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Video: Aerosmith’s Tyler on LSD (Lead Singer Disorder)

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    >>> to call steven tyler an aging rock star would be a mistake. if what he's doing is aging most people would say, sign me up. i sat down with tyler to talk about his new memoir "does the noise in my head bother you"? apparently not. people can't get enough.

    >> steven tyler ! [ cheers and applause ]

    >> at the age of 63, rocker steven tyler is white hot right now. having taken his talents and way with words to one of america's hottest television shows . he's become a media darling with his kooky style and tylerisms.

    >> well [ bleep ] a duck and see what happens.

    >> what?

    >> for the last 30 years as the lead singer of aerosmith , a band which churned out platinum records every year since the '70s, all the news fit to print about tyler was barely suitable to print at all.

    >> reporter: the sweet emotion he was feeling was from an addiction to drugs. and as recently as two years ago he almost lost everything. how did you end up on one of the most popular shows on television?

    >> the week before, i went to betty ford in december of '09 i was so angry with it all, i got a new manager. i said to him get me a job. i don't care what it is. i'm going in. get me " american idol ."

    >> to move forward we first have to look back. it's hard to believe someone called the demon of screaming honed his hard rock musicality in new hampshire where he met his band meats. tyler says "dream on" came to him like a piece of divine inspiration 37 years ago. think of the lyrics of that song. that's a guy looking back over the vast terrain of his life. here you are a 26-year-old kid. it seems like it couldn't come from you. tell me about that song.

    >> i wrote that song and i'm sitting up at the barn and i'm like --

    >> you know, i'm loving that melodic stuff. it's growing through me. i don't know where it came from. every time that i look in the mirror all these lines on my face getting clearer

    >> here's the best part. the past is gone in my life like dusk to dawn isn't that the way everybody got --

    >> this was just that melody which told my mouth, touched something in my brain that made my mouth sing that. every time i look in the mirror.

    >> do you have a lighter i can hold up? come on. i want more! more is what you get in the memoir. i will start with the title. "does the noise in my head bother you." what's the noise? your head?

    >> it goes like this. sit a spell it will take about an hour i'll tell you a little story about me and matt lauer

    >> we'll leave it about that.

    >> is that there constantly?

    >> pretty much. yeah.

    >> some may know aerosmith published a metrodome wmoir in 1997 . in the last 14 years he's gone through divorce, had potentially career-ending throat surgery, revealed he has hepatitis c , been to rehab after rehab and had a bitter feud with bandmates who came close to replacing him after he fell off a concert stage two years ago high on prescription drugs . writing a book about lsd and this is not the drug.

    >> no, no.

    >> lds is --

    >> lead singer disorder. jimmy page wrote that.

    >> you had it.

    >> i think we all do as lead singers . we front the band. so therefore why don't they listen to us? we know everything.

    >> big ego?

    >> of course.

    >> tough to work with?

    >> yeah.

    >> made trouble when you could have made peace?

    >> yeah.

    >> when you look back now was it all just natural, part of the job ?

    >> you're damn right.

    >> if feuding with the band was part of the job , tyler could have won employee of the year for his stormy relationship with joe perry . the two once dubbed the toxic twins .

    >> is it fair to say you have spent as much time fighting over your time together as loving each other?

    >> well, see, he plays guitar in such a way where i'm addicted to it. there is no one like him. he's my own keith. my own clapton. he's there. he's aerosmith . he plays the licks and i go, whoa, wait! [ scatting ] love in an elevator

    >> it just works. do that again! so it's magic. what, am i going to fight it?

    >> oh, yeah. the guy in the skin tight pants is also a grandfather, although the road to paving a relationship with his two eldest daughters, actress liv and model mia has not been easy.

    >> you write about how drugs robbed you of spirituality and compassion only to realize you lost liv and mia as well. i cried when they for gave me for past behaviors but i will be working on it for the rest of my life.

    >> that's what drugs did. it took my children away, my life away, my band away. took my marriages away. i was on my knees. don't want to close my eyes

    >> tyler has been sober for a year and a half. even he says he's lucky to be alive. in the book you say you're 63 and it took you to the age of 60 to realize you didn't know anything, and that's okay.

    >> that's the best part of not knowing something. when you realize it's okay, that's when you reap the rewards.

    >> reporter: and the rewards have come. " american idol 's" ratings are holding strong. aerosmith record sales are seeing a surge and there are plans for a new album and a new tour. of course all of those things need a wardrobe change -- many, many changes.

    >> my new favorites. look. they zip all the way down. i put this on the leg just because i can.

