25 years ago, with the huge comeback album, Permanent Vacation, Aerosmith let the world know that they were back for good. The legendary band was a rock staple of the ’70s featuring hits such as “Dream On”, “Back in the Saddle”, and and “Sweet Emotion”.
Then in 1979, lead guitarist Joe Perry left the band to form The Joe Perry Project. Aerosmith’s 1979 album, Night in the Ruts, quickly fell off the charts, and the band’s popularoty faded away. In the meantime, Steven Tyler’s drug abuse continued to get worse and worse, and affected their concerts, as he was prone to collapse on stage. There was another setback in 1980 as Tyler was involved in a motorcycle accident, and was sidelined until well into 1981. In 1981, rhythm guitarist Brad Whitford also left the band to record Whitford/St. Holmes with former Ted Nugent vocalist/guitarist Derek St. Holmes.
In 1984, Joe Perry and Brad Whitford saw Aerosmith perform at Boston’s Orpheum Theater. They hung out with Steven Tyler, and were inspired to re-join the band. The reunited band tried to come back, but drug abuse continued to hold them back. They released Done with Mirrors, in what they hoped would be a huge comeback album. But there was little interest, and there wasn’t a single hit off of that album.
Then in 1986, they finally got some attention when Tyler and Perry appeared on Run D.M.C.’s cover of “Walk This Way”. This song resurrected Aerosmith’s career by introducing the band’s music to a new (aka, “our”) generation. According to the band’s tell-all autobiography, Walk This Way: The Autobiography of Aerosmith, the band’s manager, Tim Collins pledged in September 1986 he could make Aerosmith the biggest band in the world by 1990 if they all completed drug rehab. So in 1986, Tyler completed a successful drug rehabilitation program, and the rest of the band did the same over the next couple of years. Because their attempt at a comeback album, Done with Mirrors, flopped, they knew the next album would be crucial to their careers. So they worked hard on the album, and at staying clean, and the result was a legendary album.
Permanent Vacation was released in 1987, and became a smash hit, eventually selling over 5 million copies. It was the first album where Aerosmith took advantage of MTV, and received heavy airplay. The three singles they released off of the album, “Rag Doll,” “Dude (Looks Like a Lady)” and “Angel”, all became major hit singles. Each one was a Top 20 hit. In addition to those hit songs, the rest of the songs on the album were also excellent.
With that, let’s Return to 1987, and go on a Permanent Vacation:
1. Heart’s Done Time
Welcome to the new and improved Aerosmith, proving that they are rockin’ better than ever!
2. Magic Touch
The first track rolled nicely into this one. OK, two awesome songs in a row! Proving that this comeback is no fluke.
3. Rag Doll
This was the third and final single released from the album. After the radio stations and MTV played the crap out of “Dude (Looks Like a Lady)” and “Angel”, this was a welcome change – until this got overplayed as well. The song peaked at #17 on the Billboard Hot 100, #12 on the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart, and #42 on the UK charts. Years removed from the initial release, I’m back into this song.
5. Dude (Looks Like a Lady)
Aerosmith burst back on the scene and became relevant again when they released this song. Steven Tyler says in the book Walk This Way: The Autobiography of Aerosmith, “One day we met Mötley Crüe, and they’re all going, ‘Dude!’ Dude this and Dude that, everything was Dude. ‘Dude (Looks Like a Lady)’ came out of that session.”.
According to an interview with Vince Neil of Mötley Crüe done for Swedish television, the title of the song originated from a New York bar crawl where Steven Tyler and Vince Neil had drinks at a bar where the waiters were dressed in women’s clothes. This, according to Vince Neil, prompted Tyler to comment; “Dude looks like a lady!”.
“Dude (Looks Like a Lady)” reached #14 on the Billboard Hot 100, #41 on the Hot Dance Club Play chart, #4 on the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart, and #45 on the UK Singles Chart in 1987, but was re-released in early 1990 and reached a new peak of 20.
6. St. John
Aerosmith is considered one of the best rock bands of all time. Like most of the great ones, Aerosmith have some Blues in them. This song definitely has a Bluesy feel to it:
7. Hangman Jury
This was always one of my favorite songs on the album. I listened to this one over and over:
8. Girl Keeps Coming Apart
Lift up your lighters! This power ballad was the most successful single on the album, peaking at #3. This was always popular for dedications at school dances.
10. Permanent Vacation
Pretty good title track. I love that you can hear a steel drum in this too. Steel drums always make vacations better!
11. I’m Down
Aerosmith did a great job covering The Beatles “Come Together”, so it was fitting that they did another Beatles cover. And they did an awesome job on this very underrated Beatles song.
12. The Movie
This is the only video that I could find for this song, that I could post. Pretty good instrumental.
Question: What movie featured Stephen King’s son, Joe, as a boy who is punished by his father for reading horror comics?
Last Question: What stage name was legendary WWF announcer Robert Marella better known by?
Answer: Gorilla Monsoon
Gorilla Monsoon began wrestling for the WWWF/WWF in the early ’60s until the early ’80s. In the early ’80s, Vincent J. McMahon’s son, current WWE CEO Vincent K. McMahon, began assuming the reins of the promotion from his father. The elder McMahon asked his son to take care of long-time employees that had been loyal to him. The younger McMahon agreed, and in 1982, Vince bought Monsoon’s shares in the company in exchange for a guarantee of lifetime employment. Then McMahon needed a new commentary team to head up his television programming. So he had Gorilla Monsoon do it alongside the recently retired Jesse “The Body” Ventura.
The two announcers had incredible chemistry and set the standard for years to come. Monsoon would by the pro-good guy “voice of reason” and Jesse would be pro-bad guy.
Here is the the main event of the first Wrestlemania with Gorilla and Jesse announcing:
When Ventura left the WWF in 1990, Monsoon was paired with villainous manager Bobby “The Brain” Heenan, another duo that subsequent wrestling commentary teams have often tried to emulate. The two also formed a real-life friendship which Heenan often recalls fondly.
Here is some great commentary with Gorilla and Bobby Heenan:
Monsoon stepped down as the WWF’s lead commentator at WrestleMania IX to make way for WCW recruit Jim Ross. In 1995, there was a storyline with Monsoon as the president of the WWF, in which he had to settle disputes between wrestlers and make matches. But by 1997, his health began to deteriorate, so the position was retired, and Sgt. Slaughter was named the new WWF Commissioner in August of that year.
Gorilla Monsoon died on October 6, 1999 of heart failure brought on by complications of diabetes, at his home in Willingboro Township, New Jersey. He was 62 years old. In a tribute that aired on WWF television after his death, McMahon described him as “one of the greatest men I have ever known.”
WCW commentator Tony Schiavone acknowledged Gorilla Monsoon’s death (at Bobby Heenan’s request) on the October 11, 1999 WCW Monday Nitro episode, even though Monsoon never worked for WCW. Heenan added: “Gorilla will be sadly missed. Now he was one big tough man. He was a decent honest man. And we’re all gonna miss him very much. And you know the pearly gates in heaven? It’s now gonna be called ‘the Gorilla position.’ Goodbye, my friend.”
When Heenan was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2004, he said in his acceptance speech, “I wish Monsoon were here.”
In addition to being known as a great guy, Gorilla Monsoon was also known for his colorful phrases during matches. Remember these:
“Will you stop?” (This was usually directed, in frustration, at co-commentator Bobby Heenan after he went off on one of his many heel-backing tangents or other rants.)
“Oh, give me a break!”
“This place has gone bananas!”
“History has been made!”
“The irresistible force meets the immovable object.”
Question: What stage name was legendary WWF announcer Robert Marella better known by?
Last Question: What actor adopted the pen name “Matt Harris” to write episodes of In the Heat of the Night?
Answer: Carroll O’Connor
This is not your father’s Archie Bunker! In the Heat of the Night was based on the book and 1967 movie of the same name. It aired from 1987 to 1995. The show starred Carroll O’Connor (who was also an executive producer on the show) as police chief William Gillespie and Howard Rollins as Virgil Tibbs.
The series dealt with a variety of issues in it’s seven seasons on TV including: racism, drug abuse, rape, murder, incest, government corruption and drunk driving. Carroll O’Connor wrote several of the episodes under the pen name Matt Harris.
Sadly three of the stars have died. Hugh O’Connor (Carroll’s son), who played Jamison on the series, committed suicide in 1995 after a long bout with drug abuse. Howard Rollins died in 1996 due to complications from lymphoma. Carroll O’Connor, who had been suffering from diabetes, died in 2001 after having a heart attack.
Here is the theme song. If that voice sounds familiar, it is Bill Champlin, of the band Chicago, that is singing:
The episode Jack Bares All aired in 1981, and featured the introduction of new roommate Terri. In the first of this 2-part episode, Jack was given a second chance at being a chef at Mr. Angelino’s restaurant. Jack cut his finger, much to the delight of the disgruntled Felipe. Jack went to the Emergency Room, and had a bad experience with a nurse named Terri, which resulted in her tricking Jack in order to stick him with a tetanus shot.
In the meantime, Jack and Janet’s roommate Cindy announced that she was moving out in order to go to veterinary school at UCLA. Janet went out and found a new roommate. Much to Jack’s chagrin, it was that nurse Terri. Jack wanted Terri out of the apartment, and Terri was trying to win him over.
In part 2, the gang was throwing a going away party for Cindy. Jack and his friend Larry came up with a plan to get Terri to move elsewhere. They terrorized Terri, and then crossed the line when Jack ruined her dress. He was going to pretend to take a picture of her by using a trick camera, which he thought would spray water on her. Unknown to Jack, Larry put ink in the camera, and ruined Terri’s dress, and made himself look like an ass in the process. He felt really bad, and they made up and became friends and roommates. Terri would stay on the series until the show ended in 1984.