Aerosmith – Part 9

Woodbury, NJ – 1997

Still married. Still working in banking, and a one-year-old beautiful daughter in my life.

Anyway… enough of the cuteness. Let’s wrap up this series on my favorite band.

Aerosmith – Nine Lives – 1997

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nine_Lives_(Aerosmith_album)

You’re not going to believe this, but I didn’t buy this album. I heard the song, Pink on MTV but wasn’t thrilled, and thought Fallin’ In Love (Is hard on the knees) was a good song, but overall this is not a good record. But America is still coming in droves. Literally still lining up to date my once beloved. I feel like we broke up years ago. I’ve heard this record in its entirety, and it’s just not worth it.

Woodbury, NJ – 2001

Divorced. New girlfriend. She’s crazy. I’m making more money than ever, but I’m miserable. I didn’t buy this record either.

Aerosmith – Just Push Play

Here’s my full review of this record:

“Just push, eject.” – Charles

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Just_Push_Play

 

West Deptford, NJ – 2004

Still working in finance. Bigger house. More money. More cars. More problems. Kicked my crazy girlfriend out. Child support is killing me. Love my daughter.

Aerosmith – Honkin’ On Bobo – 2004

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honkin%27_on_Bobo

Not a bad blues record because all rock came from the blues. Saw the band on this tour and it was wonderful to see the boys alive and well. But it’s still a blues record. Nothing remarkable here. It’s about over for these guys creatively and artistically.

 

Philadelphia, PA – 2020

I was writing and editing my book, Angel with a Broken Wing that summer and decided to listen to every Aerosmith album in order while I was doing it. It was a fun ride that took a couple of days. I only listened to the classic Aero from the ’70s on occasion. But had never heard this album. Their final studio LP.

Aerosmith – Songs From Another Dimension – 2012

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Music_from_Another_Dimension!

The song Lover Alot sounds like a classic Aerosmith song, but other than that the album is weak. Carrie Underwood cameo? Really guys? Anything by Joe Perry on this album is just trash.

So that’s it. My lovely lion has gone out like a lamb. It’s okay. Everybody hates the Star Wars prequels and we love Star Wars. It’s the same thing. We can’t all be the Beatles, The Rolling Stones, or Led Zeppelin. In the end, we’re all just a bunch of old guys who had a load of fun in our youth, and Aerosmith and others gave us a solid soundtrack to dance through life to. But we all grow up and you have to know when to retire your toys to the attic of your memories. But… you can go up there and listen to your records any time you want and relive all of those wonderful feelings again. You can’t go back, but you can always wrap yourself up in those songs like a warm familiar blanket and smile.

Thanks for the ride guys! I will always love you!

Okay, one last bit here. If my sister makes fun of Ozzy Osbourne, it’s not cool, because she doesn’t own every Black Sabbath record ever made. But I can because I love Sabbath! I can make fun of my idols because there’s so much love there. So, as I did on their first album cover let’s take a look at these grandpops now.

Brad Whitford looks like he just stepped out of a card game with Wyatt Earp. Joe Perry with his Bonnie Raitt two-tone hair looks like an old bone daddy biker. Joey Kramer looks like an activist at the NYC Gay Pride parade. Tom Hamilton looks like that twice-divorced, used to be hot, lady neighbor with the ’78 Camaro. Steven Tyler looks like the cool aunt who would buy you and your friends beer when you all came over to your friend’s house in the ’70s. Or, he just came from his audition for the latest Pirates of the Caribbean movie.

LOVE YOU!

I long for these days…

Here are my favorite Aerosmith albums in order:

  1. Rocks
  2. Toys in the Attic
  3. Aerosmith
  4. Night in the Ruts
  5. Rock In A Hard Place
  6. Done With Mirrors
  7. Get Your Wings
  8. Draw The Line

Honorable mention: The Joe Perry Project – Let the Music Do the Talking

There you have it. I hope you’ve enjoyed this series as much as I have writing it. If you liked it, hit me up in the comments or email me about some other bands I could write about!

 

P.S. “If you’re ever feeling sad and beaten down by the world and life, please do this: Go home, put on your favorite record and crank it up loud. Lean into the music and feel the joy that it’s always brought you. Just know that all the darkness in the world can NEVER take a single note of that away from you.”

– Charles

Check out my Aerosmith playlist.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

You can check out my books here: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

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Aerosmith – Part 8

Wildwood, NJ – 1989

I’m working as a Branch Manager at the Avalon branch of Midlantic Bank. I’m doing well. I have my own apartment, and I have a steady girlfriend. I’ve joined the ranks of all the other working stiffs in America. I was more mature and responsible now. So was Aerosmith. Sober and working on their craft. They had gotten a second chance and took it. I was happy for them and new success in their miraculous second wave.

Aerosmith – Pump – 1989

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pump_(album)

This is a great record that you can really tell the band busted their butts to make. The work, songwriting, and production are all firmly in place on this record. This is what an older, wiser Aerosmith sounds like. The masses came in droves. They no longer belonged to me. We no longer had an exclusive one-on-one relationship. Aerosmith was dating everybody in the world now.

Hits: Love in an Elevator. (This felt like a sequel to Walk this Way. The guy wasn’t in high school anymore, and now plying his trade in department stores and office buildings) Jaime’s Got A Gun (Massive hit about child abuse. Huge success. But don’t get me started on Steven Tyler’s history with underage girls.)

https://atomic-temporary-111921946.wpcomstaging.com/2018/10/14/steven-tyler-took-legal-custody-of-the-teenager-he-was-banging-may-have-pressured-her-into-aborting-their-child/

https://atomic-temporary-111921946.wpcomstaging.com/2018/09/30/tales-of-rock-11-rock-stars-who-allegedly-slept-with-underage-girls/

My favorites: Young Lust, and F.I.N.E (These are the two songs that harken back to the Aerosmith songs that I liked. But, we were all getting older, and sadly for life to go forward, people have to grow and change. *sigh…

But Joe is looking virile!

Woodbury, NJ – 1993

I’m married and a homeowner by now. I’ve accepted the responsibility of grinding domesticity. I’ve stopped dreaming and settled into a life of frustrating mediocrity. Sadly, so has my favorite band.

Aerosmith – Get A Grip 1993

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Get_a_Grip

Hits: Livin’ on the Edge, Amazing, Crazy, and Crying. (Goddamn it guys. Did you not think we’d notice that Amazing, Crazy, and Crying all sound like the same song?)

My favorites: Eat The Rich. (This is a kick-ass song that sounds like the band I was once deeply in love with.) Livin’ on the Edge (Solid song.) Other than that, I could care less about this album. I would listen to Eat the Rich and then turn it off and go listen to something else. So sad.

The band is selling more albums now than they ever have before in the history of the band. They’ve officially sold out at this point. But I can’t blame them. I’ll always love them.

But by now I’ve already moved on to bands like Alice in Chains and Soundgarden.

