It’s been a while since we did something on Side B and we could not deem anything more worthy than mentioning those who join in the fight against sexual abuse. This week’s honoree is Aerosmith’s own epic frontman, Steve Tyler. There is a great feature on Tyler this week in People.com which you can read here.
In this feature, Tyler first talks about the lyrics to Janie’s Got A Gun, an Aerosmith track that came out in 1989 and it can be found on their album entitled, Pump. In part, the lyrics read like this:
Janie’s got a gun
Janie’s got a gun
Her whole world’s come undone
From lookin’ straight at the sun
What did her daddy do?
What did he put you through?
They said when Janie was arrested they found him underneath a train
But man, he had it comin’
Now that Janie’s got a gun she ain’t never gonna be the same.
According to Tyler, the song was written about his own experiences in meeting victims of sexual abuse in rehab while he struggled with his own addictions in the 1980s. Says Tyler, “I think this is what I was born to do.” Referring to the 1970s when he first got into the fast lane, he added that “the ’80s came and I [then] fell to my knees with my addictions.” It was during this period of time that Tyler spent in rehab that he encountered various real life “Janies” who inspired him to pen the rest of the song.
In fact, says Tyler, “seven out of 10 girls that came through that facility had suffered from physical or sexual abuse. It was staggering. That’s where the rest of the lyrics [for Janie’s Got A Gun] came from.”
But here’s the best part. Tyler’s experiences led him to start Janie’s Fund an organization whose mission statement is as follows:
Janie’s Fund is a philanthropic initiative created in partnership with one of America’s most effective nonprofits, Youth Villages, to bring hope and healing for many of our country’s most vulnerable girls who have suffered the trauma of abuse and neglect.
In this short clip Tyler explains his motivations and hopes in challenging this cause.
Great job Steven Tyler. This is the epitome of turning a negative into a positive in its finest fashion and for your efforts, we salute you. Keep the train a rollin’–please.