Remember the old chat lines?
I don’t know if they’re even still around but back in the late 80s and the 90s, they were the only thing advertised on TV after midnight. All you had to do was dial the number and then, for only three dollars a minute, you could get a custom psychic reading or hear Ice Cube’s thought of the day.
The most popular chat lines were the ones that were advertised as being used by “hot singles waiting to talk to you!” The commercials all featured insanely hot girls in their underwear, usually lying in bed with a landline phone. Common sense should have told everyone that anyone that hot wasn’t sitting at home on Friday night, waiting to hear from some teenager in Canton. Still, 1-800 numbers were a big business back in the day. They were the original chat rooms.
They weren’t cheap, either. “3.99 for the first minute, 0.99 for each additional minute.” Those minutes added up fast, especially when the operators had been trained to draw things out. For some people, it was worth it for the chance to fantasize about the voice at the other end of the line.
The video for Aerosmith’s Sweet Emotion centers around that fantasy. On one end, the teenager from Canton who says he’s an entertainment lawyer. On the other end, his fantasy. In the middle of it all is Aerosmith, performing at an old warehouse in the Charleston Navy Yards.
Sweet Emotion is one of Aerosmith’s most enduring songs. Some fans think that the song was inspired by the band’s mutual dislike of Joe Perry’s then-wife but Steve Tyler has said that it was actually inspired by a feud between the wives of both Perry and bassist Tom Hamilton. The song was a big hit when it was originally released in 1975 and then it was an even bigger hit when it was re-released in 1991.