Tyler's Aerosmith Bandmates Fear For Him

Guitarist speculates singer's erratic behavior could be due to drugs

By Greg Wilson
|  Thursday, Nov 19, 2009  |  Updated 7:30 AM CDT
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Tyler's Aerosmith Bandmates Fear For Him

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Steven Tyler (l.) has bandmates including Joe Perry freaked out.

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There's only one explanation for Steven Tyler's bizarre vacillation about sticking with Aerosmith, according to his bandmates.

"This guy has a tremendous history of drug abuse," rhythm guitarist Brad Whitford told Billboard. "You have to be suspicious that this is something that's probably going on with him."

Whitford said Tyler's behavior in recent years "was becoming more erratic and unreasonable."

"I have a feeling we might be looking at someone who's just really struggling very badly," Whitford said.

After days of speculation that Tyler, 61, was quitting the band after 40 years, the wrinkly rock-n-roll singer showed up at a New York concert by guitarist Joe Perry's side band earlier this month and stormed the stage, according to Rolling Stone.

“I just want New York to know, I am not leaving Aerosmith,” Tyler said to a relieved crowd at the Fillmore at Irving Plaza. “Joe Perry, you are a man of many colors. But I, mother-----, am the rainbow!”

But Tyler left after the show, leaving Perry confused about his status with the band.

Rumors of Tyler's exit started after Tyler told a reporter he planned to pursue solo projects following a Nov. 1 concert in Abu Dhabi. Bandmates had not been in contact with Tyler for weeks prior to the show, and there was speculation they were ticked off at him after he forced the cancellation of a summer tour. Tyler was injured when he fell on stage in August, but the band thought he had recovered sufficiently to continue.

Perry even said the band planned to recruit a new singer.

"Aerosmith is positively looking for a new singer to work with," Perry tweeted two weeks ago. "You can't just take 40 years of experience and throw it in the bin."

For now, the band is not sure what to do, although they have vowed to go on with someone singing lead vocals. Drummer Joey Kramer said he hopes it will be Tyler.

"He's got some negative influences around him," Kramer told Billboard. "I just want to see him get some help."

Kramer and Whitford told Billboard Tyler has become increasingly isolated from the rest of the band.

"I have called him and left voice mails and texted him to no avail," said Kramer. "I get no reply. One of his biggest things is that, 'Well, nobody calls me.' Well, that's bullshit, 'cause I have. I've always been there for him and I probably always will be. I can only hope and pray that Steven will put the focus on Steven and get healthy."

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