At 75, Steven Tyler remains a musician. As the frontman for Aerosmith, he built a successful career filled with worldwide hits, unforgettable shows and dozens of awards. However, his stormy relationship with drugs threatened many times to spoil everything and lead him straight to failure.
Born on March 26, 1948 in the city of Yonkers, in New York, he formed Aerosmith at the age of 22. He was accompanied by bassist Tom Hamilton and guitarist Joe Perry, with whom he would later form an explosive duo known as the “toxic twins.” By then, they were far from imagining the fame that their rock band would achieve, which was later joined by drummer Joey Kramer and guitarist Brad Whitford.
They released their first album in 1973: Aerosmith. They were followed by Get Your Wings (1974), Toys in the Attic (1975), Rocks (1976) and Draw the Line (1977), which catapulted them to world stardom.
Steven Tyler, icon of the music industry. REUTERS/Mario AnzuoniBy: REUTERS
Little by little, the drugs began to take their toll on the band. In this context of lack of control, Perry and Withford left the band and were replaced by Jimmy Crespo and Rick Dufay. However, both returned in 1984, the same year that Steven Tyler was pressured to enter a rehabilitation center to treat his addictions.
Steven Tyler: his addiction to drugs
Steven Tyler has a long history of fighting his drug addiction: moments of real delicacy in terms of his health, sporadic recoveries, long stretches of sobriety, repeated relapses and various admissions to rehab centers.
In the 80s, he starred in several scandals and embarrassing moments because of drugs. In several shows he even ended up fainting on stage, unable to continue with the recital and forcing it to be suspended.
Also read: Why Aerosmith thought of replacing Steven Tyler with Lenny Kravitz or Billy Idol
Far from denying his problem, he was always aware of it. On one occasion he came to joke that he had already “inhaled half of Peru”, in reference to his strong dependence on cocaine, while admitting that alcohol and heroin were other of his most powerful vices. “I must have spent 5 or 6 million dollars on drugs, but it doesn’t matter anymore,” he confessed.
At his worst, his manager, Tim Collins, and his bandmates forced him into a rehab program, from which he came out clean in 1986. Then began one of the band’s most successful stages.
However, in 2009 he entered a clinic again to treat his addiction not only to drugs, but also to the powerful painkillers he took to alleviate his pain.
Steven Tyler suffered several relapses due to his drug addiction. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni/File PhotoBy: REUTERS
“I have an addictive personality, so I found certain drugs that I loved and didn’t stop to the point of hurting my kids, cheating on my family, hurting my gang. I went the worst way and went down the black hole, ”she expressed in 2018.
On May 24, 2022, his Aerosmith colleagues reported that the band leader had “recently relapsed” and had “voluntarily” entered a clinic for drug addiction treatment.
“After foot surgery to prepare for the concert stage, and the need to manage pain during the process, Tyler has recently relapsed and has voluntarily entered a treatment program to focus on his health,” the official statement said. .
Also read: An Aerosmith classic that was composed for a woman to sing
Although the process consisted of 30 days in the rehabilitation center, the musician stayed a few more days to ensure his well-being and only came out at the beginning of July.
Steven Tyler and Joe Perry: the “toxic twins”
The 1970s and 1980s were turbulent for the members of Aerosmith, especially Steven Tyler and Joe Perry, who were nicknamed the Toxic Twins for their heavy dependence on drugs and for their scandals both over and under drug use. scenery.
Joe Perry with Steven Tyler, during an Aerosmith show (Photo-Reuters).
The explosiveness of this duo made Perry leave the band in 1979, in the middle of recording the Night in the Ruts album, so they had to finish the album with temporary guitarists. He founded The Joe Perry Project and released three albums: Let the Music do the Talking (1980), I’ve Got the Rock’n Rolls Again (1981) and Once a Rocker, Always a Rocker (1983). Finally, he returned to Aerosmith in early 1984.
In an interview with the renowned Rolling Stone magazine, the vocalist assured that together with guitarist Joe Perry he had used cocaine again after several years without doing so. It was in 2008, while they were working on some songs that, because of the drugs, they never managed to finish.
“Those years were like going back three decades, I sniffed at everything. It was a mistake, I was tearing my throat apart, ”she acknowledged.