Steven Tyler may be many things but excessively humble isn’t one of them… which may be fair enough given the man’s achievements (see world-famous rock band, gig on top-rated reality TV show, best-selling memoir et al).
This Sunday, the Aerosmith screamer, along with his bandmates, is profiled on TV news magazine show 60 Minutes. In that interview – see a clip below – Tyler boldly claims responsibility for the band’s decades-long success, admitting he’s tough to work with but arguing that his perfectionism has catapulted Aerosmith’s creativity.
CBS News chief foreign affairs correspondent Lara Logan did interviews with the band between shows in Bogota, Colombia and her frank sit-down with Tyler revealed some gems.
After telling him that his bandmates had complained to her that he was sometimes cruel and too much of a perfectionist, Tyler expressed regret about some of the things he’s said to them over the years (though presumably no apologies were issued for the sales spike Aerosmith’s back catalog has enjoyed since his gig with American Idol). Tyler added:
“You know what? I’m going to be big-headed right now, OK? I think my perfectionism and my busting everyone’s chops is what got this band to where it is today. In the end, I get a really good song and in the end, I get the hits. Yeah, I’m that good.”
Mmm. I sincerely wonder what guitarist Joe Perry would say about that. Bands are just that – units, a collective of people – and while there is always a naturally emerging leader, it seems like folly for one person to take credit for the whole, especially when you are looking at success amortized over four decades, two of which Tyler and Perry spent stumbling around in a cocaine fog.
Does that also mean Tyler takes sole responsibility for the travetsy that was the supremo lame-o single "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing?"
Anyway, that’s the bed Tyler has to sleep in. There is little doubt the 60 Minutes piece – pretty much the clearest indicator of penetration into the heart of mainstream America – is a tee-up for Aerosmith’s forthcoming new disc of original material, their first in 10 years and, happily, latest with producer Jack Douglas, who also worked on early albums like Get Your Wings, Toys In The Attic and Rocks. Release date is TBD.
Of course, Tyler can be seen weekly judging American Idol. As long as he doesn’t rope his family into starring in a reality TV show à la the Osbournes, he will continue to command my respect.