Friday, November 11, 2011

Aerosmith -- "Back in the Saddle" (1976)

I'm calling all the shots tonight
I'm like a loaded gun . . .
I'm back in the saddle again

Veterans Day is celebrated today because the armistice that brought an end to World War I -- at least on the Western Front -- took effect at the 11th hour (11:00 AM) of the 11th day of the 11th month (November 11, 1918).  Today, you can add one more 11 for the current year.

Veterans Day used to be called Armistice Day in the United States -- that's what my father called when I was growing up.  The name was changed after World War II, when we had many millions more veterans to honor.

November 11 is still called Armistice Day in France and Belgium.  It is celebrated as Remembrance Day in the UK and the countries of the British Commonwealth.

I'm not posting this at 11:00 am, because the song that is featured in this post -- "Back in the Saddle," from Aerosmith's 1976 album, Rocks -- has absolutely nothing to do with Veterans Day.  Perhaps I could have come up with a song that did have some connection to Veterans Day if I had spent a little time and effort trying, but it's been a busy week for me.  (2 or 3 lines a day has a more topical post.)

Aerosmith was sort of a big deal in the Boston area in the mid-1970s, when I was going to law school there.  I wasn't a huge fan, but I had two or three of their albums, including Rocks, which was a favorite of Slash, Kurt Cobain, and James Hetfield.

A lot of their music seemed a little formulaic to me -- it was very skillfully put together, and it could be a lot of fun, but not necessarily something to take very seriously.  

Take "Walk This Way," for example.  Clever lyrics, dirty (but not too dirty), and some unexpected twists and turns to keep things from getting predictable.  It's a lot like a hip-hop song, with the speeded-up lyrics and the internal rhymes. 

"Back in the Saddle" is slower, and rawer, and dirtier.  The guy in this song isn't tongue-in-cheek dirty, he's seriously dirty. 

Aerosmith in 1976
 He's not a 16-year-old at the high-school dance, he's a saddle-sore outlaw who's been riding around in the middle of nowhere for a few weeks -- and after he gets good and liquored up, he's going to grab a skanky whore, drag her upstairs, and jump right back in the saddle.  It's not going to be pretty.

By the way, some of you will remember that good ol' Gene Autry had a song that also started with  "I'm back in the saddle again."  Very different song, boys and girls.

Aerosmith (like the Rolling Stones) stayed around way too long and put out a lot of crap.  But at their peak, they killed.  It's a miracle Steven Tyler has any voice left at all after opening so many concerts with this song over the past few decades.

Here's "Back in the Saddle":

Click here if you'd like to buy the song from Amazon: 

No comments:

Post a Comment