Aerosmith are on a brief hiatus now as Steven Tyler gears up to promote his upcoming country album, but when they reappear next year, it might be to say goodbye. “I’m doing 30 [solo] shows from May until August,” Tyler tells Rolling Stone. “And then in 2017 we go out with Aerosmith. We’re probably doing a farewell tour. Look, there’s two bands that still have the original members, us and the Stones. I’m grateful for that. Whether we do a farewell tour or go into the studio and do another record, I’m just excited about it.”
The comments echo what Aerosmith guitarist Brad Whitford said on Eddie Trunk’s podcast in December. “We are actually talking about that — about actually putting together a sort of wind-down tour which we would call the Farewell Tour,” he said. “I guess it’s just because of our age. You know, something’s gonna happen. It’s just inevitable that somebody’s not gonna be able to do it anymore. So it would be very nice to take a nice long bow and say thank you and … put it to bed kind of gracefully.”
Aerosmith haven’t performed in public since a September 15th, 2015 show in Moscow. Tyler has spent the time since then fine-tuning his country album, though Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry isn’t thrilled by what he’s heard so far. “If I didn’t know him when I heard the song I’d go, ‘It’s okay, next,'” Perry told USA Today. “He’s got a fucking rhinestone cowboy hat going, ‘Yippee ki yay.’ I don’t know what else to say about that.”
Tyler initially responded to the dig by saying that Perry was “jealous,” but he’s now softened his position a bit. “I’ve read what Joe has said,” he says. “But then I really, really, couldn’t be here doing what I’m doing now if if wasn’t for Joe Perry. It’s a strange catch-22, but if you slow down enough you get to see it. It’s a obvious as balls on a tall dog. I wouldn’t be anywhere without those guys, so I’m as grateful as I can be.”
If Aerosmith do opt to launch a farewell tour next year, they would be the latest in a long line of veteran rock bands to go down that route. Motley Crue allegedly signed a “cessation of touring agreement” before launching their own farewell trek in 2014 and saw their ticket sales increase by a substantial margin on the 158-date world tour that wrapped up on New Year’s Eve in Los Angeles.
Many farewell tours don’t actually stick, though. Everyone from Cher to Ozzy Osbourne to LCD Soundsystem have hit the road just a few years after pledging to never perform again. Aerosmith should know this since they went on a co-headlining tour with Kiss in 2003, just two years after Gene Simmons and Co. wrapped up their own farewell tour.
In the meantime, Steven Tyler is playing a special solo show at New York’s Lincoln Center on May 2nd. Proceeds will go to Janie’s Fund, an organization Tyler began last year to help women overcome to trauma of child abuse.