Tag Archive: Aerosmith


As I’ve mentioned before, I was a pretty good child. Behaviorally, I never did anything that was really dangerous; never smoked, never did drugs, never snuck out at night, was (almost) never disrespectful to my parents, and didn’t run with a bad crowd.

The biggest bone of contention between me and my parents was my musical choices. As I entered the second decade of my life, they started furrowing their brows. Bands like Aerosmith and Green Day caused them some grief, and they weren’t crazy about Smashing Pumpkins either. And it really started when I was in 4th grade and liked Vanilla Ice enough to ask for To the Extreme for Christmas. I got it, too.

But for whatever reason (fate, luck, God, circumstance, maybe all of them), I never discovered true naughtiness in music in my youth. The most I got was Steven Tyler quoting Frank Zappa (which I didn’t know at the time) singing “Buns up and kneelin’ / I was a’ wheelin’ and a dealin’.” And while that was more than enough for my parents, there were MUCH worse things out there at the time. 2 Live Crew caused quite a stir with “Me So Horny” and their entire As Nasty As They Wanna Be album, and it echoed in the church youth group my parents headed. Likewise, Digital Underground and “The Humpty Dance” crossed the consciousnesses of the teens in my parents’ youth group. They tried to play a cassette of it on a youth group road trip in my dad’s motor home stereo; he promptly threw it out the window.

Those two groups were on the periphery of my vision growing up, but Onyx wasn’t. When I was in 6th grade, there was a kid that went to my older sister’s school (Harkness Road, my own high school) that we gave a ride to in the mornings. We also took him to church for youth group on Wednesday nights (I went to the kids’ program at our church). His name was Luke, and he was what most adults would classify as a “bad influence.” My parents were friends with his mother, and I guess they were hoping good company would redeem bad character, the opposite of the way it typically works. It was through him that I experienced a number of different “naughty” things, Onyx being one of them.

Onyx were an early ‘90s rap group and a key figure in the gangtsa rap movement, a cluster of black artists that used incredibly violent imagery and profuse profanity. Since gangsta rap was meant to present an exaggerated glimpse into the black urban lifestyle and mindset, this also included rampant misogyny. Luke played me Onyx’s debut album on headphones one time, and I was particularly disturbed by the song “Blac Vagina Finda,” which essentially describes an interracial gang rape. I expressed my discomfort and distaste, and Luke laughed derisively and called me a pussy.

Loathe as I am to admit it, my desire to fit in with Luke and other people I was around caused me to wade into the sludge-teeming waters of gangsta rap for a while. It didn’t last long, since the overwhelming waves of stinking immorality bowled me over and were too much for me. It’s not that people like Onyx and Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre were simply talking about sex and violence and the bad things of the world; I have no problem with that. It’s the way they talked about them. That way was extremely vulgar and obvious, which insulted the wordsmith in me, but looming largest in my mind was that it was celebratory. In their verbage, the bad things of the world weren’t bad at all. Gun violence was to be celebrated. Misogyny was to be celebrated. Illegal drugs were to be celebrated. Law and order were to be disrespected, insulted and ultimately destroyed. Love is weakness, attachment to your sexual partner is weakness, and your entire ethos is to be dictated by taking what you can get and not caring about how much damage you are causing to the people around you. Simply put, this was the opposite of everything I was brought up to believe.

So luckily, I went back to my Genesis and Phil Collins, and was on the verge of discovering R.E.M. and a world of other delights. And in the end, it worked out.

AC/DC probably would have been on that list of bands my parents were hoping I would NOT be into when I was younger. Like a few others I’ve talked about, my fandom of AC/DC is relatively recent. I was 9 when The Razors Edge came out, and I remember thinking “Thunderstruck” was pretty groovy, but the guy’s voice was like grinding gravel between two sheets of corrugated steel. And at that time, I didn’t have a clue that Back In Black even existed, let alone Bon Scott. A decade and a half later when the Jack Black extravaganza School of Rock was released, I found a liking for “It’s a Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock and Roll),” which led me into Bon-era deliciousness. From there, I was hooked.

