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Steven Tyler Tells Rolling Stone: ‘I Am on Top of the World’

Steven Tyler
Rolling Stone

Steven Tyler is enjoying quite the career Renaissance courtesy of his new gig as a judge on ‘American Idol,’ where he has become quite the character, spouting off phrases that are as clever as they are confounding. Tyler graces the cover of the new Rolling Stone, out now, and rather than simply using a bunch of Tyler-isms, the singer paraphrases from James Cameron’s Oscar speech during his interview, which effectively sums up his recent resurgence in pop culture.

“I’m really lucky right now,” Tyler, who seems to operate off a reserve of boundless energy, tells the publication while hiking in L.A. “I’m on top of the world: I’m Hollywood’s little f—in’ sweetheart, basically.”

Tyler also addressed the rumors that his Aerosmith bandmates threatened to kick him to the curb if he took the ‘Idol’ job. Turns out, no one tells Steven Tyler what to do! Tyler reveals, “Did I take this job to show the band? F—, yeah. Not to show them, but that I can’t be held hostage anymore. I will be my own hostage. The band can’t throw me out.”

One of Tyler’s classic rock peers, Roger Daltrey of The Who, was also up for the judge’s gig, a job opening that was created by the departing of Simon Cowell. “I actually saw Roger Daltrey,” FOX exec Mike Darnell says. “He came in and was the complete reverse of Steve, very formal, his hair was cut, he looked like a regular guy. He had lost that sort of rock & roll charm. But Steven was unbelievably charming.”

In the latest RS, Tyler also speaks about the typical singer vs. lead guitarist relationship he has with Aerosmith axe Joe Perry, which often finds the two at each other’s throat. The duo was working on a new album with producer Brendan O’Brien, which didn’t work out, due to the copious amounts of drugs being shared — but that said, it fostered some brotherly bonding between the two. “It was just like 30 years before,” Tyler says about that period in his life. “I whipped out mine, he whipped out his and we got high together again. I say to Joe, ‘Wow, man, how you been, it’s been, what, 17 years since we got high together? Joe, you’ve been f—ing running away from me ever since.'”

Steven Tyler’s Rolling Stone cover issue is on newsstands now.

Watch Steven Tyler Talk Aerosmith, ‘Idol’ With Rolling Stone

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