1948 – Steve Tyler (Aerosmith) is born this day in rock history!
Stephen Victor Tallarico (born March 26, 1948 in Yonkers, New York),[unreliable source?] better known as Steven Tyler (and often nicknamed The Demon of Screamin’) is an American musician and songwriter. He is best known for his work as the lead singer of the Boston-based rock band Aerosmith.
Tyler is known for his raw, sharp-edged vocals[unreliable source?], and is musically versatile, playing a wide range of instruments, including the harmonica, keyboards, and several percussion instruments. In the 1970s and early 1980s, Tyler was also known for his heavy drug and alcohol abuse, but has since maintained sobriety for over 20 years. Tyler is a prolific frontman, rock icon, and sex symbol, and during his high-energy stage performances, he usually dresses in bright colorful outfits with his trademark scarves hanging from his mic stand.
Steven Tyler was born Stephen Victor Tallarico: on the paternal side of his family, he is of Italian (his grandfather Giovanni Tallarico was born in Nicotera, Calabria) and German descent. His maternal background on the other hand, is Cherokee Native American and Ukrainian.
Tyler was born in New York, NY on March 26, 1948. He was the second of two children. His family later moved to Yonkers, NY, where he attended Roosevelt High School. He was expelled from Roosevelt for drug use and later graduated from Jose Quintano’s School for Young Professionals. Before working as a professional musician, Tyler says he worked several odd jobs, including a stint at a bakery.
Music has always played a large role in Tyler’s life as he was the son of a classical musician who helmed the Vic Tallarico Orchestra. His father taught music at Cardinal Spellman High School in the Bronx for many years. Steven Tyler also took a liking to blues and in the 1960s, he was a drummer and singer in a variety of local rock and roll bands including The Strangeurs/Chain Reaction, The Chain, and William Proud.
Main article: Aerosmith
Formation and success of Aerosmith
In 1969, Tyler met a guitarist named Joe Perry in Sunapee, New Hampshire. In 1970, they met again in Boston and formed Aerosmith with bassist Tom Hamilton. Later, they added a second guitarist, Tyler’s childhood friend Ray Tabano (who was quickly replaced by Brad Whitford), and drummer Joey Kramer.
After spending time on the Boston club circuit, under the tutelage of their first manager, Frank Connelly, the band began working with New York managers Steve Leber and David Krebs. They subsequently signed a record deal in 1972 and released their eponymous debut album in 1973. It was followed by Get Your Wings, Toys in the Attic, Rocks, and Draw the Line, which catapulted Aerosmith to international fame and recognition. These albums produced legendary hits like “Dream On”, “Walk This Way”, and “Sweet Emotion”. Aerosmith’s first five albums have also all gone multi-platinum, and Toys in the Attic and Rocks are considered to be among the greatest hard rock albums of all time. However, as the decade wore on, the fast-paced life of touring, recording, living together, and using drugs began to take its toll on the band.
Tyler and Perry were often called the Toxic Twins, for their legendary intake of stimulants and heroin. Their relationship is well documented in many of Aerosmith’s video releases as well as in the Aerosmith Behind the Music. Tyler, apparently much more dedicated to the band, seemed to resent Perry’s passive attitude and envied Perry’s prioritization of the women in his life. The tense dynamic between Tyler, Perry, and their once-friendly girlfriends was apparently a leading factor in the gradual decay of Aerosmith circa 1980. Additionally, the constant touring and recording, the major drug abuse, and long-harbored differences between band members helped lead to Aerosmith’s near collapse at the end of the 1970s, just after completion of 1979’s Night in the Ruts.
Reuniting and getting clean
On the 14th of February, 1984, Joe Perry and Brad Whitford, who left the band in 1979 and 1981 respectively, showed up to an Aerosmith show. According to the band’s Behind the Music special on VH1, Tyler alleges he made the first phone call to Joe Perry encouraging them to meet up again. Backstage, they all met and Perry and Whitford agreed to join the band once again.
