Aerosmith frontman and longtime recovering addict Steven Tyler has voluntarily checked into rehab after a relapse, according to a joint statement released Tuesday morning by his bandmates. As a result, Aerosmith have canceled the June and July dates of their residency at Las Vegas’s Park MGM — which would have been the band’s first shows since the COVID-19 pandemic — while the 74-year-old rock legend “focuses on his well-being.”
“As many of you know, our beloved brother Steven has worked on his sobriety for many years,” the Rock & Roll Hall Fame-inducted group’s Joe Perry, Tom Hamilton, Joey Kramer, and Brad Whitford announced on social media. “After foot surgery to prepare for the stage and the necessity of pain management during the process, he has recently relapsed and voluntarily entered a treatment program to concentrate on his health and recovery.”
Thank you for your understanding and for your support for Steven during this time.
If you purchased your tickets via Ticketmaster, you will be refunded and will receive an email shortly with details, otherwise please contact your point of purchase for information on refunds. pic.twitter.com/1nuUc5Gj1j
— Aerosmith (@Aerosmith) May 24, 2022
Tyler, who along with Aerosmith guitarist Perry was once infamously known as one of the “Toxic Twins,” has long been open about his substance abuse struggles, which often thwarted Aerosmith professionally. According to Tyler’s 2011 autobiography, Does the Noise in My Head Bother You?, for years he indulged in marijuana, OxyContin, heroin, methamphetamine, methadone, LSD, and especially cocaine, and he spent an estimated $6 million on drugs during his lifetime. It took the singer several attempts to get sober — “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,” he recalled in a 2019 Haute Living interview — but the mid-‘80s, he completed a successful rehab program after an intervention by spearheaded by Aerosmith’s manager, Tim Collins.
Collins promised that he could make Aerosmith the biggest band in the world by 1990 if they all entered rehab; their 1987 LP Permanent Vacation was the first album they recorded sober, according to Tyler’s autobiography, and the LP launched a massive comeback for the group. “It took me many years to get over the anger of [my bandmates] sending me to rehab while they went on vacation,” Tyler told Haute Living, recalling that intervention. “But today, because of that moment … I am grateful and owe a thanks to them for my sobriety.”
In 2006, after Tyler had been sober for 12 years, he became addicted to prescription medication while being treated for hepatitis C. In December 2009, after bingeing on cocaine and pills, he checked himself into the Betty Ford Clinic, according to a 2013 interview he conducted with Today. In 2020, Aerosmith were collectively honored as Person of the Year for their philanthropic efforts by MusiCares, the Recording Academy’s charity arm which gives musicians financial, medical, and personal assistance. (“Aerosmith has walked the walk when it comes to raising funds to impact music people in recovery,” stated Deborah Dugan, the Recording Academy’s President and CEO at the time.) According to IAmSober.com, Tyler had been clean for nine years as of December 2021.
In their statement, Tyler’s bandmates expressed that they were “devastated” and “truly sorry” for the change in Aerosmith’s Vegas plans, but they were optimistic that their September 2022 Park MGM concerts would go on as scheduled. They signed off with: “Thank you for your understanding and for your support for Steven during this time.”
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