Music has always been the centerpiece of my life, the language through which I speak and am spoken to, but it’s better for certain music to enter your life at certain stages of your life than others. Gangsta rap, while it was a horrible experience for me, came around at just the right time. It taught me a very stark lesson about where my musical boundaries were, what I could take and what I couldn’t. AC/DC, likewise, came around at just the right time. Had I waded into their music at a younger age, I might have not only drawn the ire of my parents (even more than I did anyway), but I might have become a different, more depraved person. It’s because AC/DC came around when I was mature enough to deal with them that their bawdy talk and low-brow subject matter can hit me at the angle it does. If it were from a different, younger angle, it would probably be a lot more harmful.

Next: always a bridesmaid, never the best-selling album of all time.

For Aerosmith, drugs took a boiling point approach. Their lives got louder, faster and crazier until they simply blew up, and it culminated with the tepid reaction to their 1977 album Draw the Line and Joe Perry’s angry departure from the band. It was followed in short order by Brad Whitford also bidding Aerosmith adieu right after their 1979 album Night In the Ruts. Then came the feces storm that was Rock In a Hard Place, their audience’s extremely bad reaction to new guitarists Rick Dufay and Jimmy Crespo (“Where’s Joe f***in’ Perry?!?”) and Steven Tyler’s collapse on stage in 1982 – the rest of the band thought he was dead. Cocaine, hard touring and egos the size of Australia had killed Aerosmith with greatest discrimination.

But back in the mid-‘70s, Aerosmith was flyin’ high, both figuratively and literally. They followed up on Toys In the Attic 13 months later with another rock and roll behemoth, Rocks. Aerosmith were clearly on a roll, and the juggernaut wasn’t going to stop until it burned out. Drugs make it break down a lot faster, and Aerosmith had people putting lines of cocaine in front of them for years now. But this period was the golden state, the very narrow sliver of time when drugs are fueling a band’s creativity while the toll on the body still hasn’t reached an unmanageable level. For a great many bands that time is way too short, and Aerosmith are no exception.

Toys In the Attic and Rocks are the two hands-down greatest moments in the first phase of Aerosmith’s career, before they died their first death and were resurrected with Permanent Vacation. Like I said, the two albums are only separated by a scant 13 months, and are indeed musical twins. Comparing them to see which is better is like pitting siblings against each other with knives, but hey, that’s what music critics do, right?

Both Toys and Rocks are 9 tracks long, and there’s only 2 and a half minutes difference in runtime, so they’re just begging for a showdown. They have similar structures, both containing one menacing rock tune (“Sweet Emotion” and “Back In the Saddle”) and one heavy metal gem (“Round and Round” and “Nobody’s Fault”), and both cap off with a bloated rock ballad powered by piano (“You See Me Crying” and “Home Tonight”). They also both have a monument to sex and philandering (“Walk This Way” and “Lick and a Promise”). Indeed, most songs from one album have a loose parallel on the other.

And if you still say comparisons between the two are unfair, there’s that Rocks actually has a sequel song to a track on Toys In the Attic. The title track of that album is a fast and frenetic song about insanity with a killer guitar drone near the end. Steven Tyler screams like he’s really going insane, marking the first appearance of his signature screeching howl. And Rocks track #3 is a companion piece to that, with a similar musical tone and even a matching name, “Rats In the Cellar.” Whether you go to the attic to retreat into your own mind, or the cellar to party with the vermin, you’ll go insane either way.

But which album is better? I think for that you’d have to look at individual songs. “Nobody’s Fault” has a darker and more urgent groove than “Round and Round,” though “Round and Round” has a better sense of heaviness. “Home Tonight” is a better power ballad than its counterpart, and doesn’t contain the annoying falsetto whine that “You See Me Crying” does. Rocks has more jaunty, dirty numbers in “Last Child” and “Get the Lead Out,” but Toys In the Attic some great teenager anthems like “Walk This Way” and “Adam’s Apple.” Rocks acknowledges the toll drugs were taking on Aerosmith as a whole (“Combination” and “Sick as a Dog”) while Toys is practically silent on the matter. Rocks also features a slightly darker and more wicked tone, while Toys is more fun. It just depends on what you prefer.

In singles, however, there isn’t even a competition – Toys wins hands-down. “Sweet Emotion” and “Walk This Way” are both Toys, while the only very successful single from Rocks is opener “Back In the Saddle”. It’s a good song, no doubt, but can’t stand up to “Walk This Way” and is blown out of the water by the deliciously awesome “Sweet Emotion.” Success of singles definitely isn’t the only thing to take into account – there’s also cohesion as an album. Both Toys and Rocks score high marks on that front, but the presence of TWO iconic Aerosmith songs on Toys push it over the line for me.

