Entertainment behind the scenes
Aerosmith without Steven Tyler is like cocaine without a straw, or alcohol without a hangover.
But as fans come to grips with the very real possibility that the rubber-faced singer may abandon his scarf-draped microphone stand at the helm of one of America’s most successful rock bands, the next question is: Who should replace him?
Guitarist Joe Perry said on Monday that the band is “positively” seeking a new singer, apparently having tired of the silent treatment Tyler has meted out to them in recent months. The final straw was an article published last week by Classic Rock magazine, in which Tyler said he was going to focus on “Brand Tyler.” Perry – Tyler’s musical foil for 40 years – was not happy to learn about the singer’s plans online, and upped the ante by saying Aerosmith would continue without him.
One candidate to replace Tyler could be Hagen Grohe, a German singer plucked from obscurity to sing on Perry’s newly released solo album, “Have Guitar, Will Travel.” Perry has taken the solo project on the road, and Grohe does versions of such Aerosmith nuggets as “Walk This Way” and a reggaefied “Dream On,” in a soaring vocal style reminiscent of Axl Rose. When Reuters asked Perry last month about Hagen eventually replacing Tyler, a somewhat outlandish idea at the time, Perry did not exactly rubbish the proposal.
(updates with comment from Joe Perry)
The wife of Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry doesn’t particularly care for the band’s recordings, and has never listened to any of their albums in their entirety.
“I am not a fan of Aerosmith’s music without the live performance behind it,” Billie Perry (at right with her husband) wrote on her Twitter page on Sunday.
Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry gets to spread his wings on his fifth solo CD, “Joe Perry … Have Guitar Will Travel,” which he hopes to release in November.
Perry, who sings on four of the tracks, also expects to tour early next year under the guise of the Joe Perry Project. The album follows a self-titled, Grammy-nominated effort that came out in 2005 and sold 31,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan. His first three solo albums, all credited to the Joe Perry Project, were released in the early 1980s when he briefly quit Aerosmith during its drug-fueled nadir.
Want some good news about Aerosmith’s troubled tour? Dream On. The veteran rockers have officially postponed shows scheduled for Saturday in Tampa and Monday in Sunrise/Ft. Lauderdale, after a few days of confusion as to whether they would proceed. Seven shows have now been scrapped as a result of an unspecified leg injury suffered by 61-year-old singer Steven Tyler.
The trek kicked off on June 10 in St. Louis, and the band managed to perform seven shows through June 29 before Tyler (pictured left with guitarist Joe Perry at the American Music Awards last November) was hobbled. Initial sympathy expressed by fans on the official message board at Aeroforceone.com is now turning into frustration as they have to cancel travel and accommodation plans, babysitters and the like.
Back in their youthful heyday, the members of Aerosmith indulged in every sort of hedonistic pursuit backstage after their concerts. These days, they head straight to the tour bus and surf the Web to see what their fans thought about the show, says lead guitarist Joe Perry.
The feedback is important in the early stages of a tour, such as the one that began last Wednesday in St. Louis, as the band struggles to regain match form after a 20-month absence from the stage.
“They don’t hold anything back,” Perry said of the comments on sites such as the official Web site, aeroforceone.com. “It’s a lot of fun to read it. Some of it isn’t so much fun, but it still gives you good feedback … We can take care of the technical stuff and what we expect out of ourselves, but the most important thing is how it affects the fans.”
With just two shows of the tour under its belt, the set list will undergo some major changes, and fan input will be an influence, Perry told Reuters on Sunday, calling from the bus taking him from Milwaukee back to the band’s Boston hometown.
“The bottom line is we’re entertainers. We want to keep the fans happy. We’re not these egotistical artists that dictate, ‘Well you must listen to this one and you must like it whether you applaud or not.’”
Rocking out with Aerosmith can be hazardous for your health. Four out of five of the veteran group’s members have disclosed major medical problems in the last three years. The most recent addition to the sick list is guitarist Brad Whitford.
The band’s publicist said on Monday that Whitford, 57, is recovering from “recent surgery,” and will miss an unspecified number of dates on the band’s tour, which begins on Wednesday in St. Louis. She declined to comment on Whitford’s ailment. Bobby Schneck, who has played with Green Day and Weezer, will fill in for him.
Summer’s almost here, and the time is right for Aerosmith’s first North American shows in almost two years.
America’s rock ‘n’ roll bad boys, sidelined last year by singer Steven Tyler’s rehab stint and guitarist Joe Perry’s bad knee, said Monday they would begin a three-month amphitheater tour in St. Louis on June 10.
The trek will take the band to 33 cities, including Washington on June 21, Houston on July 17, Chicago on Aug. 28, Toronto on Sept. 3, and finally Detroit on Sept. 16. Opening act ZZ Top will join the tour on June 16, when Aerosmith play to a hometown crowd in Boston.