Tony Hicks of the Contra Costa Times recently conducted an interview with AEROSMITH frontman Steven Tyler. A few excerpts from the chat follow:
Q: So you're a grandpa now. How's that feel?
Steven: "Can you believe that? It's amazing. I'm 57 years old and in two years I'll be able to say I'm the new 40. I stand next to Joe Perry every night. I have such a big ego, and I don't want to look like a (schmuck) up there when Joe Perry's playing 'Train Kept a Rollin'' every night.
"Yeah, a grandpa. It's another sweet thing of life. You look at the kid, and I just can't wait to teach him how to fish. Then my son-in-law is looking at me like, 'Wait a second, I want to teach him how to fish.' I told him 'You teach him how to golf, I'll teach him to fish.' My son is 14. One of the greatest joys in life is watching him...putting him up in a tree and watching him fall off the wood pile. Seeing him pull the wings off a bee and get stung. It's the greatest."
Q: Do you still feel the temptation on the road?
Steven: "'ve been clean 19 years. I think about it. I just had an ACL reconstructed and I had Vicodin for four months... You don't take anything without telling your sponsor. Drugs were my best friends for years...I don't do (prescription) drugs unless I let someone know. Yeah, sometime you miss a cold beer on an August night. Now I drink non-alcoholic beer. But I waited ten years before I would even do that. I got my children and my wife and my band back from not doing drugs."
Q: How far are you into the latest record deal?
Steven: "We're out after the next record (which he says will come later this year). I don't know (what happens then), but if AEROSMITH sold only 100,000 copies on the Internet, we'd make more than selling a million for a big label...no matter how you slice it, everybody's making more than the band.
Q: Tell me five things about your bandmates people don't know. Like didn't (drummer) Joey Kramer go to Berklee School of Music. He's classically trained?
Steven: "Yeah (laughing). Joey went there, but he didn't. He went for six weeks. Let's see, Brad (Whitford) is secretly a race car driver. Joe Perry has a hot sauce that'll kick your (expletive). Hang on a second (he went and got a bottle). J.P. Rock Your World Mango Peach Tango Hot Sauce, and it is delicious. I'm not blowing smoke up your (expletive). I'm not.
"Kramer is partners with Corvette Mike on the East Coast. He's secretly always wanted to sell cars. (Tom) Hamilton? I don't know. Oh, he's got a company called 'Obsceney Babies,' you know, like Beanie Babies. They sued him so he had to change the name. They got (expletive for certain body parts). I've got a pair of wild turkeys in my back yard, Harley and Davidson. They follow me around."
Q: I have to ask this before you have to go. Of all your records, I always thought "Rock in a Hard Place" (the 1982 LP AEROSMITH made without Perry) got a bad rap.
Steven: "Yeah, it's one of my favorites. Wasn't 'Cry Me a River' on that? Yeah, 'Bolivian Ragamuffin'. Unreal. (The band hired replacement guitarists) Jimmy Crespo and Rick Dufay, an out-of-his-mind player who should have been in the SMALL FACES. When we played with Crespo, he was good. But he looked like Joe, and I wanted Joe back. Somebody told me that Joe was thinking about playing with ALICE COOPER. I called Joe and said 'Are you (expletive) kidding? Please don't. You're Joe Perry' (and he came back to AEROSMITH). Joe will tell you he made the call. But it was me. And you can put that in your pipe and smoke it!"
Read the entire interview at www.contracostatimes.com.