Official AO verdict: Toys In the Attic wins out over Rocks, but only just.

Whip It Out

There’s a hidden gem right in the middle of Toys In the Attic, one that’s completely forgotten amidst Aerosmith’s bevy of more famous songs. In the face of “Sweet Emotion,” “Love In an Elevator,” “Cryin’,” “Amazing” and “Train Kept a Rollin’,” a short cover song that was never released as a single must seem very, very small. But besides the fact that I have a slight weakness for underdogs, “Big Ten Inch Record” captures in perfectly crystallized form one of the things I love the most about Aerosmith: the astronomically witty way they talk about sex.

“Big Ten Inch Record” was written by Fred Weismantel, someone for whom a quick Google search turned up very little. As far as I can tell, he wrote many songs back in the early ‘50s, none of which made waves. “Big Ten Inch Record” was first recorded by Bull Moose Jackson in 1952, and was popular but too risqué for radio (nowadays, Radio Disney might think it was kinda tame).

Bull Moose Jackson

Bull Moose Jackson

Zunk Buker, Steven Tyler’s friend and drug dealer, heard the song on the Dr. Demento show and sent a copy to the band. They recorded it mostly straight up, put it on Toys In the Attic, and then kinda forgot about it. I don’t think it was played live very much after the ’75 tour.

In the ancient times of yore when music was played on something called (air quotes) VINYL – oooooooh! – records came in three varieties: 12” LPs, 10” EPs, and 7” singles. “Big Ten Inch Record” is a simple jump blues number about how the singer has a 10” record from a blues band that his girlfriend simply can’t resist. There is a double entendre here, though, and it becomes abundantly clear after the first verse-chorus cycle. You’d have to be thick as block of lead to not get what is really being said.

Got me the strangest woman / Believe me, this chick’s no cinch / But I really get her goin’ / when I get out my big ten inch / …record of a band that plays the blues/ Of a band that plays the blues/ She just loves my big ten inch / …record of her favorite blues

Y’know, I was considering explaining the double entendre in simple and clinical terms, but I think I should have a little faith in my audience’s intelligence and instead employ an old phrase about blues music: if you have to ask, you’ll never know.

Aerosmith’s version drives the point home ever-so-slightly more. It still has that little pause between every instance of “big ten inch” and “record.” It’s amazing what a pause can do (“She’s beautiful! She’s rich! She’s got huge… tracts of land!”). But Steven Tyler changes the lyrics just a tad; every time Bull Moose says “get out my/your big ten inch,” Steven says “whip out my/your big ten inch.” “Whip it out” has a slightly narrower application, and is usually used when talking about a single thing. Again, if you have to ask…

This is a great song because it has a wink. Every time the singer says “big ten inch” and pauses, you can just imagine that he’s smiling and winking at you, as if to say “yeah, you know what I’m talkin’ ‘bout!” This type of discourse about sex, naughtiness and body parts is SO much better than the obvious and crude words of modern music artists, and also comedians. Innuendo and implication make the listener work for it, and that brings them into the comedy. They’re participants in it, not just spectators.

I don’t know about you, but I far prefer Steven Tyler beckoning me into bawdiness rather than Snoop Dogg or Wiz Khalifa throwing it right in my face, trying to break my nose with it. At the very least, it makes me exercise my mind rather than just being entertained.

Next: Toys In the Attic vs. Rocks – DEATHMATCH!!!

Spilt Milk

Elyssa Jerret

Elyssa Jerret

I don’t know the specifics (because I’ve only just started Walk This Way, the Aerosmith autobiography), but there was an argument between Elyssa Jerret (Joe Perry’s girlfriend) and Terry Cohen (bass player Tom Hamilton’s girlfriend). I think it’d be a little generous of me to say Elyssa was one freaked out psychotic devil woman. Terry, if she was anything like her funnyman boyfriend-later-husband, probably directed a very witty and cuttingly accurate barb at Elyssa. Words followed, there was probably cursing, and it climaxed with Elyssa pouring a glass of milk down the back of Terry’s shirt.

It was like an episode of Real Housewives, but with more calcium.

