Friday, Nov. 6, 2009 | 4:03 p.m.
Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry said today that singer Steven Tyler quit the band following a recent concert in Abu Dhabi.
Bassist Tom Hamilton told the Boston Herald’s Inside Track that there is dissension among the “Bad Boys From Boston,” but that he hopes things can be worked out. He dismissed a report that guitarist Brad Whitford discussed the possiblity of Aerosmith finding a new frontman.
However, Perry told the Las Vegas Sun today that he believes Tyler is history.
“Steven quit as far as I can tell,” Perry said from his Boston home. “I don’t know anymore than you do about it. I got off the plane two nights ago. I saw online that Steven said that he was going to leave the band. I don’t know for how long, indefinitely or whatever. Other than that, I don’t know.”
Part of the problem, he says, is that Tyler doesn’t return his phone calls.
“He’s notorious for that,” Perry said. “That’s one thing I’ve learned to live with. I try to overlook it. I like to pick my battles. Frankly, the last few months I’ve been wanting not to rock the boat. I don’t want him canceling any more gigs. We really wanted to do these last four. We just kind of didn’t want to call him out or anything and get him anymore pissed off, for whatever reason. So we just let things lie. So we did the gigs and, like I said, I got off the plane and saw this online. That’s how I know about it.”
Perry will perform his Joe Perry Project Nov. 28 at the Las Vegas House of Blues, performing from his latest release “Have Guitar, Will Travel.”
Most of Aerosmith’s recent world tour was canceled in August after Tyler fell from the stage at a Sturgis, S.D., concert and broke his shoulder. The band members were unhappy with Tyler over the incident. However, Aerosmith salvaged the final leg of the tour, including two shows in Hawaii and one Sunday at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix before more than 50,000 fans.
After the Middle Eastern concert the band parted ways with Perry going to London to attend the Classic Rock & Roll of Honour awards ceremony on Monday. Perry said he arrived home in Boston on Wednesday and read on the Internet that Tyler planned to leave the band.
“He has had no contact with me or the other band members,” Perry said.
He says he hopes to keep Aerosmith together, with or without Tyler, but he was so stunned by recent developments he doesn’t know what’s going to happen.
“Right now I’m adjusting to how we’re going to go on,” Perry says. “Aerosmith is such a powerful band, I mean it’s like a steam locomotive. You just can’t disregard 40 years of four guys who play together as well as they do. We’re just trying to – at least I am – trying to figure out what direction the band should take.
“As far as replacing Steve, it’s not just about that, it’s also four guys that play extremely well together, and I’m not going to see that go to waste. I really don’t know what path it’s going to take at this point, but we’ll probably find somebody else that will sing in those spots where we need a singer and then we’ll be able to move the Aerosmith up a notch, move the vibe up a notch.”
Perry believes Tyler has been planning on leaving for a while.
“Obviously he hasn’t been giving 100 percent to this thing for a long time,” Perry said. “He’s obviously had this planned for a long time. To disregard his brothers to the point where we have to find out about it on the Internet – it’s like, 'See you later, Bud.’ I still care for him as a person, or at least the person I used to know. But things change.”
Aerosmith rose to popularity in the ’70s with a combination of hard rock and power ballads only to be derailed by drug and alcohol abuse. After Tyler completed rehab in 1986, the band rose to prominence again. There were rumors last year that Tyler had checked back into rehab after more than 20 years of sobriety.
Perry himself left the band for two years in 1979. While he was away he created the solo Joe Perry Project, which has now released five albums.
“The circumstances were different then,” Perry said. “We’d been touring pretty much nonstop for eight years and the band was just pretty much burned out on each other. We needed a break. We needed to take a vacation but blood was running so hot I just had to leave, had to get out of there. But I certainly wasn’t going to stop playing so I put out a solo project.”