it’s a whole new experience almost palpable… It’s an adventure. You can feel the sense of depredation with each verse, as he gets closer to the experience. It’s not just a “want”; it’s a “need”… The band delivers the pathway of the lyrical sexual tension, as the vocals express the excitement of the desire, almost as if it’s a sense of delirium.

The song is a metaphor in a sense, for opening up your mind, and all your senses to trying new things, new cultures, new variations, new flavors, new experiences. It challenges the listener, not only sexually, but also culturally. And don’t we all need that, at this day in age? So when your girlfriend, or your husband asks you to try the sushi, or the new Moroccan Food Restaurant, or something from The Philippines, Or even a chance at the other side of life… go ahead, What do you got to lose, if you only lose your mind? Taste the flavors the world has to offer. Let it linger on the tip of your tongue. Thirst for new adventures, both intimately and adventurously!

With the art, of the album, you have to wonder what came first, the song or the art. They actually hadn’t played this song live since the Nine Lives tour was over, until their show in Bangalore in 2007. It was the opening song at the concert, and was played with the Indian Flag as the backdrop.

Personally I think this whole album is very, very underrated. This song actually made it to number 3 on some American charts in ’98, so you may have heard it before. It has an awesome “Sarangi” intro by Ramesh Mishra, who is an award winning disciple of Ravi Shankar. Now to a lot of 3rd, and 4th “Genners”, even some 2nds, the name ‘Shankar’ won’t mean much. However, Ravi was world renowned and respected for his musicianship. Not just in Hindu music, but also in American, and International music scenes, with his performances at the Monterey Pop Festivals in the 60’s, among many others, along with his work with George Harrison’s career. So to have a disciple of maybe the world’s most popular Indian and Hindu musician of all time work on your record… well, that’s just a really cool thing.

Both Joe and Brad play Strats on the song, with an awesome backbeat, by Joey and Tom. I personally think these are Classic Tyler vocals, not only in pitch and sound, but also lyrically. As you watch the video though, you can really get a sense of just how tight this band is, and even more how Joe & Steven, yes the LI3 also, but specifically how in sync the two of them are. And Joe, being Joe is amazing the way he bends these chords in perfect harmony. With all Joe’s accolades, awards, and recognition over the years, still one of the most underrated Rock Guitarists ever… And yet he is easily ‘The Coolest Guy on the Planet’…

Hey Generation 3; Welcome to the show! .
I hope you like a Sweet Taste of India… It’s what’s gotten’ into ‘ya

“God I love the sweet taste of India 
Lingers on the tip of my tongue 
Gotta love what’s gotten into ya 
Any cat man do when it’s done…”

“This time I’m gonna get it right 
She’s gonna whet my appetite 
Just lookin’ for a little taste 
(A taste of India) 
She’ll steal the smile right off your face… yeah…”

This is; “Taste of India”