Ailing Aerosmith guitarist eyes return next month

Sun Jun 14, 2009 4:46pm EDT
 
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By Dean Goodman

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Aerosmith guitarist Brad Whitford hopes to rejoin his bandmates early next month after a head injury prevented him from playing on their newly launched tour, fellow guitarist Joe Perry said on Sunday.

Whitford, 57, is recovering from surgery for internal bleeding after he apparently banged his head while getting out of his Ferrari about a week before the tour began last Wednesday in St. Louis.

"It built up pressure and gave him this whoopin' headache," Perry told Reuters. "He's not prone to getting migraines, so knew something was wrong. He went right in, they did what they had to do, and now he's getting better."

The target date for Whitford's return is July 7, when the band is scheduled to play a show in Raleigh, North Carolina, Perry said. Subbing for him is Bobby Schneck, who has played with Green Day and Weezer.

Rocking out with Aerosmith can be hazardous for your health. Four out of five group members have disclosed major medical problems in the last three years, including Perry who has been plagued by a bad knee ever since he fell off a stage in Dallas 25 years ago.

He underwent knee-replacement surgery in March 2008, but was "devastated" to learn around Christmas that the area had become infected, like a "rotten grapefruit," he said, and he would need to go through the whole procedure again.

The various ailments and touring obligations mean the band has not released an album of original material since 2001's "Just Push Play." Perry said the band has recorded about 15 songs for the next disc and hopes to pick up the thread in the studio sometime after the current tour ends in the fall.

The third stop on the tour will be on Tuesday at the Comcast Center in suburban Boston. The band has been playing its classic 1975 album "Toys in the Attic" in its entirety, with the notable exception of the closing track "You See Me Crying."

Perry said the song is too difficult for vocalist Steven Tyler to sing right now, but Tyler hopes he will be able to do it after a few more shows. At any rate, the band expects to swap out "Toys in the Attic" in about two weeks, and play all the tracks from its 1976 follow-up "Rocks," Perry said.

(Editing by Philip Barbara)

 
<p>Steven Tyler (R) and Brad Whitford of U.S. rock band Aerosmith perform on stage in Riga July 3, 2007. REUTERS/Stringer</p>