Saturday, April 14, 2012

A Letter of Gratitude

Dear Aerosmith,

Hello.  Thank you for taking the time to read this.  I know you're busy either hosting American Idol or complaining about someone in your band hosting American Idol.  Your time is very precious, and I'll try to respect that.

I've been a listener for a long time.  I was born the year your first record came out, 1973, and I grew up on your music.  My Dad and I bonded very early in my life listening to "Sweet Emotion" off your Toys in the Attic LP.  Your career resurgence happened right as I was going into high school, and your albums Permanent Vacation and Pump got a lot of play on my then-archaic CD player during those years.  I even followed you in college, buying Get a Grip at a local record store and listening to the song "Eat the Rich" so many times on repeat that I would hear it in my sleep.  I even loved your last release, the blues album Honkin' on Bobo.  I'm definitely a fan.

However, there is one thing I have to mention: Your song "Walk This Way" has been very problematic for me over the years.  See, my name is Marcus Waye and, even though I know you're not, it sounds like you're repeatedly screaming my name over and over again for three and a half minutes throughout the entire song.  ("And she told me to MARCUS WAYE!! MARCUS WAYE!! MARCUS WAYE!! You get the idea.)  I know it's not what you originally intended, but it's followed me around for pretty much my entire life.

OK, before I continue, I want to let you know that I'm not mad about this.  Sure, I did get teased about it in middle school, when your version of "Walk This Way" with Run-D.M.C. was released.  Kids all over the school would come up to me and shout my name in my face over and over again like in the chorus of your song.  This isn't me complaining about being bullied because of your song, because, really, there's no way I could make that claim.  Those kids were just screaming my name at me.  They didn't modify my name at all, just yelled it in my face.  A stranger would see that and think, "That kid must be hard of hearing.  Also, people like saying his full name repeatedly."  And, besides, at the end of the day, you know they went home and cried themselves to sleep in their Rambo pajamas because of how jealous they were.  Because how fucking cool is it to have a kick-ass band scream what sounds like your name throughout one of their most popular songs?  A song so cool that it became a hit twice? 

I have to admit, I have not always enjoyed this about your song.  Because of the (slight) teasing in middle school, I've gone through all the stages of grief about it:

Denial - Come on, it doesn't really sound like they're saying my name!
Anger - Fucking Aerosmith.  That song has made my life a living hell.
Bargaining - I will pay that radio station a million dollars if they will just stop playing that song. 
Depression - Why does Aerosmith keep shouting my name at me every time I turn on the radio?  Why?  WHY?
Acceptance - I love Aerosmith and I love "Walk This Way."  My life would be so less awesome without it.

So, thanks, guys, for giving me something very few people - if any - have.  (Unless there's a guy out there named Steve Emulsion that I don't know about.)  Thanks for giving me a great theme song, as well as a great ring tone for all my friends to use whenever I call them.

Marcus Waye

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