Aerosmith embarked on a reunion tour called The Back in the Saddle Tour and proceeded to record once again. One problem was still remaining, however, and that was the drug addictions of the band members, especially Tyler, who had collapsed onstage during several performances in the early 1980s and had long suffered a heroin addiction. Aerosmith’s new manager Tim Collins and the rest of the reunited band knew that they wouldn’t get anywhere with their leader Steven Tyler still under the heavy influence of drugs. In 1986, they held a meeting in which they pressured Tyler into entering a strict drug rehabilitation program.
After Tyler had completed drug rehab, every other member of Aerosmith eventually went into rehab and all had successfully exited their respective programs at various times in the mid-late 1980s. Since then, all members have refrained from using drugs and alcohol, and even have gone so far as to try and prevent any member of the band’s road crew from using drugs or alcohol in their presence.
Comeback and superstardom
In 1985, Aerosmith released their comeback album Done With Mirrors, which produced generally lackluster results for the band. In 1986, however, Tyler and Perry collaborated with Run-D.M.C. for a remake of Aerosmith’s 1976 hit “Walk This Way”, which hit #4 on the charts and was recently in Rolling Stone Magazine as song #27 for top 100 songs that changed the world. Walk This Way introduced both rap music and Aerosmith to a new generation, as well as helping sow the seeds for a major comeback. Aerosmith came back big in 1987 with Permanent Vacation which charted three Top 20 singles and sold five million copies. The band followed up in 1989 with Pump and once again in 1993 with Get a Grip, both of which sold seven million copies apiece and launched the band into global superstardom, well eclipsing their success in the 1970s. The three albums won critical acclaim for their innovative musical styles, featured a dozen Top 40 singles, produced theatrical music videos, and won the band dozens of awards. Aerosmith’s subsequent touring and appearance on television and in film turned the band into one of the biggest pop culture icons. Steven Tyler, as the frontman for the group, became a symbol for the band, a pop icon, and a household name in his own right.
The band took a healthy break in 1995 to spend time with their families, in wake of their grueling lifestyle the previous ten years, under the helm of manager Tim Collins, who helped orchestrate much of the band’s comeback and sustained success. However, Aerosmith almost came to a screeching halt as Collins pressured the exhausted band members and spread rumors that the band was breaking up and that Steven Tyler was being unfaithful to his wife and using drugs again, all of which were lies. He was subsequently fired. This, along with a producer change, delayed the recording process for Nine Lives, which was finally released in 1997. While not coming close to the sales figures of Get a Grip, it still went double platinum, and the band managed to stay on top and toured for over two years in support of the album.
In 1997, Steven Tyler and Joe Perry were featured in a commercial for the GAP, performing a bluesy number with Tyler on harmonica. This was part of an ad campaign by Gap featuring a variety of music artists.
In 1998, while on tour in support of the album Nine Lives, Steven Tyler suffered a ligament injury when his mic stand came crashing into his knee. Tyler and the band finished the show, but they had to cancel several dates and Tyler still had trouble walking for the filming of the video for “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing”, which hit #1 on the charts that year. Suprisingly enough, that has been their only #1 hit to date.
The beginning of the 21st century saw Aerosmith spotlight at the Super Bowl XXXV Halftime Show, be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and release another platinum album.
Since 2001, Aerosmith has launched a successful tour every year and has maintained an active role in the music industry, recording the albums Just Push Play (2001) and Honkin’ on Bobo (2004). In addition to this, Steven Tyler has kept busy with a variety of side projects and guest appearances.
On 27 May, 2001, at the 85th Indianapolis 500, Steven Tyler sang the national anthem of the USA. He came under criticism when he replaced “home of the brave'” with “home of the Indianapolis 500.” He immediately apologized and reaffirmed his patriotism after the incident.
After the September 11, 2001 attacks, the band performed at the benefit concert “United We Stand” in Washington, D.C. Tyler donned a full-length jacket featuring the American flag and the band performed a brief set including the moving numbers “Livin’ on the Edge” and “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing”, which seemed to take on new meaning in wake of the attacks. Amazingly, the band flew back to Indianapolis to perform a show that same night.