Check out my Aerosmith playlist.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

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Aerosmith – Part 7

Wildwood, NJ – 1984

I was working one Saturday afternoon at my job at Home Video Centers. We rented movies and sold all sorts of video equipment. We played MTV on all of the televisions all day long. It was good background music for the store and the video images looked great on all of the different sets. I was standing with a couple of the sales guys and we were just chatting and watching videos. Then Kurt Loder came on and did the music news. He made the announcement that the original members of the band Aerosmith had drifted back together, put their differences aside, and had gotten back together as a group again. My heart skipped a beat I was so happy. I was glad they were all okay, and prayed a new album would come out soon!

Aerosmith – Done With Mirrors – 1984

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Done_with_Mirrors

All of the text on this album was backward. (No idea) What did the title mean? (It was all just a reflection, or was it a magic trick? (Did the title mean that the band was done snorting coke off of mirrors?) Who knows. I bought the cassette and took it home to listen to it. Let’s review.

  1. Let the Music Do the Talking: They took the title track from Joe’s first solo album and reworked the lyrics and arrangement and made it their own! Great version of an already good song. It’s a great, ‘welcome back song’ for the band.
  2. My Fist Your Face: As the title says, this song hits hard and kicks ass!
  3. Shame on You: Another solid laboring rocker. All of these songs have great Joe Perry riffs!
  4. Reason a Dog: Okay, not bad. Typical slow song for this point on an album.
  5. Sheila: Okay… a song about a girl. Not bad.
  6. Gypsy Boots: I can’t remember this one, but it works okay.
  7. She’s On Fire: Love this one. Solid build and good swing.
  8. The Hop: A jumping tribute to the band!
  9. Darkness: Great ominous closer with some real positive glimmers of more to come.

I loved this record just as much as Rock in a Hard Place. It feels like Rocks 2. I know that’s a bold statement but the band took a few years off from each other and worked to get clean. It doesn’t have the warmth of Rocks and the whole production seems sparse and a bit chilly, but it really kicks ass as an album, and a powerful return of America’s greatest rock n roll band! LOVE!

But… would this be the last time I really loved an Aerosmith album?

Wildwood, NJ – 1987

By 1987, I was out of retail and now working as a loan assistant at a local bank. Aerosmith had been working hard on writing songs, and their sobriety. I was happy about all of that and would buy anything they put out because of my decade-long love affair with them.

This next record feels like a transition for the band. They’re moving towards a more commercial sound. This was the first time I heard Aerosmith songs that I didn’t really care for. I think by then, I loved what I loved and if it didn’t look or sound like what I liked, then I wasn’t that into it. But I’m loyal so I bought it.

Overall this is a solid record for the masses. I never thought of Aerosmith like that. I’m not going to go track by track, which may sound surprising to most, but I’m losing my attraction to the band. It kind of hurt. It was like the beginning of the end of any relationship. You’re trying for a few years, and then the inevitable happens. A few hits came out of this record that were very popular on FM and MTV, but I sort of have lost that loving feeling for Aero. There are moments on this album when I hear the old band, but that ship is vanishing on the horizon. But I’m not 14 anymore. I’m a 25-year-old man now. Anyone expecting to feel what you felt at 14 when you first saw Star Wars or heard the Rocks album is kidding himself and setting himself up for disappointment. But I still love Aerosmith.

Aerosmith – Permanent Vacation – 1987

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Permanent_Vacation_(Aerosmith_album)

Hits: Dude (Looks Like a Lady) Rag Doll, and Angel.

The song Angel is the kiss of death for this band. It’s like the song, ‘Nothing Else Matters’ by Metallica. The hardcore fans know the honeymoon is finally over.

My favorites on this record: St. John, Girl Keeps Coming Apart, The Movie. Because they sound like the band I loved!

Check out my Aerosmith playlist.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

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Aerosmith – Part 6

Los Angeles, CA – Summer 1982

I may have seen an ad for the new record in a magazine or when I was browsing new rock titles at Tower Records in Hollywood. But I bought the cassette and took it back to my apartment to listen to it. I didn’t know what to expect of the band without Joe and Brad. Both guitarists gone from Aerosmith? How could that work? Would it be any good? Would this record be more Tyler-driven or go in a new direction? I was in great anticipation to get the album home.

At the time I was rocking out in my own right. I had also picked up a tape by a new band on the LA scene called Motley Crue. When I listened to their record it sounded like their demo. But it had a simple ferocious sound. It was as if Crue were the bastard sons of Aerosmith.

Anyway, let’s review.

Aerosmith – Rock In A Hard Place – 1982

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rock_in_a_Hard_Place

Here’s the back cover with the two new guys Jimmy Crespo and Rick Dufay.

  1. Jailbait: Fantastic song to kick off the new band. It’s reminiscent of the song Toys in the Attic from their 3rd album. It’s a wicked little number that sounds like the Aerosmith I grew up loving. A nasty song that has Steven and the boys in top form.
  2. Lightning Strikes: I would say this is the commercial hit from the album. Solid riff and a badass rocker. Full of swagger. So far, so good.
  3. Bitches Brew: Not bad. Not their best but it’s the third song and we deserve a little break.
  4. Bolivian Ragamuffin: Another good one. Has Steven been saving up songs on his own?
  5. Cry Me A River: This is a cover, but I love this song. They take a tender sad song and turn it into a vengeful screamer. Love!
  6. Prelude to Joannie: Cool little intro.
  7. Joannie’s Butterfly: Kind of a psychedelic retro tune. It’s nice, and a sweet departure that could have fit nicely on Toys in the Attic. (But isn’t Joanie’s Butterfly a sex toy for women?)
  8. Rock In A Hard Place: Title track. A kick-ass apocalyptic rocker. Love this song.
  9. Jig Is Up: I think some of these songs are Steven speaking about the loss and bitterness of losing his buddy Joe Perry. (Lyric: “Let the music do the talking, but all you do is talk about it.”)
  10. Push Comes To Shove: Another solid closer, that sounds like they recorded it in a bar somewhere.

Overall, I love this record. Despite all of their problems and the loss of key members, Steven navigates his ship like a twin-engine speedboat. It proved to me that even without Brad and Joe, this is still a great album that sounds like a real Aerosmith record. This shows that Steven Tyler IS Aerosmith.

Great record! But sadly by now, I’m already cheating on them with Ratt and Motley Crue.

Wildwood, NJ – 1984

I was back from California. Working at the video store and living my life back in Jersey. I saw that this album advertised and out of pure loyalty bought it on cassette.

Joe Perry – Once A Rocker, Always A Rocker – 1983

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Once_a_Rocker,_Always_a_Rocker

This album sucks. Don’t waste your money on it. Sorry, Joe. You look angry and sick on the cover. You’re not Jeff Beck, or Eric Clapton, or Robin Trower, or Stevie Ray… Go to rehab and get yourself together. You’re only cool in Aerosmith next to the other half of “The Toxic Twins” Steven Tyler.

