Wednesday, June 15, 2011


Let me preface this by saying that Steven Tyler was not always a dwid. Here's another one where you might have to take an old fart's word for it. But it's true. I don't know what happened, but somewhere along the line, he morphed into the annoying caricature that he is today. But at one time, specifically after the New York Dolls were out of the picture, Aerosmith seemed to be in line as rightful heirs to the "American Stones" label. Granted, it was a long time ago. But they had the elements: a mouthy singer, an adequate lead guitarist with a shaggy hairdo, vices, good choices in covers, and a decent amount of get the picture. Then the bottom began to fall out. A little after third LP "Toys in the Attic" came out, "Dream On" from their first album, became an FM radio hit. (Long story, but the late blooming had to do with the 1973 album version being extended by a minute in length and then released as a 45 with a big push in 1976.) If you liked their more rockin' stuff, this only served to remind you that, alas, an American version of the Stones would not be forthcoming. Not with a power ballad, one that had slipped by the first time it was released. (The Rolling Stones had the ballad formula down. One thing they did not do was a ballad that kept building, but never went anywhere.)

Were the Stones this self indulgent back then?

To the more cynical listeners, despite the amount of listening vested, the truth was out. They were already walking a fine line to begin with, now it was known. Aerosmith were full of themselves from the beginning. For those non-coddlers, it wasn't a matter of if they should ignore them, but at what point. Fans of varying degrees had different drop-off points. For some, it was right then, when "Dream On" became a hit. After all, it was then that Aerosmith knew what crowd they were playing for. Like the J.Geils Band of roughly the same vintage, the funk (and by that I mean raunch, not musical funk) began to dissipate.

If you're not of that opinion, I'll agree to disagree. But, really, I was largely describing my own opinion of the, I'll say it, has beens. I myself hung on until their fourth LP, "Rocks," largely based on "Back In The Saddle," a song I still love, and the impression left by a 1975 concert attendance (front row center, Aerosmith opening for ZZ Top).

Here's two versions of "Big Ten Inch," Bull Moose Jackson's and Aerosmith's, with just a few other odds and ends. If it wasn't for the need to exorcise my Aerosmith annoyance, this might have been a different post. Bull Moose will have to wait....

Aerosmith - Big Ten Inch mp3 at Monkey River Town
Bull Moose Jackson - Big Ten Inch mp3 at Beware of the Blog
Aerosmith - Back In the Saddle mp3 at 40 Cal Games
Aerosmith - Big Ten Inch (Live '77) at YouTube
Steven Tyler - Ham it up big boy (twenty seconds of rock n' roll poetic justice) at YouTube
Aerosmith on Wayne's World at YouTube with Tom Hanks as the roadie
Bull Moose Jackson profile by the Cleveland Blues Society at YouTube
WTF is this?:
Wyndio - Dream On mp3 at Oh My Songs
Other "Before The Sucked" posts

No comments: