Renegade – 1978 to 1979 – Chapter 4 – Draw the Line

“Me? But I don’t know how to play guitar.”

“Yet. You don’t know how to play guitar… yet.”

(That is not a Sears Silvertone guitar. That is a semi-hollow body Kay guitar borrowed from a friend. But that is me at around 16 years old.)

One day we were in the basement working on some new tracks. One of the songs we really wanted to do was Draw The Line from Aerosmith’s latest self-titled album. I was a huge fan of Aerosmith and had gotten that album for Christmas.

We started working on the song, which wasn’t that hard. The only difficulty I faced was the last verse. The lyrics aren’t written down anywhere and it’s mostly just Steven Tyler screaming a bunch of nonsensical rhyming phrases. It’s incredibly hard to decipher what he’s saying, so I had to keep playing it over and over and listening very carefully to Mr. Tyler scream the final lyrics.

But eventually, a couple of my friends and I figured it out. The lyrics are here:

Checkmate, don’t be late
Take another pull
That’s right, impossible
When you got to be yourself
You’re the boss, the toss
The price, the dice
Grab yourself a slice
Know where to draw the line

You can hear the whole mess at the 3:16 point of the video below.

So that problem was solved. Now trying to sing it. I could sing, but I’m no Steven Tyler. Not by any stretch.

As we continued to work out the song, we came upon another problem. There is a point in the song where they do a musical break before that final onslaught of lyrics. While guitarist Brad Whitford keeps the rhythm going along with bassist Tom Hamilton, Joe Perry does a solo using a slide.

Jerry addresses the problem with Larry and me.

“Larry can carry the riff on bass, but I can’t play the rhythm guitar part and play the solo.”

“So what do we do?”

“I need another guitarist to play those three notes over and over until the solo is done and then I can pick it back up again. That’s when you sing that last bit.”

“Well, we can’t bring in another guy to play three notes in one song!”

“We already have the guy.”

“Who?”

“You.”

“Me? But I don’t know how to play guitar.”

“Yet. You don’t know how to play guitar… yet.

(Smiling from ear to ear) Okay, Jer. I’m down. How do we do this?”

I still have my first electric guitar before I bought the Strat. It’s a Sears Silvertone. You can use that and I’ll show you how to play it. I’ll bring it with me tomorrow.”

“Okay… okay.

Oh my God! It’s a brand new world. I’m the lead singer of a rock and roll band and now I’m going to learn how to play guitar!

All my dreams are coming true!

 

 

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Author: phicklephilly

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2 thoughts on “Renegade – 1978 to 1979 – Chapter 4 – Draw the Line”

  1. LOL My husband was in a punk rock band called “Social Spit” and pretty much learned the bass that way. Wrote several of the songs, one f which was recorded…his. The band is still around and makes the San Diego circuit fairly regularly, sans the hubby. They keep talking about a reunion of the originals but one of the players has since died. Those were the days, when youth is fearless.

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