But probably the most famous feud was the hate triangle involving Perry, Jerret and Steven Tyler. Steven and Elyssa hated each other, Joe was caught in the middle, AND they were all doing copious amounts of cocaine.

This wouldn’t have been particularly remarkable if that swirling mess of animus hadn’t produced one of Aerosmith’s most famous and enduring songs, “Sweet Emotion.” Released on Toys In the Attic in 1975, the song features an eerie and sorta-voodoo intro with a smooth and steady bass riff under a talkbox guitar. In live performances, Joe took to saying “sweet emotion” into the talkbox, an eye-rolling testament to how famous the song would later become.

After the drums kick in, the full band begin a groove, the level of which hadn’t been seen previously in their career (“Lord of the Thighs” hinted at it). The guitar riff is simply killer, and right up there with “Iron Man,” “Layla” and “Smells Like Teen Spirit” as an immortal rock staple. The heaviness of this song was also previously unseen, but that alone wouldn’t equal even a tenth of what this song does. The heaviness combined with the smooth delivery and effortless grind are what make “Sweet Emotion” great.

Even given that it’s musically one of the most recognizable riffs in rock history and easily Aerosmith’s best song, the lyrics Steven Tyler sings and the way he sings them are the icing on this deliciously dirty cake. Steven took all the frustration Elyssa caused in him and turned it into art, like any great singer does. Elyssa is never mentioned by name in the song, of course, and the entire thing isn’t even about her, but there’s a definite vibe of “what a waste of human skin you are.” Let’s break it down:

Talk about things that nobody cares: Elyssa apparently had a habit of prattling on and on long after everyone had stopped listening. I’m sure you know people like that (or ARE people like that).

Wearin’ out things that nobody wears: Steven’s insulting her fashion sense now – understandable, but a bit of a low blow.

Callin’ my name but I gotta make clear / I can’t say, baby, where I’ll be in a year: wherever Steven is, he hopes it will be far away from Elyssa.

There’s more about Elyssa, but Steven also addresses Joe about Elyssa’s constant stream of ugliness (Tellin’ you things like “your girlfriend lied” / You can’t catch me ‘cause the rabbit done died).

Around the time of Toys In the Attic’s release, Steven had a brief “relationship” with model Bebe Buell. There’s quotes around that because it was really a sex-driven fling, nothing more. Buell had developed a interest in dating rock stars, sorta like a super-groupie, ever since dating teenage drummer Barry Cowsill when she was 16 (she was actually older than him). Even though she lived with Todd Rundgren for many years, she simultaneously dated the likes of David Bowie, Jimmy Page, Iggy Pop and Mick Jagger (who HASN’T he slept with?). And sure enough, she had a fling with Steven Tyler. But unlike her others, this one produced a child. And more than that, this child grew up to be super-famous in her own right; she’s none other than the lovely Liv Tyler.

Liv Tyler

Liv Tyler

Bebe kept the true parentage of her child from both Liv and Steven. Liv grew up thinking that Todd Rundgren was her father, only meeting Steven in 1985, and then just thinking he was a nice man who bought her a Coke. But she noticed a strange similarity between herself and Steven’s other daughter, Mia. After that, the truth was revealed.

Steven didn’t know anything about the pregnancy or Liv’s existence until shortly before meeting Liv for the first time, right around the time he got clean of drugs. He was very skeptical at first when Bebe told him they had a daughter together, but the very first time he saw Liv he was nearly brought to tears.

They looked alike, sure, but I think there was something else, too. There must have been a little bell somewhere deep inside Steven that was put there when Liv was born, but that Steven didn’t even know about until it rang when he first saw Liv. It’s a bell that comes to you when you give a piece of yourself to someone, or someone gives a piece of themself to you. I’m familiar with that bell; it rang inside of me the first time I saw Annie, my bone marrow donor (more on that later).

Next: what’s a Bull Moose Jackson? Is it a bull or a moose?

Aerosmith - Toys In the Attic - 4/8/1975

Aerosmith – Toys In the Attic – 4/8/1975

Jon Bon Jovi once said that when he bought a copy of Toys In the Attic and was reading the lyrics to “Walk This Way,” he was like Beavis and Butt-head combined. There wasn’t really anything shocking or new about them. They were raunchy and crude, no doubt, but similar sentiments had been expressed in rock music since its inception. “Walk This Way” is basically about the sexual exploits of a young man at the mercy of both his appetites and the women he encounters, a young man who very well could be Tyler himself. There are tales of threesomes, deflowerings, high school locker rooms and cougars on the hunt.

