For you younger fans of rock ‘n roll this may be hard to believe, but at one time Aerosmith was a very, very, good band. In fact, between ’74 and ’77 the very well may have been the best American hard rock band around. Starting with Get Your Wings and ending with Rocks, the band released three start-to-finish classics and appeared poised to be America’s true answer to the Rolling Stones.
I was too young to appreciate this at the time, having just a few of Aerosmith’s singles to spin. A friend and I would often play various singles and act out the songs trying to make each other laugh. One of my most successful versions was the flip side to Aerosmith’s “Walk This Way.” The “b/w” track was “Uncle Salty,” a laid-back song that, like “Walk This Way,” was found on the Toys In Attic album.
I have no idea what the song is really about, but in my “performance,” I imagined that Uncle Salty was an old dude that walked with a cane, occasionally peaking out of the curtains to see the “sunny day outside my window.” It garnished many a chuckle from my 5th grade friend. An interesting side note was that he was a Mormon. When we first met, he told me that he couldn’t drink pop because his religion prevented him from taking caffeine. By the time he moved away to another town the following year, I had him drinking Mountain Dew, buying sex novelties from the gas station across the street from our elementary school, and stealing weed from his black-sheep older brother who left the church when he figured out that the Mormons were a pretty wacky group. I have no idea if my friend continued down the road of sin or if he succumbed to the church doctrine after the few years of shenanigans that he experienced with me.
Those memories came back after a recent spin of “Uncle Salty.” The other tracks on Toys seem to carry their own stories-all related to a girl that had an affection towards Aerosmith, unfortunately both the classic and late 80’s commercial zenith-but “Uncle Salty” carries with it a weird story of two kids trying to overcome boredom on a rainy day. It also reminds me that, with enough time, Aerosmith and peer pressure, you can totally convert a Mormon kid into a Coke drinking delinquent.
After all, the pushers and the shovers is the life to lead.
BTW: I tried to find some video footage of Aerosmith performing “Uncle Salty,” but apparently, You Tube has turned into a receptacle for nothing more than Guitar Hero fans uploading their goddamn videos of them getting a high score playing “Uncle Salty” on expert mode. Bit of advice, unless you’re a cute four year old that can manage to get a high score playing it, don’t bother uploading your shit because nobody wants to watch you playing a video game. Do everyone a favor: learn how to play a guitar, nail some Joe Perry riffs and upload your performance of that instead.