LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Aerosmith singer Steven Tyler has entered rehab for the second time in as many years, he said on Tuesday, after his estranged band mates went public with their concerns about his health.
Tyler, 61, said in a statement to People magazine that he was receiving treatment at an undisclosed facility for pain management and an addiction to prescription painkillers resulting from 10 years of performance injuries.
“With the help of my family and team of medical professionals, I am taking responsibility for the management of my pain and am eager to be back on the stage and in the recording studio with my band mates,” he said.
Aerosmith has a history of drugs, debauchery and divisions and Tyler’s announcement is the latest development in an unusually public soap opera that pitted him against his colleagues of 40 years. The feud, centered in part on Tyler’s plans to record a solo album, threatened to derail one of America’s most successful rock bands. But Tyler’s statement indicated that he was ready to come in from the cold.
“I love Aerosmith; I love performing as the lead singer in Aerosmith,” he said. “I am grateful for all of the support and love I am receiving and am committed to getting things taken care of.”
Aerosmith was forced to cancel a disastrous summer tour after Tyler fell off the stage mid-song and broke his shoulder. Several shows already had been scrapped when Tyler injured his leg. His colleagues expressed little sympathy, instead attacking his behavior and suggested he was back on drugs.
In May 2008 Tyler entered rehab, saying he needed a “safe environment” to deal with worse-than-expected pain after a series of foot surgeries.
“He has a well documented history of drug abuse and I find myself very suspicious,” guitarist Brad Whitford told Reuters last month. “I haven’t seen him do this or ... have any personal knowledge but the isolation is very typical of addictive behavior and his — what I call — irrational behavior.”
Tyler’s band mates were particularly irked that he communicated with them through e-mails sent by his newly hired management team, or that he hung up on them. The band’s other guitarist, Joe Perry, also was annoyed that Tyler had refused to write any songs with him for a decade.
Relations deteriorated further last month when Tyler’s representatives informed the rest of the band that he wanted to take two years off to pursue various solo endeavors. They countered that they would find someone to replace him so that they could keep touring and recording.
Aerosmith has not released a studio album of new material since 2001. That’s not all Tyler’s fault. All of the band’s members have had medical problems this decade. Perry, for example, suffered complications from knee surgery. He plans to tour next year with his own side project.
The so-called “bad boys of Boston” first achieved fame in the early 1970s with such rock perennials as “Dream On” and “Walk this Way.”
But their success was accompanied by their prodigious abuse of drugs and alcohol. The band careened toward oblivion by the decade’s end as sales dried up and both guitarists left. They enjoyed a comeback in the ‘80s after getting sober.
Reporting by Dean Goodman; Editing by Chris Wilson and Bill Trott