Check out my Aerosmith playlist.

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

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Aerosmith – Part 5

Where’s Joe Perry in the featured pic? Yep. He’s been replaced by now. These are dark days for Aerosmith and me.

Wildwood, NJ – Autumn/Winter – 1979

My older sister was off to college and my father had moved the family to the seashore. It was a dark time for me, having been ripped from my life in Philly. My friends, my band, my school. All gone. I basically had to start over in Wildwood. You can read all about that mess and ultimate triumph in the series, Wildwood Daze on this blog.

But, through all of this darkness, my beloved heroes put out a new record. Somehow they put their drugs down long enough to crank out this album. I will note here that Joe Perry quit the band halfway through the making of this record. Steve Crespo plays on many of the tracks, but The original band is pictured on the cover. I thought the cover was awful. I thought the name sucked too. Oh, what’s your next album going to be called? “A Bic in the Cut?” “Dig Ol’ Bicks?” Come on, guys! What’s happening? I’m counting on you!

Aerosmith – Night in the Ruts – 1979

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Night_in_the_Ruts

The cover is bleak and the band looks dirty and worn out. Pretty much how I felt much of the winter of 1979 in Wildwood, so I guess it sort of fits.

Let’s go through this album…

  1. No Surprize: Solid opener to the record. I like it and I think it got some airplay. It’s about how the band came up. It’s good.
  2. Chiquita: It’s good. But I’m not thrilled.
  3. Remember (Walking in the Sand): This is a cover of an old Shangri La’s song. It’s not bad, but why this song? Does Steven miss Joe?
  4. Cheesecake: Just more Chiquita stuff here.
  5. Three Mile Smile: Fantastic song. Hard rock kick-ass song in the spirit of Rocks. I’m assuming it’s about the near-meltdown out in Pennsylvania. But the guitar work on this song is searing and I love it. The guitar work is outstanding.
  6. Reefer Head Woman: Another cover here. An old Buster Bennet tune. We get it. It’s about pot. The boys are running out of gas musically at this point. It’s a good song, but I miss the original stuff.
  7. Bone to Bone (Coney Island White Fish Boy): This is a solid rocker. I dig this song a lot. It’s got that manic quality that Rats in the Cellar on Rocks had so I’m in on this one. (Incidentally, a Coney Island White Fish is slang for a spent condom.)
  8. Think About It: Still another cover. This is an old Yardbirds song. But you know what? I kind of love this version. It’s a blast. I can hear the 1960’s sound in there, but the boys supercharged it on this number.
  9. Mia: This is a sad song about I think Steven’s baby daughter at the time. Nothing’s wrong with her, it just feels sad, like You See Me Cryin’ the final track on Toys in the Attic. It’s a haunting ballad, by an absent, drug-addicted father.

Overall I like this record. I like it better than Draw the Line. But we’d be getting another record in the Spring of 1980, but it wouldn’t be an Aerosmith record.

Wildwood, NJ – Spring 1980

I was sitting in the back of our bass player’s station wagon smoking cigarettes and listening to this on cassette. I was the guitarist in a band called Union Jacks by then, and he and I both loved much of the same music. He kind of reminded me of the bassist from my last band, Renegade, because he was a huge music lover.

The Joe Perry Project – Let The Music Do The Talking – 1980

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Let_the_Music_Do_the_Talking

Was I sad that Joe Perry had quit Aerosmith and their future was uncertain? You’re darn right I was. But… I still had all of their previous albums to make me happy, and anything that even resembled Aerosmith was at least something!

I still loved Joe and wanted to be like him, and I would take what I could get at this point. I really couldn’t complain. I had plenty of Aerosmith music and anything new by anyone in that band was welcome.

This brings us to this album. Let’s discuss. I’m not going to go track by track on this one. But I will say this. Joe put out a rock-solid solo album. This a really good hard rock album. It’s not Aerosmith by any stretch, but it still feels good, and I liked just about every song on this album. There are some real kick-ass tracks on this record. Well done, Joe!

The best ones are: Let the Music Do the Talking, Shooting Star, Break Song, and The Mist is Rising. 

Wildwood, NJ – Summer of 1981

Still, nothing from Aerosmith at this point, and the future of the band is unsure. I’m living my life at the seashore, playing in my own band, and working at Hunt’s Pier. Life was good and there’s plenty of rock out there to listen to.

Then this quietly comes out.

Joe Perry – I’ve Got The Rock ‘N Rolls Again – 1981

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I%27ve_Got_the_Rock%27n%27Rolls_Again

I really liked his first solo album from last summer and anything was better than nothing at this point. Was Aerosmith finished and all I’d be left with was Joe’s records and my sweet memories from the ’70s?

Joe gives us another 10 new songs to listen to and enjoy. But did we enjoy it this time around? Not really. The songs just aren’t strong enough on this follow-up record. I appreciate that he’s trying, but I’m just not feeling it. I feel like I was the only person who bought this record. Sadly, Joe has withered down to a skinny, frail junkie at this point.

I remember listening to it on cassette on my boombox on the beach. I was with my best friend and lead guitarist from my band. The title track came on and the singer was singing, “I’ve got the rock and rolls again!” My buddy says: “What’s he singing? Is that, I’m a rock and roll chicken?

I laughed but I can never listen to that song without thinking of that funny bit. Actually, I haven’t listened to that record in over 30 years.  If you’re a hard-core fan, go ahead, but it’s just not that good. Joe needs to get off drugs and get himself together at this point.

Whitford St. Holmes – 1981

Here’s something else that was released in 1981, after Brad Whitford also quit Aerosmith. He teamed up with Derek St. Holmes from Ted Nugent’s band. I didn’t know it existed when it came out. I saw it in a cut-out bin in a record store several years later. I’ve never heard the album, so it can’t be part of this series. I assume if I never heard of it in 1981, and didn’t buy it, no one else did either.

Sorry, Brad. You’re awesome but without Tyler and Perry, it ain’t happening. No one cares… (Oh, and the cover blows)

Check out my Aerosmith playlist.

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

You can check out my books here: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

Aerosmith – Part 4

Philadelphia, PA – Winter 1977

I remember coming off the wonderful summer and beginning the next chapter of my life at Frankford High School. It was so much better than where I was a year ago. I had grown and changed. Things were good. At 15 I was almost on the other side of puberty at this point.

