Aerosmith is a band that has enjoyed many lives. Lead singer Steven Tyler and lead guitarist Joe Perry were affectionately known as “The Toxic Twins” at one point during their careers due to their rock star drug habits and lifestyle. I wonder who actually gave them that nickname? In any event, I’ve never been a die hard fan, but can definitely appreciate certain songs in their extensive catalog. One of those hidden gems, ironically, appeared on the 1988 release “Gems” and is called “Chip Away The Stone.”
For me, the harmony in the chorus is what really grabbed me the first time I heard it — and it still does when I listen to it today. The beat and feel of this song may be too “basic” for some listeners, but it works for me. The first verse of “Chip Away The Stone” is a poetic description of someone who’s just “too cool for school.”
You act like a prima donna
Playing so hard to get
Sittin’ so cool and nonchalant
Draggin’ on a cigarette
I can’t remember too many songs with the word “nonchalant” in them. I also like the pronunciation of promenade (prom n NOD) in the second verse. The song is basically a metaphor for trying to reach someone “cooler than thou” in the same way a sculptor chips the block of stone away to create a sculpture.
Originally the song was released in support of their 1978 album “Live! Bootleg.” Give credit to Aerosmith for bringing the words to life, but they were actually written by a guy named Richie Supa. He collaborated with the band and also wrote some other songs for them including “Amazing,” which is also worth a listen. Nowadays, Supa partners with an organization called Recovery Unplugged, which is involved with alcohol and drug addiction treatment. Give the guy some credit. I think Steven Tyler is trying to become a country singer — and I’m not kidding about that. Yikes!
Till next time, keep your Mojo on the Horizon!
p.s. As a completely random footnote, I always thought it would be funny to write a comedy skit about the quiz show Jeopardy! One character would win Final Jeopardy by guessing “What is Aerosmith?” (the band) instead of “What is Arrowsmith?” (the completely unrelated novel by Sinclair Lewis). Spelling doesn’t count against you in Final Jeopardy.