Rolling Stone can confirm that Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler has entered a rehab facility to treat an addiction to prescription painkillers. “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 bandmates Joe Perry, Joey Kramer, Tom Hamilton and Brad Whitford,” the singer said in a statement.
In an exclusive statement to Rolling Stone, Tyler also addressed his bandmates’ recent allegations that he demanded a two-year break from the group: “I wish to set the record straight and say that I have read reports of a rumored two-year hiatus and want to be clear that this is completely false and I will enthusiastically be writing, recording and performing with Aerosmith as soon as things are handled.”
In November, Whitford told RS he believed Tyler “doesn’t act like a sober person,” adding, “I’m not hanging with the guy, but his history of drug abuse is well documented.” Tyler fell off the stage during a South Dakota show in early August, forcing the band to cancel the remainder of its injury-plagued summer tour. At the time, Tyler told Rolling Stone he resented implications that the accident occurred while he was intoxicated. “The easiest thing in the world is to say he’s drunk or stoned,” he said. After the tour was canceled, word of strife within Aerosmith began to leak out; in early November, Tyler told a reporter he was taking time off to work on “Brand Tyler” and his bandmates responded by announcing they were beginning to search for a replacement singer.
Tyler, 61, last entered rehab in May 2008 to deal with pain from foot surgery. Dr. Brian McKeon, a physician from the New England Baptist Hospital who has treated the frontman, says in a statement that Tyler’s addiction stems from difficulties with pain management. “Over the past 10 years, Steven Tyler has suffered orthopedic injuries and has been in severe chronic pain which will require further surgeries on his knees and feet,” McKeon said. “Managing and controlling his pain has been challenging and despite our use of alternative therapies and the creation of custom shoes built by a team of engineers from Timberland, Steven’s pain has progressed. The balance between managing his pain and avoiding addiction is tenuous and difficult and his bravery in persevering through rigorous touring is admirable. As with many athletes, Steven put his performance first as he struggled with acute pain for years.”
Tyler’s daughter Liv also issued a statement expressing her support for her father. “He is a courageous man,” she said. “We love him and are so proud that he is getting help to balance his pain management, not just for himself but for his family, friends and fans.” Just last week, Tyler hired new management at 10th Street Entertainment.
Rolling Stone will have more news on Tyler’s condition and the state of Aerosmith as information becomes available.