It was Christmas morning and one of the presents I got that year was the following record. Of course, my mother had picked that up for me because she knew the rock and knew what I liked. She had also gotten me Heart’s last record called Little Queen which is an okay album. But it does have the song Barracuda on it which could have been a Led Zeppelin tune. But I digress…

Aerosmith – Draw The Line – 1977

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Draw_the_Line_(Aerosmith_album)

At this point, Aerosmith could have put out a whole album of them just chatting and drinking at a bar and I would have loved it and listened to it. That’s how much I worshipped this band. The guys who helped pull me through my early teenaged years. Toys in the Attic and Rocks were such great back-to-back albums, it would be nearly impossible for the band to top them. But this a decent attempt. The cover was drawn by the great Al Hirschfeld. The most brilliant caricature artist I’ve ever seen, and I loved his pen and ink work. An artist myself, I loved his simple, elegant, and spot-on style. I would go on to draw replicas of his work on Draw the Line on all of my notebooks at school.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al_Hirschfeld

To be honest this is a band like many that had barely survived the 70’s mired in grueling tours and hard drug use. The band was tired and fraying a bit. But managed to crank out another decent record. Let’s go through this record.

  1. Draw The Line: This is the title track and the song that was played on the radio. I liked it well enough, but it’s not Walk this Way, or Back in the Saddle. This song would later be the first Aerosmith song I learned how to play on guitar and played it in my first band. I was also the only one who could figure out the words to the last verse of the song, where Steven just screams them out and they are not printed in any sheet music available.
  2. I Wanna Know Why: I love this song. It hits hard with a simple message. It’s probably my favorite song on this entire record. It would have been a welcome addition to Toys in the Attic.
  3. Critical Mass: A cool song but never my cup of tea. It just never lit me up. (Funny, it was the song playing on the cassette when I got in a car accident in 1986)
  4. Get It Up: Neither did this song. What’s it about? Are Steven and the boys having some ED issues due to drug use?
  5. Bright Light Fright: A crap Joe Perry song. Sounds like it’s about a hangover. It’s juvenile and I don’t really care for it.
  6. Kings and Queens: This is a great song. Not my favorite, but a strong medieval-themed tune and a solid progressive rocker.
  7. The Hand That Feeds: More tired crap.
  8. Sight For Sore Eyes: A funky, heavy, delicious song. This one could have been an extra for the Rocks album. For years it was my favorite from this record, but I Wanna Know Why ultimately won out.
  9. Milk Cow Blues: Like Walkin’ the Dog and Big Ten Inch Record before it, this was a cover. It’s just a jam at the end of the album because I’m guessing they just were out of creative work for this album.

So overall, this is a decent record, but the band is clearly slipping. They’re exhausted from touring and being stuck together for the last decade, and drugs and alcohol are taking their toll on this band creatively. But the good thing was, I could always go back and listen to Toys, Rocks, and the first album to get my Ya ya’s out if I needed to feel something.

Let’s move on.

Philadelphia, PA – Autumn 1978

I’m the singer in a band by now. Learning guitar and writing my own songs. We play Draw the Line, Seasons of Wither, and Train Kept a Rollin’ so I’m happier than a pig in poop. It felt wonderful to be part of a band and making the music of my heroes. I felt like I was joining an elite club that had special powers over me and especially the kids in the neighborhood. Especially to my delight… the girls.

The next album Aerosmith released was a live album. I didn’t buy it but our bassist, Larry was an avid music lover and collector and he brought it over. I was delighted that I had some new Aerosmith to listen to, and I’m hoping the band was relieved after Draw the Line to take a break and release this live record.

Aerosmith – Live Bootleg – 1978

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Live!_Bootleg

As I noted in the last chapter, I bought a bootleg of a concert by Aerosmith, called Look Homeward Angel. Apparently back then bootlegging was a rampant practice among touring acts. Aerosmith was bootlegged so much, that when they put out their own live album they gave it the title, Bootleg just to mess with all of the pirates they knew were ripping them off for years. I liked that my favorite band still had a sense of humor.

It’s pretty much a by the numbers double-live album. It was okay with little surprises. I had already heard all of these songs and there wasn’t much new material here. The song, Chip Away The Stone was a good song, but I’m pretty sure they didn’t write it. I like it though. But there were a couple of really old songs from their early live days that really make this album special and worth a listen.

I Ain’t Got You and Mother Popcorn are the two stand-out numbers on this live record. They’re simple and to the point. The band was really young and they’re doing covers. This may have been recorded before their first album. I loved those two songs because they had a young fresh feel. The band was primitive but tough. Kind of like the band I was currently in. Both of these tunes touched me, and I love them both to this day.

Check out my Aerosmith playlist.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

You can check out my books here: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

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Aerosmith – Part 3

Philadelphia, PA – 1977

The first time I heard a little bit of this album was over at my friend RJ’s house. I knew at that moment… I had to own it as soon as possible.

I think I bought this next record at Sam Goody records at the Roosevelt Mall in Philly before I went down the shore that year. I had the first album thanks to my older sister, I heard the second album thanks to my friend Mike, I owned Toys in the Attic, and now to collect the final piece of the Aerosmith catalog. This brings me to this masterpiece.

Aerosmith – Rocks – 1976

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rocks_(Aerosmith_album)

Toys in the Attic is to A New Hope, as Rocks is to The Empire Strikes Back.

This is my first choice for desert island records. There are obviously others, but this is the album I’d reach for first if the ship was sinking and I was going to be stranded on a desert island. To me, this the finest work by the band. They have reached their creative zenith and playing. They are one of the certified platinum hard rock acts of the decade. This is what they’ve been building to. A rough house rock album, fueled by rage and drugs. Just an amazing watershed moment in the band’s history. This is the quintessential Aerosmith original recording.

Or as I used to call it… The Soundtrack to My Life.

I listened to this album every day for two years straight. I literally played it so much it lost some of its fidelity because the stylus was dragged through the delicious grooves on the vinyl created by this glorious band. This record is the crown jewel to the soundtrack of my young teenage life. There is no other recording at the time that makes me feel the way this record made me feel in the summer of 1977. It felt as though Aerosmith had recorded every song just for me as a thank you for my loyalty.

Rocks is a love letter to me to tell me that I will survive puberty and will be okay. “We know how you’re feeling, Chaz. We know it feels weird, and it hurts. We know you want everything now. So do we. Let’s get there together through these songs. Take this metal medicine every day, and you’ll get better. Life will get better for you. We’ll never hurt you. We’ll never betray you. We’ll never give you a hangover. We’ll never cheat on you or break up with you. We’ll never scold or hit you. We’re your band. We’re the boys from Boston. We’re Aerosmith, and we belong to you.

I’ll tell you what… I’m not going to do this one track by track. I don’t need to. This record is their finest work, and no matter what anyone says, it is.

This album makes a singular statement. “Aerosmith. Rocks.”

And rock they do, sir.

Check out my Aerosmith playlist.

Oh, and of course I had to buy this belt buckle and wear it every day!

If you can see it, it says 1977 on it so you know it’s legit!

Here’s a pic of my older sister and me. As you can clearly see from this old photo, I’m wearing not only an Aerosmith t-shirt, I’m wearing the very belt buckle I just showed you!

Okay, let’s move on.

Wildwood, NJ – 1977

Things had changed for the better for me. The nightmare of Fels Junior High was over and I was heading down the shore for the summer. Things were looking up for me.

