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Aerosmith on Steven Tyler: "He Doesn't Act Like a Sober Person"

November 18, 2009 12:04 PM ET

Last week, Steven Tyler surprised Joe Perry at a New York solo gig and announced onstage he wasn't quitting Aerosmith. In new interviews with Rolling Stone, members of the group say that they not only still plan on hiring a new singer — but they are concerned that Tyler may have returned to some of his bad habits. "He doesn't act like a sober person," says Aerosmith guitarist Brad Whitford. "I'm not hanging with the guy, but his history of drug abuse is well documented. And like many other people in this same position, the prospects aren't good. For most people, full blown recovery is a tough thing to pull off."

Aerosmith Live: four decades of rockin' the joint.

Drummer Joey Kramer also has concerns, though he wasn't as explicit as Whitford. "I hope that Steven takes the time to put the focus on Steven and get healthy and take care of himself," he says. When asked what exactly he means by "get healthy" Kramer said, "The truth of that is something that only Steven can answer and I'm not really at liberty to discuss it, you'd have to speak with him or his management." A rep for Tyler said he is too busy working on his forthcoming memoir to comment on the allegations.

Aerosmith in calmer times: backstage photos from their hometown throwdown.

Meanwhile, the group says they have no plans to wait two years to reform, which Tyler has asked them to do while he works on a solo album and his book. "We have a fortieth anniversary coming up and we all would like to celebrate that with our fans," Kramer says. "There's people that we've been kicking around [to sing]. Famous singers. If that's part of what it takes for us to move forward then you know, that's what it's gonna be." Check out the next issue of Rolling Stone, on stands November 25th, for a detailed account of Aerosmith's implosion.

Related Stories:
Aerosmith's Kramer Speaks Out About Aerosmith Singer Search
Exclusive: Joe Perry: Aerosmith's Problems Far From Over
Aerosmith's Tyler Airlifted to Hospital After Falling From Stage

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Song Stories

“Try a Little Tenderness”

Otis Redding | 1966

This pop standard had been previously recorded by dozens of artists, including by Bing Crosby 33 years before Otis Redding, who usually wrote his own songs, cut it. It was actually Sam Cooke’s 1964 take, which Redding’s manager played for Otis, that inspired the initially reluctant singer to take on the song. Isaac Hayes, then working as Stax Records’ in-house producer, handled the arrangement, and Booker T. and the MG’s were the backing band. Redding’s soulful version begins quite slowly and tenderly itself before mounting into a rousing, almost religious “You’ve gotta hold her, squeeze her …” climax. “I did that damn song you told me to do,” Redding told his manager. “It’s a brand new song now.”

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