LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler disclosed on Thursday that he entered rehab earlier this month because he needed "a safe environment to recuperate" following a series of painful foot surgeries.
The 60-year-old rocker, America's answer to Mick Jagger, has been a passionate advocate of sobriety for more than two decades, and so Web site TMZ.com's report last week that he had checked into a Los Angeles-area clinic raised some eyebrows.
His camp did not confirm the TMZ report until Thursday, issuing a statement in which the former rock 'n' roll bad boy discussed his decision to seek help, and vowed that Aerosmith "has no plans to stop rocking."
Tyler said that surgeries to correct foot injuries caused by his grueling on-stage athletics proved more painful than expected. The post-operative physical therapy was also traumatic.
"I really needed a safe environment to recuperate where I could shut off my phone and get back on my feet," Tyler said. "Make no mistake, Aerosmith has no plans to stop rocking. There's a new album to record, then another tour."
A spokeswoman declined to provide additional information about Tyler's health issues, or to confirm TMZ's report that he was at Aurora Las Encinas Hospital in the Los Angeles-area municipality of Pasadena.
Tyler and his bandmates raised the bar for rock 'n' roll excess during the '70s -- an era not known for its self-restraint -- while they rocked the charts with such songs as "Walk This Way" and "Back in the Saddle." He and guitarist Joe Perry, the band's creative forces, were dubbed the "Toxic Twins."
After self-destructing by the end of the decade, and enduring a few years in the wilderness, the band slowly launched a hugely successful comeback, with a carefully structured drug-free environment in place.
While the band remains an active touring and recording entity, the ravages of time have interfered. In 2006, Tyler underwent vocal cord surgery, and bass player Tom Hamilton received radiation treatment for throat cancer.
In March this year, Perry went under the knife for knee-replacement surgery. He was expected to take the balance of the year to recover.
Editing by Steve Gorman