Is “American Idol” the cause of Aerosmith’s latest internal struggles?
Or is the band upset that Steven Tyler will release his first solo single in May?
In an interview airing May 1 on “Dateline” the eccentric singer (and beloved talent show judge) admits there is once again trouble in rock and roll paradise for the legendary band.
“It’s about internal issues that since I left the last management, it’s four now against one,” Tyler tells Matt Lauer. ”So there’s — there’s little things. Remember, being in a band this big, it’s a very heavy marriage.”
Things are so bad, Tyler says, that he recently sent a note to his band mates begging them stop fighting and get to work on a new record.
“I simply sent a letter that said, ‘Dude, you’re the best drummer there is. Let’s get better and play. Brad, you’re the best rhythm guitar — he’s the MVP for every tour. And Joe, you know, we wouldn’t have a band if it wasn’t for you and I. And Tom, come on, get back in here,’” he admits.
“You know, maybe it’s everyone’s too rich.”
Here’s a quick preview of what else Tyler had to say while promoting his new book, Does the Noise in My Head Bother You?: A Rock ‘n’ Roll Memoir.
MATT LAUER: As you get older, isn’t that a lotta wasted energy? I mean, don’t you just want to say, “Let’s stop fighting?”
STEVEN TYLER: And that’s what I just said. Leave the managers, the lawyers behind. Let’s get together… This band is gonna do the best album it ever did, Matt. And it will be. The fighting’s kind of frivolous. What bothers me the most is there’s certain managers that let it happen, and allow it to happen, you know, and don’t facilitate it to come back together. So, hence, I just sent a letter saying, “We’re meeting at X and such and such a place…and let’s just stop foolin’ around, get back together and do this album.”
MATT LAUER: Rate yourself as a dad to your older children. Mia and Liv. You have a complicated relationship.
STEVEN TYLER: Very complicated…And for many years, the whole band was sober. And I stayed sober for 12 years. And in that time, I got to see, really, you know, how I wasn’t there for Mia. And wasn’t there for Liv. And it broke my heart. I cried like a baby. They were still very young. You know, but I made amends to my ex-wives. Deep, deep amends, cried with ‘em. And it was some years later where I said to Liv, I said, “I’m so sorry for not being there when you were a baby.” And she was the first one to say, “Daddy, it’s so all right, you’re here now. And now I know I got a Daddy.” And, you know, those were the moments in my life that I’ll — I will never forget. That moment meant more than the shame I can dump in self loathing, I can put on myself, for not being there.
MATT LAUER: You write about this in the book, when Mia was on “The Today Show,” back in 2008, writing about addiction, and the fact that she had begun cutting herself. She was going through a very tough time. You watched, and you wrote, “I began crying because I realized I’d gotten sober, but I hadn’t done it for my kids, or even my own health. I hadn’t thought of them when I was using, so why would I have gotten sober for them either? Drugs robbed me of my spirituality and compassion, only later to find out I’d lost Liv and Mia, as well. I cried when they forgave me for my past behaviors, but I’ll be working on it for the rest of my life.”
STEVEN TYLER: 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.
MATT LAUER: These kids who go on from “American Idol” to win or place second or third or whatever, they are not going to have to do what you did in those club bands in New York City and getting the gigs and trying to make a name for yourself. They’re going to become uber-famous in 16 weeks. Do you worry about them?
STEVEN TYLER: No, it’s like saying that you know, once your kid has a job you don’t worry about him getting one. They wanted to be an idol and they’re gonna be, you know, people are looking at them soon as they’re the top 12 wanting to manage and take percentage of their publishing and get ‘em on tour. I guess I am worried. I’m worried that they didn’t come up in the clubs. I mean, it starts here with me. For the 12 weeks that we do, you know, or six weeks that we do the initial auditions, I’m looking at these 15-year-old kids, I got three daughters, so I can’t sit there and say, you can’t sing, what did you come here for?… 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… Spot it, you got it. Along with maybe some character, oh, you know? 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. 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.