Steven Tyler said that he is "not leaving Aerosmith" as he made what appeared to be a conciliatory guest appearance with guitarist Joe Perry and his band Tuesday night at Irving Plaza in New York City.
Tyler joined Perry and his Project for an encore version of "Walk This Way." Before the song he told the crowd that "I am not leaving Aerosmith" and told Perry "you are a man of many colors, but I am the motherf--king rainbow!"
The appearance followed several days of online sniping and fan speculation about the future of Aerosmith in the wake of a Tyler interview with Britain's Classic Rock magazine, in which he said that his next project was "definitely going to be something Steven Tyler: working on the brand of myself -- Brand Tyler." Perry interpreted that to mean Tyler was leaving Aerosmith; he told the Las Vegas Sun that "Steven quit as far as I can tell" and subsequently tweeted that Tyler "is doing his own thing and said so in the press. That's all I know."
On Monday Perry tweeted that "Aerosmith is definitely NOT breaking up" and that the group is "positively looking for a new singer to work with. You just can't take 40 years of experience and throw it in the bin!" He followed up with a declaration that "Aerosmith is not splitting up. Promise that's the last you'll hear from me on the subject till we gear up again." His only subsequent messages have been about the Joe Perry Project tour in support of his new solo album "Have Guitar, Will Travel."
No one is yet saying, however, whether Tyler's announcement that he's "not leaving" Aerosmith changes the group's intention to look for another singer.
Aerosmith last performed during October in Abu Dhabi after canceling a North American tour with ZZ Top following Tyler's fall from the stage on Aug. 5 in Sturgis, S.D. The singer, who has separate management form the rest of Aerosmith, is expected to publish an autobiography in 2010 (pushed back from a planned release this year) but has not announced plans for any musical endeavors outside of Aerosmith. The group began recording a new album -- its first since 2004's "Honkin' on Bobo" -- in 2008 but had to abandon it after Tyler fell ill.