Steven Tyler had obviously learned his lessons well from the Rolling Stones, because Stones influence is all over that track. But when you actually listen to the song, rather than just read the lyrics, he reveals that he’s a more careful and clever songwriter than Mick. The music is happy and celebratory, fast-paced and hard-charging. And the lyrics are delivered at a breakneck speed, words spilling out of Steven’s mouth like an avalanche. Lead singers the world over look at “Walk This Way” as a challenge because the words-per-minute is just so high. But Steven does it the best, probably because of his big, elastic lips.

Steven Tyler

Steven Tyler

The speed with which the lyrics tumble out is the real genius of the song. As filthy and lust-filled as the lyrics are, one word spills over onto the previous one so your brain can’t really keep up. Parents listening casually couldn’t figure out what the hell Steven was saying. It was only kids like Jon Bon Jovi that really got it. The airplay and publicity of “Walk This Way” didn’t cause nearly as much uproar as “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” or “Let’s Spend the Night Together,” even though it’s 3x as sexually overt as either of those songs. See, Mick? All you had to do was sing faster!

Quick words and quick wit are even more the domain of early hip-hop artists, before the art form became the domain of profanity and violence thanks to gangster rap. Run-DMC, pioneers of the hip-hop field, were voracious consumers of all forms of popular music through the ages. Their teaming with rock producer Rick Rubin led them to discover “Walk This Way,” and they liked it before they even knew who performed it.



The year was 1985, ten years after “Walk This Way” came out. Aerosmith had already soared high and crashed hard in the fame realm, victims of drugs and dementia. They were as good as dead despite a reunion record, the lackluster Done With Mirrors. Then Run-DMC came along and resurrected “Walk This Way” into a rap-rock hybrid. Rather than using the original track, they brought Aerosmith in to play while they rapped over it. They not only resuscitated Aerosmith’s dying-for-the-2nd-time career, but they created something brilliantly new: the fusion of rock and rap.

I don’t like rap music, but the marriage of Aerosmith’s dirty groove with Run-DMC’s streetwise smoothness is simply beautiful. It transcends rock music or rap music, making those definitions not really matter anymore. Aerosmith and Run-DMC were united because they both loved music, and that commonality was more important that their differences.

It’s the same thing that brought Steven Tyler and Joe Perry back together after so much crap had built up between them. Girlfriends and wives got in the way, posturing and pride widened the divide, and they came to the point of fist-fights and hate. Joe left the band in ’79, and for all intents and purposes took the heart of Aerosmith with him. But they couldn’t escape their musical brotherhood.

Next: speaking of wives and girlfriends…

American Stones

In the ‘60s, rock and roll that was completely American was… kinda lame. After the Day the Music Died and the Chuck Berry/Jerry Lee Lewis pedophilia scandals (thanks, you two for RUINING everything…) America dropped the rock and roll ball. Luckily, the U.K. was ready to swoop in after not too long with the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and the Who. Those bands were all so huge that America spent the next 5 years making carbon copies of British originals. The Beach Boys and other surf rock bands were the only originality the States had to offer. That should tell you something…

the corner of Haight & Ashbury

the corner of Haight & Ashbury

Then came the explosion of the Haight-Ashbury culture, which saw bands like the Grateful Dead and Jefferson Airplane coming to the front, and the dark drug culture of the Doors, opposite of the happy pot-smokers in San Francisco. Creedence Clearwater Revival offered a little southern-fried jangle and drawl, but they were too short-lived. And then there was Jimi Hendrix, an American trying to convince all of Europe he was one of them. His backup band was British, and he behaved like a Brit, so who was to say (other than his parents) that he was really American?

It’s ironic but true – rock and roll may have been started by black American blues musicians, but by the ‘60s, it was the domain of British white guys.

In the early ‘70s, things started to heat back up in America, but only slightly. The first few years saw a glut of bands like Kansas, Foreigner, Journey and Styx. But little did the world know that they would soon see the unleashing of a Boston juggernaut: Aerosmith.



