Aerosmith will be honored next year by MusiCares, the Grammy-related organization that helps musicians in need of assistance during financial, medical and personal instances. For Steven Tyler, he knows the benefits of receiving help when things start a downward spiral, but it wasn't easy getting there.
The vocalist offered a very frank account of his past demons and the effect it had on his band in a chat with Haute Living. Reflecting on those drug-fueled days, he recalls, "Aerosmith made it from '72 to '79 not necessarily stoned, but beautiful ... then we all became very fucked up. There were no such things as rehabs; there were mental institutions. I went away in '84 and '86, and I didn’t really get it. The early ’80s were terrible, and drugs took us down. I was the first one to get treatment."
He adds, "There was a moment in '88 where management and the band pulled an intervention on me. They thought, 'Get the lead singer sober, and all our problems would be over.' So, I got sober, and you know it took me many years to get over the anger of them sending me to rehab while they went on vacation. But today because of that moment ... I am grateful and owe a thanks to them for my sobriety."
Tyler credits the band's manager for helping not only himself but his other bandmates get through those rehab years. "You may never have done cocaine or heroin, but you hear it, and you go, ‘Whoa, you were a heroin addict?’ And I would say, ‘Yeah, but that’s nothing compared to when a band writes their own songs and plays them and hears them back in a recording studio on these speakers that are bigger than life. Then, you are on the radio … there is no drug stronger than music," says Tyler. "My sobriety cost me nothing less than everything."
According to Tyler, the group's sobriety issues also affected their bottom line, as he claims their managers and label felt that them being stoned kept them from paying too close attention to their money, and they ran into issues on that front as well in the earlier stages of their career.