Black Cherry

“Black Cherry” is an Aerosmith outtake written between the ’88/’89 Pump sessions – when it was refereed to as “Hot Toddy” with unfinished lyrics – and the early 1992 sessions at the A&M Records, in Los Angeles, for the first attempt of the Get a Grip album with producer Bruce Fairburn.

It is a cool Tyler rocker featuring dark, nasty and dirty sexual references in its lyrics. The song opens with the chorus; it’s simple, high pitched and aggressive, featuring a cool guitar riff – that included a section later used in “Flesh” – and a melodic piano. The verses feel slower with Tyler dragging the lyrics while the band maintains the Bm chord. The pre-chorus lift the rhythm of the song with melodic fast paced singing that leads back to the screaming chorus. The bridge could very well be the gem of the song with interesting melodies and chord selection. The demo did not feature a guitar solo.

Lyrics seem to be talking about a man paying to have having sex with a prostitute, and then going for a second round, but having anal sex this time, hence bursting her “black cherry”.

The song was apparently kicked off the album because of John Kalodner’s dislike of the lyrics, production and songwriting quality of the first approach to the album, despite Tyler and Perry’s fondness of the song. It is true that several of the GAG outtakes were songs referencing or about anal sex, making Tyler seem somewhat obsessed with the topic, which could have been one of the reasons that lead Tim Collins to attempt an intervention on Steven for being a “sex addict”.

The “Walk This Way: the auto biography of Aerosmith” (1997) by Stephen Davis, features a reference (page 473) to the song and explains the situation in more detail:

“I had a lot of trouble with the lyrics, which were perverted, especially a song called Black Cherry. They were mean, very raw, with none of the humour you associate with Aerosmith.” – John Kalodner

“I had a song called Black Cherry, which I presented to the band. Three days later I’m confronted by Joe Perry, Tim Collins, and Lou Cox, and they ripped a second asshole in me about sexuality, all because I was reading f*ck magazines in the studio and they were scared I was backing into sexual addiction. They made fun of the lyrics I was writing, too juvenile, to immature” – Steven Tyler

Later, Joe Perry’s autobiography “Rocks: My life in and out of Aerosmith” (2014), would also shine light on the topic:

When John Kalodner came to review the tracks, though, he reacted with the line no artist ever wants to hear, especially after having worked diligently for three months: “I don’t hear a single.”
Admittedly, there were some raunchy songs—“Black Cherry” and “Your Momma Wants to Do Me and Your Daddy Wants to Do Me In”—but I liked them and thought they fit into the Aerosmith aesthetic. Kalodner’s judgment pissed us off and we reacted in predictable ways: Steven went off the deep end and I smoldered. Steven called John every name in the book while I sank into silence.

2006 songs in Studio White Board

During the 2006/2007 sessions for what was expected to be a full album of reworked outtakes, “Black Cherry” was confirmed to have been revisited. The album didn’t work and only two songs were included in what would to become the “Devil’s Got a New Disguise” compilation album.

The official Aerosmith.com site used to host a few clips of studio outtakes back in 1997, one of these included a 20 seconds instrumental of an early “Black Cherry” recorded in 1991 at Joe’s home studio, The Boneyard, in Boston.

Audio files hosted in the old Aerosmith.com

It also hosted the full lyrics to several Get a Grip unreleased songs, allegedly having been taken from a notebook that Steven Tyler gave the Aerosmith.com team.

A fan covered the song based in samples leaked, lyrics and independent research.

Black Cherry
(Steven Tyler, Joe Perry)

Black cherry, black cherry, black cherry,
I like it, I like it, I like it,
Black cherry, black cherry, black cherry,
I like it, I like it, I like it…

It be night time when shadows fade,
She was dressed like a chamber maid,
All decked out in silk,
and I took her Like a cat takes to milk,

Come here little Queenie or ah…
Has the cat got your tongue?,
Can’t let nobody see me,
Come on girl while we’re still young,

‘Cause there’s never been no lover’s knot,
Can tie you down ’cause you’re so hot,
Don’t pinch me ass I may be dreamin’,
Hope tonight that I’ll be screamin’,

Black cherry, black cherry, black cherry,
I like it, I like it, I like it,
Black cherry, black cherry, black cherry,
I like it, I like it, I like it…

She looked sheik in a funky way,
Tongue in cheek baby all the way,
Home girls they got pride, she said,
‘One time around’ I said ‘Let’s go for a ride’,

Come here little Queenie… or ah,
Has the cat got your tongue?,
My best shot for a C note baby she said,
That’s why this Janie’s got a gun,

Because there’s nothin’ like a good time girl,
To take you twice around the world,
I’m so in lust, I think I’m trippin’,
So in love I think I’m slippin’,

Down to the river, down to the river of love,
Where the love runs deep,
it’s so sad it’s a love, you can’t keep,

Down to the river, down to the river,
abover 42nd Street,
it’s so sad,
That the bad, don’t come cheap,

Because there’s nothing like a good time girl,
To take you twice around the world,
Right to the land of milk and honey,
Leave your troubles, bring your money…

Black cherry, black cherry, black cherry,
I like it, I like it, I like it,
Black cherry, black cherry, black cherry,
I like it, I like it, I like it…

Black cherry, black cherry, black cherry,
I like it, I like it, I like it,
Black cherry, black cherry, black cherry,
I like it, I like it, I like it…

Chords
Verses:
Bm
Pre-chorus1:
Em – Bm
Pre-chorus2:
Am – B – C – D
Chorus:
Em – F#m – G – C
Bridge:
C – D – Em – C – Am – Em – B x2Bm


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s