In December 2002, Steven Tyler played Santa on a holiday episode of the children’s television show Lizzie McGuire. He also performed the song “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town.” This was also the last episode of Lizzie McGuire that was shot.
In 2003, Tyler received an honorary degree from Berklee College of Music, and, in 2005, received an honorary doctorate from the University of Massachusetts Boston. In 2003, Tyler also inducted AC/DC into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, after he and his band were inducted two years earlier. Tyler sang with AC/DC frontman Brian Johnson for a performance of “You Shook Me All Night Long.”
In 2004, Tyler appeared in a television commercial for Sony digital cameras. “The Grind”, from Aerosmith’s Honkin’ on Bobo, is also featured.
The 2004 Christmas movie The Polar Express featured Steven Tyler singing the lyrics to a rocking number entitled “Rockin’ on Top of the World” as well as a group of computer-animated elves resembling Aerosmith performing the song.
While Joe Perry kept busy in 2005 with his self-titled solo album, Steven Tyler kept busy with a variety of projects. That year, he sang lead vocals on Santana’s hit single “Just Feel Better”. Tyler also cameoed in the film Be Cool which stars John Travolta and Uma Thurman. In the film, Steven Tyler does a duo of “Cryin'” with upcoming singer Linda Moon (played by Christina Milian).
In 2006, after healing from throat surgery and the grueling Rockin’ the Joint Tour, Steven Tyler came back better than ever. One noteworthy event was when he performed with Joe Perry and the Boston Pops Orchestra for the orchestra’s annual Fourth of July spectacular, his first major public appearance since the surgery. During the concert, which was broadcast nationally on CBS, Tyler, Perry, and the orchestra performed a medley of “Walk This Way”, “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” and “Dream On”.
Tyler also recorded a duet with country music artist Keith Anderson, titled “Three Chord Country and American Rock & Roll”. The song, a remixed version of a song found on Anderson’s debut album, was released as a single on the U.S. Hot Country Songs charts.
Later that year, in addition to working with Aerosmith by touring and recording a new album, Tyler made several more public appearances. He made a cameo appearance on the sitcom Two and a Half Men, playing himself as a noisy, obnoxious neighbor. On October 14, 2006 Tyler sang “God Bless America” during the seventh inning stretch at Game #3 of the National League Championship Series between the St. Louis Cardinals and the New York Mets at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Missouri. On November 24, Steven volunteered by serving Thanksgiving dinner to the needy at a restaurant in West Palm Beach, Florida before an Aerosmith show there.
In 2007, Tyler kept active in Aerosmith with the band’s world tour which saw them perform in 19 countries. Tyler’s main focus currently is working on material for Aerosmith’s 15th studio album, currently slated for release sometime in the second quarter of 2008.
Steven Tyler is known for his sharp-edged, raw vocals, and has several signature screams, the most notable of which can be found in the song “Dream On”. Steven Tyler also consistently employs the falsetto and is known for his scat singing, in which he sings unintelligeble words that mimic the sound of the music, particularly the guitar.
Tyler is also known for his usage of the microphone stand as a significant part of his performances. He almost always uses the microphone stand in concert, except in rare instances, usually when guest performing at another artist’s concert. Tyler dresses his microphone stand with colorful scarves. In the 1970s, when he was using drugs, he would often hide tuinals and other illegal substances in the scarves for his use onstage. He is extremely defensive of his microphone stand, and will often get angry at fans who try and grab at the scarves. Tyler will often use the mic as a prop for mimicing sexual acts and will often swing his microphone stand in the air, and has even hit members of the band with it before, most frequently during intoxicated performances in the 1970s.
Throughout much of his career, Tyler has also been noted for playing the piano or keyboards onstage, particularly during songs such as “Dream On” and “Darkness”. However, he has rarely done this since the 1980s, except during special performances, since the band employs a touring keyboardist, and the piano playing would take away from Tyler’s raw performances as frontman. Nevertheless, his piano and keyboard playing continues to be an integral part of the band in the studio, as Tyler will often write songs this way.
