Steven Tyler on Being 'Cruel' to Aerosmith Mates: 'In the End, I Get the Hits'
Steven Tyler has no regrets over laying down the law when it comes to Aerosmith.
In a profile to air on Sunday's edition of 60 Minutes, the frontman and American Idol judge refuses to apologize when CBS' Lara Logan presses him on his behavior toward bandmates Joe Perry, Tom Hamilton, Brad Whitford and Joey Kramer. (When Tyler wasn't around, they filled her in on his obsessive personality and mean streak.)
"You know what? I'm going to be big-headed right now, OK?" Tyler responded. "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."
But he didn't argue while Logan listed off the group's descriptions of Tyler: Whitford said he "could be extremely demanding and sometimes difficult to talk to." Kramer complained that Tyler "tortured" him, while Hamilton characterized the eccentric singer as "unspeakably cruel."
"You're 100 percent right," Tyler told Logan. "I've said many things to all those guys that I should never have said, that I didn't mean."
Despite interpersonal drama, the band has stuck together for 40 years amid highs, lows and Tyler's past substance abuse.
The singer, who's a good-natured if spacey goofball on American Idol, gets serious in the 60 Minutes clip below.
The band doesn't entirely disagree with him. "When you ask what makes the band great, I think that it's a combination of all of us, Steven making it greater," says Kramer. Whitford goes even further. "[Making the band great] takes somebody so over the top and in our case with our lead singer, Steven Tyler, who's this amazingly gifted musician."
That's how they viewed Tyler in between shows in Bogota, Colombia, where Logan followed them on tour. But they had different words to describe him when they talk about the time he fell off stage a few years ago while high on prescription drugs. "To be honest, I was expecting it...he wasn't in good shape and I was pretty pissed off at that point," remembers Perry. They were so mad, that for weeks they didn't call Tyler, who had suffered a broken shoulder and a head injury. "Everything dramatically changed in an instant because he was…in my mind, irresponsible," adds Whitford.
But just like all the other low periods in the band's history, they overcame the injury and the rift it created. Now, says Tyler, "This band's better than it's ever been. It's not because I'm old now and the band's been around forever and it's our last tour. Bull&*%#! It's because this band is that good."