[artist id="1028"]Aerosmith[/artist]'s Steven Tyler is a lot of things, but he assures you, a drunk, drugged-up, band-breaker-upper he's not. The 62-year-old rock icon broke his silence about the stage dive that cost his band their summer tour and was rumored to have created some inter-band tension in a new interview with Rolling Stone.
"I've been better. I've got my arm in a sling [from a broken shoulder]," he told the magazine in his first interview since an August 6 accident at a South Dakota show that derailed Aerosmith's summer tour with ZZ Top. "I'm on all the drugs I'm not supposed to be on. But I'm dealing with the pain pretty good."
While entertaining the crowd with a bit of fancy dancing as a technical glitch was worked out, Tyler slipped off the stage and ended up being airlifted to a local hospital, resulting in the cancellation of the tour and rumors of some subsequent band strife. Tyler said he isn't exactly sure what happened that night.
"There was a torrential downpour and the guys [at the campground] said, 'Look, it's still slippery,' " he explained. "I watched myself on YouTube, and it could have been my knee buckling or any ankle. The last thing I remember before I hit the ground was people grabbing for me, but they couldn't reach me because of the barricade. At any other Aerosmith show I probably would've been caught and thrown back onto the stage — naked and without jewelry [laughs]. I stood up and couldn't raise my arm and knew I'd broken something."
Tyler, who famously struggled with addiction in the '70s and '80s, said he was "as sober as you can be" when the accident occurred and he brushed off rumors that booze might have played a part in the fall, which were stirred by a recent TMZ clip of him at a liquor store.
"A good friend of mine and [guitarist] Joe's [Perry] — the brother of the guy who works on my house, my housekeeper — passed away," Tyler explained. "I was at the funeral. And after the funeral, they're Italian and had a feast at the house, a wake, and I stopped at the liquor store and paid for the booze. I did not buy any for myself. It was never proven that I did. Some kid whipped out a phone and took a picture. Anything to sell papers. It was for the wake. I would do it over and over a million times."
Tyler said canceling the tour, which was plagued by a variety of injuries and setbacks from the beginning, was a huge disappointment for him. "I'm just so pissed — it was such a great tour," he said. "I had to ruin it all by falling and I'm sorry. I've said that to the fans and my band and everybody else. I f---ed up. I get in the zone when I'm onstage."
As for rumors that the scotched dates have led to some bad blood in the band, Tyler blamed it on "someone" leaking stories and pretending to know what's going on inside Aerosmith. "Has the band done things to me where I've wanted to quit?" he asked. "Positively. But I've stuck in there for the sake of a few sounds we got. I respect the power this band has in and of itself regardless of who says what."
Besides, he said, noting that he spoke to his bandmates earlier this week, "We're just one for all, all for one. It's probably why we've never quit. No one's got enough money! We split it evenly."