I was on the boardwalk one day. I was probably just wandering around with my next-door neighbor. There was a cool store that was down by Marine Pier called The Fun Shop.

The Fun Shop was probably one of the most unique stores on the boardwalk. It had magic tricks, T-shirts, jewelry, music, and other cool junk for sale. Think Hot Topic before there was a Hot Topic. We were in there looking at some cool black and white prints of celebrities and bands. I was deeply in love with the actress from Charlie’s Angels, Farrah Fawcett, and of course all things Aerosmith.

What I didn’t realize at the time was probably all of their merch and memorabilia was bootleg stuff. The word “bootleg” originates from the practice of smuggling illicit items in the legs of tall boots, particularly the smuggling of alcohol during the American Prohibition era. The word, over time, has come to refer to any illegal or illicit product.

boot·leg
/ˈbo͞otˌleɡ/
adjective
  1. (especially of liquor, computer software, or recordings) made, distributed, or sold illegally.
    “bootleg cassettes”
noun
  1. 1.
    an illegal musical recording, especially one made at a concert.
    The only access we had to celebrities back then was television, movies, and magazines. That’s it. No internet and no social media. Celebrities and rockstars lived on an exclusive planet in our galaxy that we mere mortals could only look upon in limited places. I bought a few photos of Farrah to hang on my wall and a cool photo of Aerosmith.
    But I saw a rack of record albums by artists I was familiar with but not the albums. A two album set by Led Zeppelin called Moby Dick. A Rolling Stones record called Garden State, and the album pictured below.

Aerosmith – Look Homeward Angel – 1976

If you look closely it’s obvious it’s a bootleg. It’s not released by the band. It’s a concert recorded at Madison Square Garden in NYC. It’s on Fantasy Discos, not their label which was clearly Columbia at the time. Luis Martinez is not Jack Douglas.  Aerosmith isn’t recording any albums in Guatemala City. This product is a rip-off made by somebody to make money off the band. They wouldn’t see one cent from the sales of this record. All of the songs are from the 1975 tour to support Toys in the Attic. Because even though their next album was already out, there are no songs from that new record. This is a pure bootleg, through and through.

But to me, anything Aerosmith was something I had to own. The album was only five bucks. I didn’t really know what bootlegging and piracy was back then. I just wanted more rock by a band I loved. So I bought it and took it home.

To be honest, I loved this album. It’s not a bad recording and I got to hear Aerosmith play live for the first time. It was exciting and new to me. I played the hell out of this album and liked it as much as all of their albums. The second side is what really struck me about this record. The live rendition of Train Kept a Rollin’ is spectacular. It’s a furious explosion of hard rock live magic being performed by a great band. On a live recording, you’re lucky if you get those little improvisational extras you can’t get on a studio recording. Near the end of Train, Joe Perry just starts jamming the theme from Batman, the 1966 TV show. I went bananas. I loved that show as a child, and to hear my idol Joe Perry start playing Batman during one of their songs live was just sweet heaven. They close out the song and then burst into Toys in the Attic, which blows away the studio track. It’s so incendiary that it makes the original sound tame.

So even though at 14 years old I’m guilty of buying a bootleg record of Aerosmith, I loved it and it brought me hours of aural joy for many years.

I found this recently on YouTube. This to me really captures the band I fell in love with over 45 years ago. Just glorious!

Thank you, Gods of Rock!

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please like, share, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

You can check out my books here: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

Tales of Rock – 20 Little Known Facts About Liv Tyler’s Relationship With Her Dad, Steven Tyler

If you’re an older millennial, you grew up watching Liv Tyler on your screen. Whether it was in a music video or in your favorite movie (like, say, Armageddon) she had some impact on your life in terms of pop culture back then. And now, she’s a happy mother living the family life with her very famous family.

In case you’ve lived under a rock your entire life, you know exactly who Steven Tyler is. He’s the frontman for Aerosmith and has been a famous rock icon for decades. While the rock star world/Hollywood world always seemed a little puzzling for outsiders, it’s been comforting knowing that while the Tyler family has its quarks, they’re still extremely close-knit.

Here are 20 things you never knew about Liv Tyler and Steven’s father/daughter relationship.

Liv Had No Idea Steven Was Her Father For 10 Years

Paper Magazine

We’ve heard this story before and if you haven’t, you’re in for a WHOA. Liv Tyler was basically raised by her mother, model Bebe Buell, her grandmother, and her aunt. For years, her mother harbored this secret from Liv until years later, when she was FINALLY told that Aerosmith frontman was the man who helped give her life.

Singer Todd Rundgren Was The One She Thought Was Her Father

Zimbo

A man DID sign her birth certificate under “father,” however, and that man was famous rock n’ roll artist Todd Rundgren. Tyler even had Rundgren’s last name for the longest time. “Todd basically decided when I was born that I needed a father so he signed my birth certificate,” Liv said. “He knew that there was a chance I might not be his but…”

And He Was An Excellent Father To Her

Pinterest

In interviews when asked about Todd Rundgren’s influence on her life, Liv always gushes over her stepfather, even though she didn’t see him too often. He was the first man there for her when no other man was, and she cherishes that. “Todd was my father,” she said. “He completely supported me and put me through amazing private schools.”

She Adored Steven Before She Knew

At the delicate age of eight, her mother took her to one of step father’s concerts and Steven Tyler happened to be backstage so her mom introduced them. She felt a strange connection with him and even had his poster up on her bedroom wall. She started to suspect that he was her father when she got older and her mom finally confirmed it.

Her Mother Kept It From Liv Because Steven Was In A Dark Place

Harper’s Bazaar

When she finally found out about who her real father was, she started to resent her mother for keeping the truth from her. But, it was all for a good reason. Buell kept the secret from Liv because Steven was reeling heavily from substance abuse at the time. He didn’t try to connect with his daughter until after he came out of rehab.

Steven Hit On Liv’s Friend Cameron Diaz When They Were Young

Liv has always gossiped about some embarrassing things that her father did when she was younger, and one was apparently hitting on her young friends around her. He apparently asked out actress Cameron Diaz right in front of Liv, who quickly put a stop to the conversation. “Daddy, you’re hitting on my best girlfriend!” she exclaimed.

Steven’s Absence From Liv’s Life Made A Lasting Impact On Her Personal Relationships

Even though Rundgren was in her life, she rarely saw him and was basically raised by strong, female figures like her mom and grandmother. There were strings of men in and out of her life, but she never really had a definitive father figure in her life until her teens and she believes that had a negative effect on her personal relationships with me.

She Had A Hard Time Growing Up With Famous Parents

Pinterest

Any child who was raised in the public eye will tell you that they had a difficult time growing up. When your parents are super famous, it’s awkward for you because everyone already knows who you are and personal details about your life, so it’s no wonder that Liv revealed she had a difficult time growing up with famous parents.

Liv Starred In Aerosmith’s Music Video “Crazy” When She Was 16

YouTube

She had only known her father to be her actual father for a few short years before she starred in his famous Aerosmith music video “Crazy” along with Alicia Silverstone. Both young teenagers bonded together when they were shooting and became fast friends. Liv even still looks basically the same as she did when she was 16.

…And No One Who Worked On The Video Knew She Was His Daughter

Another crazy thing about Liv being cast in that particular music video back in the 90s is that absolutely no one (other than Steven and Liv) knew that Liv was actually Steven’s daughter. There was a hullabaloo when it was finally revealed because Liv acted very provocatively in the video so some were shocked to learn the news.

She’s Close With Steven Now

If you’ve been paying attention to their relationship over the past few decades, they wasted no time forming a really tight father/daughter bond in order to make up for the missed time. Through the years, they’re constantly supporting each other through major achievements in both their careers and have a dang good relationship.

…Even When She’s Embarrassed By Him

Recently, Liv Tyler went on the record and spoke about what actually he does that embarrassed her or continues to embarrass her after all these years (that don’t include him hitting on any of her close girlfriends). Apparently, she HATES it when he gyrates his body on his microphone and has cringed and said “stop it, dad!” to him.

Liv Was Thrilled When She Found Out She Had A Sister

When she found out that Steven Tyler was her real dad, not only was she over the moon about it, she was also thrilled to find out that she had a sister as well, Steven’s other daughter Mia. Liv was raised an only child and always longed to have siblings, so when she and Mia met, it was an instant connection that was missing.

Steven Was With Liv When She Gave Birth To Her Son

Liv has said when she was pregnant with her second child, a son named Sailor, she went into premature delivery. When she was rushed to the hospital, she called up her sister Mia to meet her there, and Mia ended up bringing Steven as well, They arrived minutes before she delivered her son and Steven cut the umbilical cord.

Is He A Good Grandfather?

If there’s one thing we’ve learned over the years about Steven Tyler, it’s that he’s an insanely attentive grandfather to all his grandchildren, especially Liv’s kids. If you head over to her Instagram, you’ll see pictures of him playing around with the kids and him just completely doting on all of them in fantastic ways.

Was He The Reason She Picked Up Smoking At Age 14?

imdb

Liv has revealed that she picked up the nasty habit of smoking when she was only 14-years-old, and if we look back at both her parents, we can see why. Both were avid smokers at a young age so Liv probably learned the habit from them. She’s very self-aware of it being a bad habit now and hopes her kids don’t do it.

Liv Says Steven Is “Like A Unicorn”

Liv has gone on the record and spoke out how much both her father and her step-father mean to her in multiple interviews. “They are like unicorns or wizards,” she once said of both. “They are musicians through and through. The way they think is just different. Their eccentricities have made me more practical and more normal, in a way.”

She Has A Lot Of Embarrassing Stories About Him

Pinterest

When your father is in the spotlight, you’re bound to have stories about him (a few of which we’ve already listed before. When she goes on talk shows, they usually ask her the same thing: “What has Steven Tyler done to embarrass you?” and she always bursts out laughing. This particular story she told on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen.

Her Instagram Feed Reveals That They’re Still Close

It’s not just grandfather pictures Liv posts on her Instagram feed whenever Steven is around. Her pictures have shown an intimate side of her father – one who travels the world with her and her family, one who spends an abundance of time with her. They’ve even done an Instagram video of the two of them singing together.

He’s Proud Of The Mother She’s Become

Popsugar

In interviews he’s done, Steven always gushes about his children and grandchildren, especially when it comes to Liv. He remarks about what kind of mother she is to her children and that he’s happy to be included so much in their lives. It’s wonderful to watch the two of them just love each other through the media.

Wanna be a better guitarist? Click this link to learn the secret!

https://beginnerguitarhq.com/guitar-exercises/

Thank you for reading my blog. Please like, comment, share, and most of all, follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

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Aerosmith – Part 2

 Philadelphia, PA – Spring  1977

One evening, I was sitting on the steps inside a friend’s house talking to a girl named Jill whom I didn’t really know. She lived a few blocks away, and back then, if a kid lived more than three blocks away you didn’t know them. They played and hung on their own streets. Unless they went to your school, you didn’t know them. Jill went to the local Catholic School with my friend Michael, so he knew her. I thought she was beautiful and couldn’t believe she was even speaking to me, let alone sitting next to me on a stairway chatting.

At that time I was still a disaster. Poor grades in school, bullied on a daily basis by boys in the neighborhood and teachers at Fel’s Junior High. Zits all over my face, chest, and back, glasses, braces, greasy hair, and nerd clothes, and weird buckle shoes. Puberty was kicking my butt worse than anybody I knew. My comic books and music were all that sustained my existence at that point in my life.

There were some other kids in the room and the lights were low. We were all just hanging out, drinking soda, and eating chips. The house belonged to a lady who Michael’s friend Anne babysat for, and the lady was cool enough to let her have her friends come over and hang out because we were all good kids.

Obviously, the radio was on and we were either tuned into local FM rock station WMMR 93.3 or WYSP 94.1. They were pretty interchangeable and so close on the dial, that you could bounce back and forth between them to listen to the songs you liked. If Styx or REO Speed Wagon was playing, on WYSP, you could always slide over to WMMR and maybe Led Zeppelin was playing.

A song came on the radio that I had heard maybe once or twice in passing. It was called, Walk This Way. I knew who played that song.

Me: “I love this song. It’s so good!”

Jill: “Me too. Who is this?”

Me: “Aerosmith.”

Jill: “Oh, I like him.”

I always found it funny that girls would refer to a band as HIM. Jethro Tull, Aerosmith, Pink Floyd, Alice Cooper. “I like HIM” Like it was one guy.

I already liked Aerosmith from what I had heard and my adoration for them was growing rapidly.  This new song, Walk this Way was so much better than their last hit, Dream On. It was faster, sexier, and funkier. This was something I could really embrace. A song about teen angst and high school tomfoolery. I liked what Steven Tyler was saying in the lyrics. He was singing what we all were thinking, and doing it with such cocksure bravado.

One afternoon I was sitting in a chair in the living room of my friend, RJ McMeans. RJ, stands for Raymond John.  He was named after his father. RJ was my age and he had an older brother Danny who was my older sister’s age. Having older brothers and sisters was always a conduit to new music. For some reason, those just ahead of us in age seem to be exposed to things just before we can get to them. We have our own things, but I think it’s a social thing. I remember most kids I knew found music through their older siblings.

We were just chatting and listening to music. That’s what people did before the advent of all of the technology we have today. You read books, magazines, and listened to records or watched whatever was on TV, which wasn’t much back then.

At RJ’s house played Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon, Led Zeppelin IV, Heart’s Dreamboat Annie, and Aerosmith’s, Toys in the Attic. I liked holding the album in my hands. It was the follow-up to the disappointing, Get Your Wings. The photo above is from the back of the record. The band looks tired and a bit strung out. Back then, bands had to tour non-stop for years to get the word out about their band to sell records. It’s a grueling lifestyle that can only be lived by the most talented and the strongest of will.  Columbia records had pushed all of the promo money to a guy named Bruce Springsteen, whom they called the new Dylan. I understood why he was popular, but his happy Jersey bar band sound never appealed to me. I liked my rock to be a bit more rough house. More guitar-driven and heavier. A wink and a grin with a touch of evil. Bruce was a goodie two-shoe. But Aerosmith had a darker swagger that I really liked.

On Toys in the Attic, I feel that the band had really discovered their identity and defined their sound.

Let’s go track by track on this album just how I heard it for the first time at RJ McMeans’ house.

Aerosmith – Toys In The Attic – 1975

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toys_in_the_Attic_(album)

Toys in the Attic: A fast opener for the record that hits you in the face with fury. This would go on to be a classic show closer or encore for the band. Not one of my favorite tracks.

Uncle Salty: I like this song. It was on the B-side of the 45 RPM single for Walk this Way. I would always play this and Walk this Way at the arcade I hung out in Wildwood just to play all things Aero. It’s a sunny upbeat song with positive lyrics. (Oooh… it’s a sunny day outside my window.) Love that!

Walk this Way: The breakout hit for the band that immediately went into heavy rotation on FM radio, and put the band back in the spotlight after such a long wait after Dream On from their debut album. This song by Tyler and Perry showed the snappy songwriting of Steven and the creative, simple riffs of Joe. Everybody liked this one, and that widespread appeal pushed the band upward in the charts. To me, this is one of the perfect rock songs from the ’70s. It has everything, including a delicious, furious solo to end the song that I still air guitar to every time I hear it even today. LOVE!

Big Ten Inch Record: I don’t think they wrote this, and I never liked this song. To me, it was a throwaway, funny play on words song, that I felt this band didn’t need. We get it guys, your sexy, funny, and cool. It’s about you whipping out some old 78 RPM records and a euphemism for something else. There’s no need at this point to record songs like this anymore.

Sweet Emotion: The first song on side two of the album, is an amazing song. The dark ropey bass line, and Joe Perry using the talk box made famous by Peter Frampton. But thankfully not overused. As great as this song was, it never really got played on rock radio back then. It was worthy, but all that was played on the radio was Walk this Way. It’s a great song that got later acclaim during the band’s resurgence in the ’90s. They even shot a cool video for it, which didn’t exist in 1975.

No More, No More: I love this song. It’s a great rock/pop song with a great underlying keyboard to it. It’s a simple story song, but the solo at the end is really tasty. I always thought Brad played the solo because it was so good, but it may have been Joe. I always felt like Joe was the better riff guy and Brad was the Berkley-educated secret weapon in the band.

Round and Round: This song. This doesn’t sound anything like what the band had played before. It’s a laboring, heavy riff-driven song. I love this song, and other than Walk this Way, which is easy to love, this song appeals to my darker sense. The band is moving towards a heavier sound here. It doesn’t have to be tricky or fast. Round and Round moves at its own dizzy pace with nothing to prove. That heavy, howling sound of the guitar and its overall apocalyptic theme. It’s how my soul feels trapped in this horrible life and a 14-year-old body that’s a mess. I get up and go to school, hate my teachers, the classes, bullies, and life in general. I just feel like I’m going round and round in the same Hell every day… day after day. This is what my depression and anxiety sound like to me. I would say for my taste, this is the best song on the album for my own selfish reasons and a hint of what to was to come on their next album, Rocks.

You See Me Crying: This is a lovely closer to the album. Done in true Aerosmith style, but I like that this great album ends with a bit of a whimper. The boys have already taken me through my paces during the listening of this landmark album, and now I could take a breath and relax as they brought their album to a close. Just a beauty. You can really see after listening, the band has not only grown as musicians and artists, they’ve become a tighter heavier act that knows their identity and knows what’s to be done going forward. Rock the pants off the world!

Love this record!

Check out my Aerosmith playlist: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/37GZ7T5DMK4GJ614tQ28Ir

Tune in next Thursday for the next chapter of this 9-part series!

Thank you for reading my blog. Please like, comment, share, and most of all, follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

You can check out my books here: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

Aerosmith – Part 1

Philadelphia, PA – 1976-1977

I’ve wanted to write this for a while. Aerosmith is to American hard rock as Star Wars is to SciFi. I’ve loved Aerosmith since I was 13 years old. I’ve not only purchased nearly every album they’ve ever released, but I’ve also bought the same records in different formats. Vinyl, cassette, and CD. So I’ve made all of the payments necessary to this band as a fan.

I’m not going to review them as a band, or as a professional music reviewer. These are my personal opinions based on how old I was, how the music made me feel, what was going on in my life at the time, and what I felt were quality songs. If you want real history on this band, go buy a book or read online about them. I’m not going to get into personalities or anything about the inner workings of this group because that’s not what this is about.

Let’s face it, it’s not the guys, it’s what they did for you and how their music made you feel. I feel I’m warranted to say all of the following things because I’ve made all of the donations I’m ever going to make to this band’s bank accounts by buying their records and seeing them live. I love them, and will always love them for the decades of joy they’ve brought to my heart.

Sometimes I will be harsh with my words, but it comes from a place of pure love. So let’s get started.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aerosmith

Aerosmith – Debut album – 1973

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aerosmith_(album)

My older sister hung out with a neighborhood band back in 1975/1976. They were called The Grim Reaper. I think because they played that song by Blue Oyster Cult. They also played the song, Dream On’ by Aerosmith and she must have liked that song because she brought this record home. I had heard that song played on the radio for several years but didn’t think much of it or even knew who did it. I was too buried in my love for the band Steppenwolf.

https://atomic-temporary-111921946.wpcomstaging.com/2019/12/15/tales-of-rock-steppenwolf-first-love/

Let’s start with the cover of this album. I’ll run through this from left to right. This is a pretty furry band. What’s with Joey Kramer’s mutton chops? Then we have Joe Perry looking like Injun Joe from Twain’s book, Tom Sawyer. Tom Hamilton looks like he cut his hair with kid’s scissors and a razor blade. Steven Tyler looks kinda cool. Brad Whitford looks like a girl no one ever wants to date, let alone be seen with.

Wildwood, New Jersey – 1977

On a side note, the name Injun Joe came from this kid named Tony Riccardi. He was this guy that met my older sister and fell in love with her in the summer of 1977. He would be sniffing around our house trying to get her to go to the beach or take her out on a date and she just wasn’t into him. He was a moderately good-looking Italian guy about a year or so older than me. He was fit and I didn’t get why she wasn’t into him. Except for the fact that he seemed to only own one bathing suit. It was this dark blue and yellow striped speedo-looking thing he wore every day. Sis wasn’t into him, but I got to know him and he seemed nice. We started hanging out a little bit. But I’m thinking now he may have been just spending time with me to get to my sister. Distract the brother, bag the sister.

