Steven Tyler Tells All: The Real Story Behind His Aerosmith Battles and ‘American Idol’ Triumph

Categories:  Steven Tyler

Rolling Stone
April 27, 2011

The new issue of Rolling Stone, on stands and in the digital archive on April 29th, includes an in-depth cover story on Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler by writer Brian Hiatt, who finds the Aerosmith frontman overflowing with positive energy.

“I’m really lucky right now,” Tyler says as he hikes to the edge of a Laurel Canyon cliff. “I’m on top of the world: I’m Hollywood’s little fuckin’ sweetheart, basically.”

In the story, Tyler talks about his motivation for signing on as an American Idol judge – a move he made after his bandmates threatened to throw him out of Aerosmith. “Did I take this job to show the band?” he says. “Fuck, yeah. Not to show them, but that I can’t be held hostage anymore. I will be my own hostage. The band can’t throw me out.”

Tyler is awestruck at the Idol finalists’ level of talent: “You know what, out of the 20 kids you saw tonight,” he says, after watching an Idol episode at home, “if you could just sprinkle 10 years of smoking pot, getting fucked up, getting laid, getting fucked, and 10 years of just life, which one of those people wouldn’t be a star?”

Tyler was one of about 40 people that the show’s producers interviewed to replace Simon Cowell. “I actually saw Roger Daltrey,” says Fox exec Mike Darnell. “He came in and was the complete reverse of Steve, very formal, his hair was cut, he looked like a regular guy. He had lost that sort of rock & roll charm. But Steven was unbelievably charming.”

Other highlights:

• In the fall of 2008 Tyler flew to London to sing for Page, John Paul Jones and Jason Bonham, who were considering starting a new project with him. “I decided, ‘Well, I know that I’m mad at those [Aerosmith] guys, but I’m not that mad,’” Tyler says. “So I called Jimmy up after I left, two weeks later, and said, ‘You’re in a classic band, and so is mine, and I just can’t do that to my guys, and I can’t do it to Robert [Plant],’ and I couldn’t see finding a year to really put myself into it. So for whatever the band thought, never in a million years was I going to quit Aerosmith to start Zeppelin.”

• During Aerosmith’s ill-fated attempt to cut a new album with producer Brendan O’Brien a couple years back, Tyler says he did drugs with Joe Perry for the first time in years. “It was just like 30 years before,” Tyler says. “I whipped out mine, he whipped out his and we got high together again. I say to Joe, ‘Wow, man, how you been, it’s been, what, 17 years since we got high together? Joe, you’ve been fucking running away from me ever since.’ ” Bonding aside, the album sessions didn’t go well. “Joe was high and he couldn’t play,” says Tyler. “I couldn’t sing, really, because I was snorting everything, and it fucks up your throat. It was the wrong time.” (Despite repeated requests, Perry declined to comment for this story.)

• In May, Tyler is releasing his autobiography, Does the Noise in My Head Bother You? Around that time he’ll release the first solo single of his entire career, a poppy tune called “Feels So Good.” “I can hear it coming out of people’s cars this summer,” he says. He’s also working on new material with Aerosmith: Earlier this year the entire band – minus Perry – flew to Los Angeles to work on demos, and Tyler is talking to Toys in the Attic producer Jack Douglas about working on some of the songs. Working titles include “Asphalt,” “Bobbing for Piranha,” and “Legendary Child.” The story describes the material as “slinky riff-rock, big-chorused soul ballads, leaning more Seventies than Nineties.”

Watch Video: Steven Tyler reminisces at his Rolling Stone cover shoot – (here).

Steven Tyler’s NBC interview reveals regrets, hopes and future plans

Categories:  Steven Tyler

April 27, 2011

Aerosmith frontman talks about drugs, his family, and ‘Idol’ in an interview to air Sunday, May 1 and Monday, May 2

Steven Tyler’s journey from Aerosmith frontman to “American Idol” judge has given him enough stories for several lifetimes. In a candid interview with Matt Lauer, set to air Sunday, May 1 on Dateline and on Monday, May 2 on TODAY, Tyler tells many of them, discussing his musical journey as well as overcoming his own drug use and how it affected his family life.

Tyler rose to stardom with Aerosmith, one of the top bands of the 1970s that enjoyed a robust second act starting in 1984. What the band did, both on and off the stage, has become the stuff of legend.

