Reality Rocks - Archive

Steven Tyler’s ‘Idol’ Gig Means Aerosmith May Take A Permanent Vacation

Lyndsey Parker
Reality Rocks

The drama surrounding the ever-revolving "American Idol" judges' table continues this week, with the confirmation of persistent rumors that Kara DioGuardi has indeed "resigned" and won't return for Season 10, and Variety reporting that Fox will formally announce the new judging panel in just a few days. Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler will, according to many reputable sources, be on that panel, along with old standby Randy Jackson. And that is where some fresh drama comes in--because Steven's on/off bandmate, Joe Perry, is clearly none too pleased about Steven's new day job.

"['American Idol'] is a reality show designed to get people to watch that station and sell advertising. It's one step above [Teenage Mutant] Ninja Turtles," a disgruntled Joe recently told the Calgary Herald. "I'll tell you one thing, when we put this band together, this is not something that [Steven] would do. It's his business, but I don't want Aerosmith's name involved with it. We have nothing to do with it."

Ouch. With stinging, outspoken criticisms like that, Joe himself would probably be a great "Idol" judge. Not that he'd ever accept a job like that, obviously. (He probably already hated "Idol" for its many manglings of "I Don't Want To Miss A Thing," or for Danny Gokey's screechy "Dream On" alone.) And apparently, Steven's acceptance of the "Idol" job came as a surprise to Joe and the rest of Aerosmith, which is probably the real explanation why Joe is so peeved.

"[Aerosmith] sat down not too long ago, when we decided to do this [current 'Cocked, Locked, Ready To Rock'] tour, and we basically laid out plans for the next two years," Joe explained. "And when you're sitting there talking about that and one of the band members knows full well he's signed a contract that's taking him out of the music business for up to seven months of the year--that kind of throws a wrench into things. It's all very well to say, 'I'm going to go off and do this and it won't interfere with the band'...but there's only so many weeks in the month and so many months in the year."

So now, according to Joe, Steven's new "Idol" gig means future Aerosmith gigs may be few and far between. Or the band as we know it may finally call it quits, after years of infighting that has escalated in recent months. See, this is hardly the first time the Toxic Twins have toxically battled in the press. Last year, while the band was on hiatus while Steven recuperated from onstage fall and spent some time in rehab, the band seemed for all purposes broken up, with Joe actually threatening to replace Steven with a new singer. That proposal seemed as ridiculous, and was met with just as much public disdain, as Led Zeppelin's surviving members' onetime short-lived scheme to tour with a Robert Plant stand-in. But that doesn't mean that Joe's still not considering hiring a new 'Smith frontman, now that Steven will be pretty busy for the next couple of years.

"I'm not going to sit around for two years waiting for him to come back to Aerosmith," Joe told the Calgary Herald. "[You've got] four guys that are great together, and if you find the right singer, there's no reason you can't go and entertain people."

Honestly, I don't think Steve Tyler can be replaced in Aerosmith, any more than Simon Cowell can really be replaced on "American Idol." And while I do understand why Steven took the "Idol" job--at age 62, with a recent history of health problems, Steven can't perform and tour forever, and this show could mean a whole new career for the crazy, charismatic rocker--if it's true that Aerosmith were blindsided by Steven's decision to sign on with "Idol," thus thwarting the band's future touring and recording plans, then I totally understand Joe's bitterness.

All I can say is, get your Aerosmith tickets while you still can. "Technically speaking, after our gig in Vancouver [on September 16], I don't have a job with Aerosmith," Joe lamented. "We know these are the last shows for a while. And I really do mean a while. I don't know when we'll be out there again, the five of us, so we'll be playing with everything we've got."

Photos: See the band performing] [Singer Tyler falls off stage ... again] [Guitarist Perry hurt riding motorcycle]

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