Saturday, November 21, 2009

A Day Late - Volume II - Thoughts on the Aerosmith Rumors and Why I'm Such a Hater

As you probably know by now, there are quite a few rumors floating around the Internets about the uncertain future of rock legends, Aerosmith.

I have no idea what exactly the truth is....maybe Steven Tyler is going to part ways with the band, and maybe they're going to try and go the Van Halen route. Maybe they'll decide it's best to stay together as is. And maybe it's all a publicity stunt. I've no idea.

But I do know that I don't care. Because Aerosmith sucks, and they have sucked since about 1993.

Ordinarily, I wouldn't give this much thought, but I made the mistake of posting on Facebook that I thought that losing Tyler just might be the only thing that could heal Aerosmith's chronic case of suck. And this annoyed an old friend of mine, who indicated that I just might be a hater.

Am I a hater?

Well, kind of. The fact is that I am NOT a loyal-at-all-costs music fan (which is something I'll blog about in more depth in the future).

The crux is this: when I've seen how good a band CAN be, I hold them to that standard as much as I possibly can. And when it becomes clear that they can't get it up any more - or that they can't be bothered to - I stop loving them and start resenting them.

Is it fair? Maybe and maybe not.

Do I make exceptions? I sure do.

But Aerosmith doesn't get a pass. Because Aerosmith sucks.

And before I lay out all of the evidence behind my hypothesis, allow me to be perfectly clear about something:

I fucking love Areosmith.

I fucking love "Toys in the Attic". I fucking love "Rocks". And I fucking love "Get Your Wings" more than anyone knows.

While the smart kids in high school were toasting their broken hearts to the Smiths, I was locked in my room alone listening to the likes of "Home Tonight" and "What it Takes". And to this day I still listen to "You See Me Crying" or "Seasons of Wither" when I'm in the mood to get my vag on.

You want more loud guitar and great hooks than those pretty boys in Cheap Trick can handle? Go download "Lick and a Promise" or "Sick as a Dog".

You want to hear the sound of freaking out on angel dust? I recommend "Nobody's Fault".

Ever wondered what it would sound like if Jeff Beck was American and completely slammed by vodka and barbiturates? "Round and Round" is the song for you.

When the Pump tour came to the Capital Centre, I spent weeks and weeks waiting for the night to come, and that stupid tee shirt I bought at the show became the go-to item in my wardrobe over the course of my senior year of high school.

I loved Aerosmith because they were legendary.

I loved them because they had a catalog that would take me years to acquire.

I loved them because years before Tommy Lee smoked his first joint, Aerosmith had already done every bad thing in the world.

I loved them because they were newly sober - something that was inspiring to a sheltered, suburban kid like me, who was dying for someone to show me that it was ok not to get drunk or high. (Even though I really was just waiting for an invitation).

So, yeah: I don't want any thin-skinned radio rock nerds telling me that I don't appreciete Aerosmith, when I bought that ridiculous "Rock in a Hard Place" album.


But, you know, once the decent started, it never really stopped.


I distinctly remember my first listen to "Get A Grip". "Living on the Edge" might have been a bold single and "Cryin" was pretty solid, but after just one listen it was clear that damn near everything else on the record was sub-par.

I also remember seeing the name "Desmond Child" appear as a co-writing credit on one too many tracks, only to find upon further research that names like Desmond Child, Jim Vallance, Glenn Ballard, someone named "Frederiksen", and some other guy named "D Solomon" were ALL OVER Aerosmith's songwriting credits.

(Mind you, this was BEFORE they paid Diane Warren for the biggest hit of their career).

((And, yes, I fully know who Desmond Child is, and yes I know he's a goddamned genius. My point is that he's NOT a member of Aerosmith, though he appears to have done an awful lot of their heavy lifting over the years)).

Anyway, after realizing they didn't write their own shit (and hearing them be a little dishonest about it in a shitty music documentary), it was just a question of realizing all of the other things I hated about Aerosmith.

...Like the terrible fucking double entendres that have become a prerequisite to every goddamn Aerosmith song.

...Like the performance with Britney Spears.

...Like the videos that suggested that perhaps Mr. Tyler might have wanted to go down on his own daughter.

...Like the fact like Tyler and Perry look more and more like somebody's embarrassing drunken cougar grandmas with every passing day.

Now, if I wanted to take the high road, I'd admit that "Jaded" is a very fine song, and that "Falling In Love (Is So Hard on the Knees)", despite being an abortion of pun-smithing, had a really tight chorus.

But guess what? Hired help on both songwriting credits.

So anyway, Aersomith, I give up. Do whatever you want to do. You've lost me.

But if there's one thing I want them to know, it's this:

I'm not a hater, I'm just jaded.

And you're the one that jaded me.


Carson Jones said...

Your post about Aerosmith is much more well thought out and serious than mine. You're not a hater, but a disillusioned fan. I, on the other hand, am just another hater looking for cheap laughs. Good times. I agree with you about their early stuff, but exaggerated generalization is just sort of my style..

t-o-n said...

Thanks for the comment! Two things I shoudl probably note:

1. There's at least a decent chance that Tyler is back on drugs. And while I'd like to joke that whiskey and coke are Tyler's last resource for ever reaching greatness again, the fact is that hard drugs are a game of diminishing returns. He already sailed that boat up onto the rocks.

2. The band really started to suck when Joey Kramer had his breakdown, sometime after Get A Grip. That's worth noting - not so much as an excuse for sucking, but perhaps maybe because the dynamic was altered for the worse - in a way that was much less unclear than the current situation. (Sort of like when there are problems in a family, but none of the neighbors ever know).

I dunno. Sometimes bands just suck.

mister muleboy said...

These stubs tumbled out of a photo album that I found when I was moving a couple of months ago.

So are these stubs collected anywhere for one wild ride through your arena rock ride?

My ride predates yours by more than a little bit:

you can see some of them here.

glad you enjoyed the Pixies!

mister muleboy said...

Little bastards won't enlarge.

Rolling Stones, Bad Company, Elton John, Wings.

Also U2 at the Bayou, Joe King Carrasco. . . .

just shoot me

mister muleboy said...

a ha -- found the flickr stream

sorry. . . .

Scott said...

Gotta tell you, I think the last song by Aerosmith I really enjoyed (and still do to this day) was "Deuces Are Wild". And if i remember correctly, it's delivery vehicle for greatness was the Beavis and Butthead soundtrack.

However, i do remember reading reviews about "Honkin On Bobo" which basicaaly said that it was a great album, if not departure, for Aerosmith. Something about their blues roots. Any thoughts on this one, El Hater?

t-o-n said...


I heard the same thing about the blues album. And I probably should comment on it since I haven't given it a listen, but I will anyway.

But I thought that was an album of covers of blues standards? (I should look that up before writing it). If so, that's pretty much the exact same thing that Clapton did when his output began to dry up.

All of that said, I have no trouble believing that if you forced Steve Tyler to sing from someone else's hymnal (and more importantly, put him in a situation where he would be obliged not to turn it into into a minstrel show with his ridiculous mannerisms), it would have the makings of a very good performance.

And I agree that Deuces Are Wild was a very strong single. But it was also co-written with a professional rainmaker named Jim Vallance. Disappointing....