But that second act, which helped the band earn induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001, nearly didn’t happen. As Tyler tells Lauer in the interview, pervasive drug use, including budgeting for cocaine in the band’s touring contracts, lead to the breakdown of the band in 1979.

“There’s three things that happen to you when you’re addicted to drugs after they take hold, is death, jail and insanity,” Tyler said in the interview. “And I can’t preach that enough. The only reason I wind up in rehab is because I used to the point of falling down. My kids tell me, ‘Daddy, I don’t know who you are anymore.’ Wives leave, bands break up, and it’s really a one-way street. I still liked the ride, but it’s a one-way street.”

When asked if there was anyone who ever questioned his drug use, Tyler was emphatic: “Absolutely not.

“No. 1, it was the thing to do in the ’70s … And by the way, bands like Aerosmith, if you looked at the ’70s, how many albums we did, how many songs and how many territories, you know, we conquered, you know, we were troubadours going from town to town, state to state,” Tyler said. “We had no MTV or anything. We would play for Mahavishnu Orchestra. Anybody to open up and get our songs heard. And in doing so, in playing three shows in a row, I needed blow. I needed that cocaine. I needed that — I needed it.

“How did we get through? It’s a little funny now, but if you look back at history, managers didn’t care,” Tyler said. “They were glad we were makin’ ‘em all money. And they may get angry at that, but it was also a thing to do, I can give it up at that.”

Tyler became the father of two daughters during that era, actress Liv Tyler (with fashion model Bebe Buell) and model Mia Tyler (with Cyrinda Foxe). After admittedly not being a great father to them in their childhood, he’s tried to make up for it since.

“That’s what drugs did. That’s what it did. On one hand, it can put you in a place you’ve never been, so you can use that experience, and on the other hand, for me, I rode it like a gypsy rode a horse. And it took my children away, it took my life away, it took my band away, took my marriages away, and I was on my knees,” Tyler said.

Now, Tyler is reaching a new generation as one of three “American Idol” judges, along with Randy Jackson and fellow newcomer Jennifer Lopez. Many wondered what he would bring to the table, besides the dose of credibility that his own musical journey provides.

In addition to being the funniest of the three judges and the one who can ground everyone else when they get too pretentious, he’s been instrumental in the new attitude surrounding the show this season. It’s been a kinder and gentler crew than the one characterized by the biting sarcasm of Simon Cowell, and from Tyler’s perspective that’s no accident.

“I got three daughters, so I can’t sit there and say, ‘you can’t sing, what did you come here for’?” Tyler said, of the attitude he’s had since the auditions. “I don’t want to be Steven Tyler, the one they all look up to and tell them they can’t sing and for whatever reason that girl leaves there and doesn’t sing to her child because I told her she can’t sing. That kills me inside.”

And while Lopez is on a one-year contract, Tyler doesn’t sound like someone looking to leave anytime soon.

“It’s not a show about who can sing best. I mean, I told the producers, that’s not it. That can’t be it for me. Because, there are so many stars out there right now, but they’re not the best singers,” Tyler said. “But they sure got character. And I like to say that, you know, as this was established early on, it’s what I love about J. Lo and Randy. It’s the whole package.”

Watch preview video:  (here).

Steven Tyler: Sober and Grateful

Categories:  Steven Tyler
April 27, 2011

Steven Tyler doesn’t need drugs to get high these days. All he needs is to go to work at American Idol.

“If you think going out in front of high-def cameras and millions of people I’m not high on adrenaline, you’re crazy,” the rocker-turned-judge tells PEOPLE in this week’s cover story.

“I’m stoned when that curtain drops,” adds Tyler, 63. “I just don’t snort the curtain dropping. I don’t snort J. Lo either, though I do breathe her in.”

Tyler’s nutty, what-will-he-say-next personality has not only catapulted Idol back to must-watch status, it’s also turned him into one of this year’s most lovable stars.

After years of being known for fights with his bandmates and trips to rehab, Tyler is thrilled that he finally gets to show off his warm and compassionate side.

Sober for a year-and-a-half, the Aerosmith frontman – whose memoir, Does the Noise in My Head Bother You?, will be out May 3 – says he is “grateful” that he’s survived several health problems, as well as his hard-partying ways.

“Left up to my own devices,” says the singer, “I probably would have been dead several times over.”

For much more on Tyler, including his life as a dad and his plans for the future, pick up this week’s issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday