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Monday, October 14, 2013

I Have Noise In My Head Too!

"I kept the right ones out and let the wrong ones in.
Had an angel of mercy to see me through all my sins.
There were times in my life when I was going insane trying to walk through the pain.
When I lost my grip, and I hit the floor.
Yea, I thought I could leave but couldn't get out the door.
It's amazing with the blink of an eye you finally see the light.
Oh, it's amazing when the moment arrives you know you'll be alright.
Yea it's amazing, and I'm saying a prayer for the desperate hearts tonight."
-Aerosmith, 'Amazing, 1993

This is what Steven Tyler had to say about his song, 'Amazing' back in '93:

"The more I look back at my life and the things that we did, the more I think there's got to have been a plan for this band, either by a higher power or an angel of mercy. I mean, that's how I like to look at it now, because for all the shit I did, someone threw me a rope. I look back on the times I OD-ed, didn't have any money left in the bank, was let go off CBS because the band sucked, couldn't even get my shit together to change my clothes, but look at us now. When you actually look back, it's pretty damn amazing, hence the song." VOX 4/93

Stephen Tyler is quoted here because he is a man who has seen the rock bottom of hell and come back to tell a story about it. He formed his band, Aerosmith, in the early 70's with Joe Perry and Tom Hamilton, later adding Brad Whitford. This is the first rock group that I adored and worshiped. I have seen them in concert 3 times, and one of those times I was lucky enough to be in the first ten rows. I think Stephen Tyler is magnificent, and I'm glad he's a judge on American Idol. He adds an element of crazy fun to the show. You never know what he's going to say or do, or even wear next. He is a free spirit and stands true to the testament of time.

For me, thinking of Aerosmith, brings back memories of middle school. It is also a fun fact that Alicia Silverstone, my MS crush got her debut in the 'Crazy', 'Cryin', and 'Amazing' music videos. In 1994, she was in the film Clueless, which is now a cult classic (I remember going to the movie theater to see it with my cousin, Deborah). So, I have fond memories of playing Aerosmith and forgetting all woes and cares. For me, as soon as I got Aerosmith's 'Get a Grip' for my 12th birthday, I could for once taste freedom. I didn't yet know that Aerosmith had been around for a good 15 to 20 years before I was even born. They were already music legends by the time I started listening to them.

I remember the very day, when I unwrapped my present and saw that pierced cow udder. For me, it was like that moment in 'Almost Famous' where William Miller gets a note from his sister, Anita, telling him to light a candle while listening to The Who. She says it will 'set him free'. Well that moment is like what happened when I received my very first rock CD. Stephen Tyler is still my favorite rocker, despite the fact that I don't really care for Amerosmith's newer songs, like 'Pink' or 'I Don't Wanna Miss a Thing', though they are catchy.

I prefer the days of 'Sweet Emotion', 'Big Ten Inch', 'Kings and Queens', 'Draw the Line', 'Same Old Song and Dance', 'Toys in the Attic', and of course 'Dream On'. My personal favorite of all time, though is 'Back in the Saddle'. To me, that song always represents a kind of testament to bouncing back no matter how hard you hit the ground after falling off the horse. However, the song really makes references to the Old West and has many sexual innuendos. It seems to be really about getting ready to have a fun night with ole' Sukie Jones (the equivalent to a Playboy bunny saloon girl I'm guessing). So, I put more metaphorical meaning into the song than is there, but that's okay; we all do that.

"The thing that really stands out in my mind about Aerosmith is that we're still fucking together. Whatever we've done together and whatever we've become, is second to the fact that we're still doing this. I'm still in love with these guys. I'm not saying it didn't take a lot of work because drugs will take you and pull you apart. But it wasn't anything we shot up or put up our noses that gave us the edge - it was Joe Perry's fuck-all, being as abrasive as that motherfucker is, and Brad Whitford's ear, Tom Hamilton's well-aimed simplicity and Joey Kramer's solid bed of backbeat. Keeping this band together has been the hardest and the happiest thing we've done in our lives. It's been a long time coming. So for all the other stuff that comes from Aerosmith, the most amazing thing is that we're still playing and still having some fucking fun."

That is what Steven Tyler said about his band, Aerosmith. Despite the women, drugs, and fights, the band is still together. They still go on tour. So, Steven Tyler is a testament to staying true to yourself and letting your freak flag fly. He knows he beats to his own drum, and he says to everyone this is what you get, and if you don't like it, then fuck off. I think he is number one on my list of classic rock celebs I would want to meet. I've met many rockers, but Steven Tyler would be like meeting 10 of my rock heroes at once. I would just love to hang out with him and pick his brain. Him and Whoopie Goldberg. That would be the best conversation ever!

For me, he is the epitome of oddity who is actually a little unusual. See, many people, especially celebrities try so hard to be weird, but they're just so 'normal'. What makes people like Tyler awesome are that he seems to be an honest portrait instead of a caricature. What also gets me is the sense that he cares about his fans and about the music. I mean, I'm sure he enjoys making money, but that doesn't seem to be the most important aspect for people like him.

The man has been in rehab and has dealt with addiction many times over. He has had three wives and has four children, one being the actress, Liv Tyler. His auto-biography, 'Does the Noise in My Head Bother You?' came out in May 2011. I started reading it because Steven Tyler is my rock n' roll idol.  I had to stop, though, not because it was bad but because it freaked me out how much Steven Tyler and I are alike.  Seriously, at times, while reading his memoir, I felt like I was his long lost brother.  If I ever have the opportunity to meet him or interview him, I think I would be as happy as my friend Ken when he met his rock idol, The Beach Boys.  I dream of having my own talk show, kind of a combination between Jimmy Fallon and Ed Sullivan with a touch of Headbanger's Ball.  I dream of that just so I could meet individuals like Steven Tyler and have visceral conversations without sounding like a sad rock groupie.  I highly recommend picking up the memoir, though. 

This is what he says about his book on the Harper Collins website:
"I've been mythicized, Mick-icized, eulogized and fooligized, I've been Cole-Portered and farmer's-daughtered, I've been Led Zepped and 12-stepped. I'm a rhyming fool and so cool that me, Fritz the Cat, and Mohair Sam are the baddest cats that am. I have so many outrageous stories, too many, and I'm gonna tell 'em all. All the unexpurgated, brain-jangling tales of debauchery, sex & drugs, transcendence & chemical dependence you will ever want to hear."

At the release of the book, I was banking on Steven Tyler coming to NYC.  He didn't.  At least not for the book.  I would have definitely stood in line for hours to meet this man.  Hell, I would have tried out for American Idol just to meet him.  I'm a member of AeroForceOne, the online Aerosmith fan club.  You can buy merchandise, see tour dates, and connect with other Aerosmith fans.  I signed up for it because at the time, in April 2012, they were doing this Aerosmith song bracket that predicted the most popular Aerosmith song amongst fans.  'Dream On' was the winner!  The prize for winning was tickets to any Aerosmith concert for their 2012 tour (travel not included).   That and one pair of Aerosmith Meet and Greet passes, one $250.00 gift card to the merchandise store.   But I signed up, even though its members are mostly former Aqua Net hair band cougars and soccer mom MILFs (though I don't want to generalize).  I'm probably the one of the only guys.

I love Aerosmith for their contribution to music and my worship of Steven Tyler is purely based on my own rock star dreams.  He is the reason I started playing music and have stayed true to the roots of good, classic rock n' roll. He is also the reason I feel good about being a little eccentric and out there myself. He makes crazy look chic. So hats off to Mr. Tyler for still rockin' at age 63; he definitely still acts like he is in his 20's! I hope I'm able to be as well accomplished and prolific at that age!

An just as Freddie Mercury is my number one rock idol no longer living.  Steven Tyler is my number one rock idol still alive.  He is an amazing individual and just as I'm sure I would have been friends with Janis Joplin and Jerry Garcia, I know that Steven Tyler and I would be buddies if I hung out with him in Greenwich Village in the late sixties.  And though I don't care for any of Aeromsith's newer stuff, I hold Steven Tyler on a pedestal of what rock n' roll means, is, and should be.  If you're not rocking as hard as that man, then you're doing it all wrong! 

Here is a clip of Steven Tyler in drag during a 2012 American Idol audition.

Steven Tyler Idol quotes

In conclusion, I'm glad Steven Tyler was a judge on Idol so that his greatness could be introduced to a whole new generation.  But I'm also glad he left after two seasons because he is just so much better than that show.  And he has this to say about the show: "I didn't watch Idol because I grew up from, you had to play clubs. If you don't play in front of the people and get your hard knocks from that and get booed, you don't learn how to stand up when you fall back down. That's right!  Steven Tyler was writing music when all those Idol kids were still an afterthought following too many martinis and a long one-night stand.  That pierced cow udder on the cover of 'Get a Grip' was the Pandora's Box that got me into a whole new universe.  I've rarely seen bands three or more times in concert but Aerosmith has reached this status and every single time I was more impressed than the last.  They put on a kick ass show and with Steven Tyler as the front man, they'll always be the definition of rock n' roll.  They bring blues, rock, and funk and transport and transform it so that its timeless and forever relevant.  Thank you Steven Tyler for being weird and letting kids like me feel okay for being weird too.  Eccentric, eclectic, electric, and hectic!

 "As you know, I'm androgynous. I can wear a jacket that most guys wouldn't put on. But you make it in guys' sizes, and suddenly they're wearing them. I think styles should get back to getting people to wear things that look so good that they don't care."

'The light at the end of the tunnel may be you..goodnight."

Steven Tyler on Craig Ferguson 6/3/13

Bop Bop a loo Bop a Wop Bam Bippity Boppity Boo,


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