January 19th, 2011
03:28 PM ET
“American Idol” starts its 10th season tonight and new judge Steven Tyler is making the rounds sharing his special brand of energy.
In a conference call on Tuesday he joked with reporters while talking about the difficulty in judging young talent and opening up on his experiences so far on the show.
He said he had no apprehensions about coming on board as judge, and didn’t feel like he had to forge an identity on the panel given his identity as the lead singer of Aerosmith.
“The part that is a little difficult is judging young kids, 'cause I think they all have a voice, [and] to actually be open and honest,” he said. “It took me a couple of minutes to grow accustom[ed] to it but it’s fun. I get to sit next to J.Lo with Randy taking the you-know-what out of everyone; you know, it’s been good.”
Tyler said he continues to work with his famed band and is juggling his rock career with his duties on the show. “What you hear in the press about Aerosmith getting in the way of ‘American Idol,’ it just isn’t so,” he said.
Indeed, in a surprise appearance on Howard Stern’s Sirius XM radio show Tuesday, Tyler revealed that the band is supposed to get together this weekend to rehearse – although it sounds like they’ll be doing it without bandmate Joe Perry (who has shown disdain for Tyler’s career move, calling it “one step above ninja turtles”).
"We're gonna get in a room together and write some [expletive]. Tom, Joey, Brad will be there. Joe is Missing in action,” Tyler said, according to Rolling Stone. “I texted him 20 minutes ago. 'Hey Joe: Where are you?' He's angry with me for what? Because I took [expletive] ‘Idol’? What a crock of [expletive]."
Tyler explained that things have been tense since he took a year off to battle Hepatitis C, which he revealed he was dealing with in 2006.
“It was beyond hell," he said. “Three months in, my wife left me for being unfaithful on the road. All these things it just crippled me, wore me down."
At that point, Tyler began using drugs again. That 2009 fall from a stage in South Dakota? Drugs had something to do with it, Tyler said.
"I was using and fell off the stage," he told Stern. "I was snorting [expletive] Lunesta. I got 19 stitches, broke my shoulder. No one in the band called me for 27 weeks. It about killed me. I'm Italian so it almost took me down…Joe didn't come visit me."
But Joe Perry hasn't been Tyler's only critic. Kid Rock told Entertainment Weekly that Tyler is “a sacred American institution of rock 'n roll, and he just threw it all out the window.”
Tyler responded to Billboard that “Kid Rock was there when we went to the White House [on Dec. 5 to perform during the Paul McCartney tribute at the Kennedy Center Honors]. I looked at him and said, ‘You know what, man, I'm not going to argue with you. If I agreed with you, we'd both be wrong.’”
In a Tuesday night appearance on "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" (on which he did a killer performance of "Walk This Way" with Fallon and the Roots), Tyler said his "Idol" duties are a lot different from his rock and roll lifestyle. He now rises at 6 or 6:30 a.m. in order to be on the set by mid-morning.
"I got to get up three hours before," he told Fallon. "I've got to find my personality, have a cup of coffee at least."
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