Steven Tyler leaves spot as judge on American Idol
This is so NOT the judge I expected American Idol to replace this year.
But even as Jennifer Lopez dithers to see how big a money truck Fox will back up to keep her on the show for another year, rock 'n' roll grandma Steven Tyler has announced plans to leave the show this year so he can focus on his legendary rock band, Aerosmith.
"After some long...hard...thoughts…I've decided it's time for me to let go of my mistress 'American Idol' before she boils my rabbit," said Tyler in a statement.
"I strayed from my first love, AEROSMITH, and I'm back – but instead of begging on my hands and knees, I've got two fists in the air and I'm kicking the door open with my band."
The rift Idol jammed between Tyler and the other members of his band was evident in a 60 Minutes interview the band gave earlier this year, where guitarist Joe Perry and other bandmembers groused about Tyler's perfectionism -- which the singer copped to, even while insisting his drive also led to the band's success.
What I found really interesting was that both Tyler and the band admitted that the singer joined Idol in a bit of a snit, angry that his bandmembers didn't check on him for nearly a month and began looking for a new lead singer after he nearly broke his neck in a fall off a stage during a tour.
But the band was upset because Tyler was addicted to prescription painkillers at a time when the other guys had kicked their various substance abuse problems. And even in this interview, which aired months before Aerosmith would join Tyler in a lackluster performance on Idol's May finale, the singer's stint on the TV show seemed a sore subject -- like talking about an old mistress while trying to reconcile with your wife.
Surprised as I was in the news about Tyler, the 60 Minutes interview adds more context. Ultimately, I think it may be a dumb career move -- at a time when no one is buying records, American Idol still draws a crowd and keeps its judges looking like relevant artists.
(Just ask Maroon 5's Adam Levine how much being on a music show has helped his bottom line.)
Still, to keep the band marriage happy, it now seems obvious Tyler had to move on.
Below is the rest of his statement:
"The next few years are going to be dedicated to kicking some serious ass – the ultimate in auditory takeover…On Nov. 6, we are unleashing our new album, Music from Another Dimension on the Earth, Moon, Mars, and way beyond the stars…IDOL was over-the-top fun, and I loved every minute of it…Now it's time to bring Rock Back. ERMAHGERD."