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“Dream On”

Posted by purplemary54 on April 18, 2013

All things considered, it’s a miracle that all the original members of Aerosmith are still alive. Between drugs, alcohol, and disease (bassist Tom Hamilton fought cancer back in 2004), there’s been a lot of things trying to kill these boys off.  Granted, most of it was self-inflicted; these guys chose to use and drink the way they did, ultimately leading to their addictions, although I think substance abuse could almost be considered an occupational hazard for musicians.  But somehow, they’ve managed to survive it all.  Another minor miracle is that they’re all still speaking to each other, although their personal relationships have been a little more rocky lately.  (Much of the recent conflict in the bad seems to stem from lead singer Steven Tyler’s fairly well-publicized fall off the wagon, although there naturally seems to be an element of cats & dogs to their band dynamic.)

But these guys are survivors.  They always looked like a bunch of street toughs–except for Tom Hamilton; he always made me think of an English professor for some reason.  Now, their toughness is earned.  Some people criticize their music: a lot of fans say they’ve gotten soft since their comeback success with Permanent Vacation.  They have done a lot more ballads and love songs since the 80s.  (I have never listened to more than half of “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing”; it is a hideous song that I sincerely hope they all regret recording.)  But I think that’s part of getting older and getting sober.  They didn’t want to keep rehashing the same old song and dance (also one of their classic tunes).  They changed their tunes in more way than one.  Do I love everything Aerosmith does?  No.  I’m a casual fan, at best.  The solid collection O, Yeah! is enough for me (partly because it includes the awesome Run DMC remake of “Walk This Way”).

“Dream On” is arguably their best known song, and it’s really their signature.  Aerosmith kicked and scratched their way to the top of the charts, finally breaking through in 1975 with Toys in the Attic.  They did it the old-fashioned way, too.  They toured and toured, and toured some more, building a following.  When they finally got their sound right on record, it was a smash hit.  “Dream On” could be considered that story, “Well, I know nobody knows where it comes and where it goes.  I know it’s everybody’s sin, you got to lose to know how to win.”

This is a song about living the life you’ve got, working for everything, dreaming for something better.  It might not be perfect, but it’s all we’ve got.  Dream on.

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5 Responses to ““Dream On””

  1. Jean said

    Who can help but sing along?

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