A week after checking into a Pasadena, California, rehabilitation facility for undisclosed reasons, Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler, 60, has broken his silence. Despite unconfirmed reports that the rehab stint was due to substance-abuse issues, Tyler, who has been sober for more than 20 years, said in a statement released Thursday that the hospitalization was to get some rest following a series of painful surgeries and physical therapy to correct longtime foot injuries sustained during his legendarily athletic live performances.
“The doctors told me the pain in my feet could be corrected but it would require a few surgeries over time,” Tyler said in the statement. “The ‘foot repair’ pain was intense, greater than I’d anticipated. The months of rehabilitative care and the painful strain of physical therapy were traumatic. I really needed a safe environment to recuperate where I could shut off my phone and get back on my feet. Make no mistake, Aerosmith has no plans to stop rocking. There’s a new album to record, then another tour.”
The statement did not address why Tyler checked into a rehab facility best known as the center where addiction specialist and radio talk-show host Dr. Drew Pinsky practices, which was also the setting for his recent “Celebrity Rehab” reality series. Tyler’s publicist said there was no further information on when the singer checked in, how long he will be hospitalized, why he did not address the situation earlier or if, as reported by some media outlets, his stay was tied to his sobriety. After many years of drug and alcohol abuse in the late 1970s and early 1980s, Tyler has said he’s been sober since 1986.
Blender magazine spoke to Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry just a few days after the news about Tyler broke, and the singer’s longtime bandmate had little to say about the surprise hospitalization. “I actually haven’t talked to [Steven] in a while. We spend most of our time off the road split up — that’s just how it goes,” Tyler reportedly told the magazine. Asked what might have caused Tyler to check into the facility, Perry, who was walking with a cane after a recent knee-replacement surgery, said, “I’m not sure, but I hope he’s doing okay.”