    >> because you're steven tyler .

    >> and i get to stand next to j. lo every night. i'm beat. she's street and the dog's in heat or whatever.

    >> tylerism. no quincoincidence his upcoming single is called "it feels so good.

    >> i'm sober again and life's good. cut!

    >> you can find more of the interview with steven tyler and read an excerpt from the memoir on our website on today.com. just ahead, another

TODAY books
updated 4/28/2011 7:59:06 AM ET 2011-04-28T11:59:06

As front man of Aerosmith, Steven Tyler practically defined a generation of American rock music. After a fabled career rife with highs and lows, Tyler surprised his fans (and his band) and became a celebrated judge on “American Idol.” In “Does The Noise In My Head Bother You?”, Tyler spills the details on the ride so far. Read an excerpt.


If you’re a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

If you’re a singer, everything looks like a song.

“Life is short. Break the rules, forgive quickly, kiss slowly, love truly, laugh uncontrollably, and never regret anything that makes you smile.” We’re not quantified; there’s no chart of desire. When the roaring flames of your heart have burned down to embers, may you find that you have married your best friend. Hunch, conjecture, instinct…a blind allegiance to anything can get you killed, and always remember…sing as though no one can hear you; live as though heaven is here on Earth. Here I want to say something deep and meaningless, like “To thine own self be true,” but in truth, the first thing we have to do is KILL ALL THE LAWYERS.

Steven Tyler sits down with Matt Lauer for an exclusive interview

When I was a kid and in a gang, my so-called best friend Dennis Dun, would slam me in the arm and say, “Pass it on, motherf----!” So I turned to Ignacio and punched him in the arm and said, “Pass it on!” Ignacio turned to Footie and punched him in the arm, and Footie punched Raymond, who in turn…punched me again. It’s all about fighting for position. Later on in life I was to find that being in a band was not too different. Only in my new gang, Brad punched Tom, Tom punched Joey, Joey punched Joe, and Joe punched me (in the mouth), and that’s the sweetest way I can tell you what happens in every band that ever there was (at least those that lasted more than ten years and got the chance to manifest the light).

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I remember once my mother telling me, when I said I wanted to be like Janis Joplin: “If you manifest the light, you will become a dartboard for others’ fears, doubts, and insecurities. And if you can handle that, Steven, my little skeezix, you may have your Blue Army.” And guess what? I got both barrels! I also wish to articulate at the outset here, neighbors and ne’er-do-wells, that my life’s journey has not taken me to place to defile, demoralize, or damage anybody…So all of YOU who have ruffled my feathers and done me wrong for being an inquisitive child or an oversensitive pain-in-the-neck artist, remember, just as they said about Mongo in the movie "Blazing Saddles," if you shoot Steven, you’ll just make him angry.

Roll 'em: Steven Tyler's memoir is a wild ride

HarperCollins Publishers

When you’re young, you experience everything for the first time, and because it’s happening to you so matter-of-factly, it just is…and you argue your way through it. In midlife, you question f--ing everything, and so much energy is wasted questioning the whys of it all. You want to find that angel of thunderstorms that will put out your internal fire. You start to believe that you made it through six decades because there is an angel on your shoulder.

Steven Tyler tells Lauer: 'I needed that cocaine'

That’s why I’m a songwriter—because I’ve lived through the changes of not knowing ANYTHING…to knowing EVERYTHING…and now at sixty-two I’m back to NOT KNOWIN’ NOTHIN’. And when your mind is free of so-called knowledge, it is now set free to use its imagination. Like Albert Einstein once said: “Knowledge will never replace imagination.”

Radio plays your song; the melody is so catchy that it crawls inside of the people listening and changes their Everything. They start singing it! You got into them. You made love to them. You got into their soul…and vice versa. It’s like Vuja Dé and that’s when the miracle manifests…you’re trading faces, places, spaces, and graces.

Tyler took 'Idol' job to send message to band

Father of four children (loves of my life), a songwriter, got a doctorate at Berkeley and another one at UMass, Boston, a poet, a painter a drug addict, and a peripheral visionary who learns something new on a daily basis, from the Malibu Home for the Recently All Right to having dinner with Sheikh Nion in Abu Dhabi…and now…an author? You gotta be kidding! RoMANtics. SeMANtics. Exotic, neurotic, you got it! Does the noise in my heather bother you…yet? Yeah, really? I’d say we’re off to a good start.

From “Does the Noise in My Head Bother You” by Steven Tyler. Copyright © 2011. Reprinted by permission of Ecco, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.

© 2012 MSNBC Interactive


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