American Idol fans are still abuzz over the rumor that Aerosmith's Steven Tyler might be one of the new judges on the show's tenth season. While Tyler continues to bait the press with hints ("I'm doing it," he said), his bandmate Joe Perry admits that he first heard about Tyler's potential new job the same way fans did: "I found out on the Internet, like the rest of the world," the guitarist tells the Boston Herald . "There was an Aerosmith afterparty at Studio 54 after the Vegas show — which none of us in the band knew anything about — and he said some stuff there. I mean, this is no small thing."
As Rolling Stone reported earlier this week, Tyler said a contract was on the table and just needed to be signed, though Idol host Ryan Seacrest said the show is still weeks away from officially announcing the replacements for Ellen DeGeneres and Simon Cowell, both of whom left Idol following its ninth season. Tyler also mentioned starting work on a new album when Aerosmith's current trek wraps in late September, but this is all news to Perry. "I mean, after working with me for 40 years, he couldn't tell me about this," Perry said. "Why so secretive? We're told it's a done deal. If Steven is committed to a TV show, that kind of affects the rest of us. We'd like to plan our lives, ya know?" Perry said he went to Tyler's dressing room after the Vegas show to talk about the Idol rumors, but Tyler said he was instructed not to discuss it.
The Idol situation adds yet another rocky chapter to Aerosmith's history. The band was on the verge of breakup last fall after Tyler revealed plans to work on his solo career before releasing another Aerosmith album. At one point, Aerosmith threatened to hit the road with another lead singer. Tyler eventually opted to go to rehab and the band reunited to embark on their "Cocked, Locked and Ready to Rock" tour together. But the relationship between the singer and his bandmates is still tense; Tyler still has his own manager and publicist.
With all the Idol rumors still unanswered — Is Jennifer Lopez a host? Has Kara DioGuardi been fired? Is Nigel Lythgoe returning as executive producer? — producer Simon Fuller did confirm that 19 Entertainment, the entity through which Idol releases its contestants' music, has signed a new marketing and distribution pact with Universal Music Group, effectively ending Idol's nine-year relationship with Sony Music, Billboard reports. However, Idol graduates like Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Daughtry and Adam Lambert, and Season Nine finalists Lee DeWyze and Crystal Bowersox, will still release music under the Sony umbrella.