I noticed he was missing the pinky on his one hand. I asked him about it and he told me that he lost it in a bane saw accident in woodshop at school. My friends and I had all taken woodshop in school and heard all of the horror stories, myths, and legends about mishaps in wood and metal shop at our collective schools, but we never met anybody that some stuff had actually happened to. Tony Riccardi was that man. All that was left of the digit was a little knuckle.

I remember we were sitting in Sam’s Pizza and he asked our waitress for a pen. She gave it to him and went back to waiting tables. “What are you going to do with that?”

“Watch this.”

When the waitress returned to retrieve her pen, Tony asked her if she wanted to meet Herbie.

“Umm… okay.”

Tony held out his fist to her. On the little pinky knuckle stub, he had drawn a smiley face with her pen. He could actually wiggle it and make it say hi.

The waitress turned away in revulsion.

“Ton… I think I’m starting to get why my sister doesn’t want to date you.”

Anyway, Tony Riccardi was the person who upon viewing my records, saw the Aerosmith cover and called Joe Perry, Injun Joe. I never forgot that because he looks dead-on like an angry or sad native American from popular literature.

When you’re 14 years old every guy who is older than you looks like a grown man. All of the guys in Aerosmith were only in their early 20’s but to me, they might have well been in their 30’s.

The album had modest sales and I suppose they had to put, Featuring: “Dream On” on the jacket so people would say, Oh yea, that song’s pretty good.

I was in our basement listening to records on my dad’s stereo and shooting pool on our billiard table. One of the records I put on that day was this one. I’m going to go through this song by song. (Don’t worry, I’ll be brief.)

Make It: Great song. A kick-ass opening and it felt like it was about becoming a rockstar, so I was down.

Somebody: Another great song. Loved it more than Make It.

Dream on: Already tired of it by then.

One Way Street: Great jam song where I got to hear the different guitar playing styles by Joe and Brad. Also some fine harmonica work by Steven.

Mama Kin: Another solid rocker. Yes, I like this song too!

Write Me: I wrote letters to girls back then so I could relate because getting letters from girls in the mail was a big deal back then. Great song.

Movin’ Out: Not bad. It has its moments. (I always liked the little laugh in the beginning)

Walkin’ the Dog: They didn’t write it, but it’s a sweet little closer for the record. My mom loved this song.

This record got me really interested in this band. It was like Steppenwolf, but harder and faster. I really liked the songs and how they made me feel. I was beginning to have some real love for this band.

I eventually learned how to play nearly every song on this album on guitar. But that wouldn’t happen for another 2 years.

Let’s move on.

Philadelphia, PA – 1976.

I was in the garage with my friend Michael and we were listening to various records on my little green and white record player. We were listening to Bill Cosby, George Carlin, and some other rock music records. Out of all my friends back then, Michael was probably my best friend. He was a year younger than me, but we just sort of worked as friends. He lived a few doors down and wasn’t like the other kids in the neighborhood. We had some great times together and were super close. I felt bad for him because unlike me with my zit face Mike had full-blown acne. That’s different. That scars your face for life. Also, his parents never got his teeth fixed and he always had an overbite. I never understood that. but we were good buddies and at some point, I want to write about our adventures together.

I had the first Aerosmith album and we were listening to that and smoking cigarettes. I asked him if his brother Jimmy had any more Aerosmith albums. He said he had this one and their second record. I asked him what it was called.

Mike: “Get Your Wings.”

Me: “I don’t want to listen to Paul McCartney and Wings right now, besides it’s my sister’s and she probably doesn’t want me bringing it out to the garage.”

Mike: “What?”

Me: “What’s Aerosmith’s second record called?”

Mike: “I said, Get Your Wings.”

Me: “But I don’t want… wait, is that the name of the record? Get Your Wings?”

Mike: “I’ve been trying to tell you…”

Me: “That’s a crap name for a record, but yea… go get it. I want to hear it!”

Get Your Wings – 1974

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Get_Your_Wings

So here we are.

Okay, again with the cover. Joe looks cool. Joey Kramer actually looks the most handsome and rugged in the band. Steven looks hungover and on drugs, and why is he showing off his bulge? Brad looks sad or stoned. (Understandable) Tom Hamilton has let his razor cut grow out and looks presentable. (and a bit, impish!) It looks like the title for the record was an afterthought because it’s just this little lame phrase slapped on the cover like a little sticker. Look at it! Crap.

Michael returned with the record. Let’s run down the playlist. But before I do, let me say this. You have your whole life to write your first album. If you get signed to a label by some miracle, you have to come up with 8 to 10 more songs by the next year. Super pressure, and frankly I don’t know how bands did it back then, but maybe that’s why I never ended up in that vocation.

Aerosmith was a relatively new inexperienced act that had some magic between them. I later heard that they brought in some hired guns to play on the album to punch up the tracks but that’s not what this story is about.

Same Old Song and Dance: Cool opening track. Joe always had a knack for coming up with cool riffs and he definitely hits it on this one. A solid opening rocker. I liked it.

Lord of the Thighs: A little long and slow for me back then. But Brad Whitford plays some killer guitar on that tune. I later grew to like this song because of its theme and my adoration of women’s legs.

Spaced: Ahh… it is the title. A little spacey and kind of a dated-sounding song at this point. I wasn’t feeling it. But it has a cool psychedelic late 60’s vibe.

Woman of the World: Too long and lame. It’s a throwaway song that finishes side one, and I just never felt it no matter what it did.

S.O.S Too Bad: They used to play this a lot in concert and I never understood why. Maybe it was to get it out of the way to get to the good songs. Never liked it.

Train Kept a Rollin’: This is a retread of an old Yardbirds tune. They must have performed it live as a young band and people liked it. But I will say this, It’s a great rendition of the song, and Aerosmith went on to make it their own. Their live version is an incredible song and I love it. We played this song in my first band, Renegade so there’s that.

Seasons of Wither: This is the most beautiful song on the album. I love this song. (Renegade played this too) It’s a lovely song and the arrangement is gorgeous. I loved that although I loved Aero for the way they made me feel with the energy, this song was gentle and really touched me. Steven really touched the melancholy sound of the song. Oh god, and the strings on the cello on the second chorus. Bliss!

Pandora’s Box: This is a piece of trash song written by Joey Kramer that is about cunnilingus. It’s cheap and obvious and it’s clear they were out of songs for this record to produce this turd.

To sum up, Same Old Song and Dance. Cool song with a good Perry riff, and good lyrics. Train Kept a Rollin’, very exciting song. Seasons of Wither. Gorgeous.  That’s it for this record. I’m just going to talk about what was happening at the time, and how the songs made me feel.

At this point, I love the first record, but I’m not thrilled with the sophomore effort of this band.

But there is definitely something happening here with this new band.

Check out my Aerosmith playlist: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/37GZ7T5DMK4GJ614tQ28Ir

 

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