When Aerosmith slithered on the scene, their eponymous first album was released at the same time and on the same label as another savior of American rock and roll, Bruce Springsteen. Because of that, they didn’t get their proper acknowledgement until a few years later. It also meant they had time to actually earn it. By their third album, Toys In the Attic, they were not only the tightest band making music, but they were ready to be hoisted up as America’s answer to all those great British groups.

It wasn’t an accident that Aerosmith reminded the public of the Rolling Stones. Steven Tyler had a swagger, style and physical profile very similar to those of Mick Jagger, just like Joe Perry was akin to Keith Richards in both appearance and guitar style. Steven and Joe even had a similar dynamic to Mick and Keith; one was the flamboyant and crowd-pleasing frontman, while the other was quieter and more unobtrusive, providing mystique.

I’m not saying there was anything insidious or contrived going on here. Record execs didn’t generate the idea of emulating the Stones in the hope of making more money. Rather, this was a simple matter of Steven and Joe admiring the Stones so damn much. Aerosmith probably made a conscious decision to look like Mick and Keith (long dark hair, skinny, colorful dress), but the similar stage relationship between the two had to be instinctual. To Aerosmith, the Rolling Stones were just “how it was done.” Why wouldn’t they be similar?

Next: the Big Three of rock stardom – can you guess what they are?

The Rolling Stones – Beggars Banquet – 12/6/1968

My fandom of the Rolling Stones is a latter-day thing. The reason I never got into them as a kid or teenager – besides the fact that when you’re a teen, nothing made before you were born has any value, including your parents – is that there was always some sneaking naughtiness to them. It was just barely within my consciousness, but I was just sensitive enough that it gave me pause. It still appealed to the curious side of me, but at a young age, that part wasn’t very big. I wasn’t a curious child; I didn’t want to open that drawer, watch that movie, or smoke that cigarette. With a few exceptions, I was a good little boy.

Thusly, the Stones were something I was wary of until I reached adulthood. When I was still living under my parents’ roof, I kept them at arms’ length. Ironically, the impulse that kept me away from the Stones didn’t stop me at all from getting into Aerosmith. That caused contention between me and my parents, let me tell you. One time they actually sat me down in our living room, took out the liner notes from my two Aerosmith CDs and read me every word of the lyrics out loud. Some of it was pretty embarrassing. They made a point that THAT was what I was choosing to “fill my head with.” From then on, I kept my listening choices more to myself.

It is that subtle undercurrent of something good little Christian kids don’t do that permeates much of the Stones’ material. This was in a bygone age, before profanity had become the valueless thing it is today. Back in the Stones’ day, innuendo and euphemism ruled the day rather than crassly obvious statements. There was kind of an art to what bands like the Stones and Aerosmith did; they talk about sex in a way that you could miss if you don’t pay attention. That takes more effort that just coming out and saying it.

“Parachute Woman” has that going on more than any other song on Beggars Banquet. The innuendo is dirty and funny at the same time. It’s a slow blues song with a lazy groove, and it features a bit more of an echoing, un-produced quality than other Banquet songs.

“Jigsaw Puzzle” floats by despite its 6 minute length, featuring monotonously strummed acoustic guitars and a lilting electric. It’s stylistically similar to certain Bob Dylan songs, but doesn’t have the lyrical depth or intricacy, though it sure tries. There’s a verse towards the end that talks about members of a band (a guitarist, a bass player, a drummer, etc.) that is possibly about the Rolling Stones themselves.

The vinyl flip starts off with “Street Fighting Man,” the first moment on the entire record where the Stones pull out all the stops and turn up the volume. This song can definitely be appreciated at a greater level when your volume knob is cranked to the maximum. It’s been called the band’s most political song. That march on the U.S. Embassy in London that happened when the Beatles were in Rishikesh was actually attended by Mick Jagger. He found contrast in the generally quiet, “sleepy” character of London and the huge event that was happening in the heart of it. But inspiration for “Street Fighting Man” came from not only that, but the hippie protests in America about the Vietnam War, but more strongly the near-revolution in France.

What makes this song more interesting than a straight-up protest song is that it’s really not a protest song. There’s talk of all the unrest and discord going on in the world, but not as particularly negative things. At best, Jagger is reporting on it in an observational tone like Lou Reed reports on drugs, but it very easily tips over into glorifying the violence. At times, he even seems to revel in it. I think the narrator of “Sympathy For the Devil” would approve.

Tomorrow: Statutory rape, and other fun stuff…