Steven Tyler is also known for his musical interplay with the other members of Aerosmith, particularly with guitarist Joe Perry. In the 1970s, the two were known as the “Toxic Twins”, so-called for their legendary substance abuse. They are still referred to collectively as that name, despite being drug-free for over 20 years. The two will often perform very close together side-by-side, particularly when Perry sings backup or adds vocal harmony, or during sit-down acoustic performances.
Tyler is also a notable harmonica player, employing the instrument in a number of Aerosmith songs including “One Way Street”, “Write Me”, “Rats in the Cellar”, “The Hop”, “Hangman Jury”, “Girl Keeps Coming Apart”, “Permanent Vacation”, “Don’t Get Mad, Get Even”, “Young Lust”, “Cryin'”, “Fever” “Can’t Stop Messin'”, “Walk on Water”, “Something’s Gotta Give”, “Pink”, “Under My Skin”, and on songs they are notable for covering including “Big Ten Inch Record”, “Milk Cow Blues”, “I Ain’t Got You”, “Reefer Head Woman”, “Love Me Two Times”, “Baby, Please Don’t Go”, “Shame Shame Shame”, “Eyesight to the Blind”, “Back Back Train”, “You Gotta Move”, “I’m Ready”, “Temperature”, “Stop Messin’ Round”, and “Rattlesnake Shake”. Tyler is also notable for quick vocal interludes while playing harmonica. During his guest appearance on the television show Two and Half Men, Tyler remarks, “A lot of people pay to see me play harmonica” during which point Charlie Sheen responds, “They pay to hear you sing; they tolerate the harmonica.”
Main article: Aerosmith filmography
Year Title Role
1978 Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band Member of the Future Villain Band
1990 Saturday Night Live: Musical guest; “Wayne’s World” sketch Himself
1991 The Simpsons: “Flaming Moe’s” episode Himself (voice)
1993 Wayne’s World 2 Himself
1993 Saturday Night Live: Musical guest; “Bad Dancer” sketch Himself
1997 Saturday Night Live: Musical guest; “Mary Katherine Gallagher” sketch Himself
2001 Saturday Night Live: Musical guest Himself
2004 The Polar Express Himself (voice)
2005 Be Cool Himself
2006 Two and a Half Men: one episode Himself
Red Wing Motorcycles
On September 15, 2007 at New Hampshire International Speedway, Steven announced the launch of Red Wing Motorcycles. Red Wing’s bikes are designed by Steven Tyler, engineered by Mark Dirico, and built by AC Custom Motorcycles in Manchester, New Hampshire.
Steven has been a long time motorcycle fan and riding enthusiast. About the new Red Wing Motorcycles Tyler said, “You get on one of these bikes and you can ride for days. These bikes are sick, rugged, and just damn cool. And they’re amazing to look at.”
Steven Tyler also participates in a variety of charity auctions involving motorcycles, including the Ride for Children charity.
Steven Tyler greets military servicemen aboard the USS Nimitz on May 30, 2007, prior to an Aerosmith concert in Dubai.He had a brief relationship with fashion model Bebe Buell, during which he fathered actress Liv Tyler (Buell initially claimed that the father was Todd Rundgren to protect Liv from Steven’s then drug addiction). In 1978, he married Cyrinda Foxe, an ex-Warhol model, and the former wife of New York Dolls’ lead singer David Johansen, and fathered plus-sized model Mia Tyler. He and Foxe divorced in 1987; in 1997, she published Dream On: Livin’ on the Edge With Steven Tyler and Aerosmith, a memoir of her life as well with Tyler. Cyrinda Foxe died from brain cancer in 2002. In 1988, he married clothing designer Teresa Barrick. He fathered two children: a daughter, Chelsea Tallarico (March 6, 1989), and a son, Taj Monroe Tallarico (January 31, 1991). In February 2005, the couple announced that they were separating due to personal problems. In January 2006 the divorce was official. Tyler is currently dating Erin Brady.
On March 22, 2006, the Washington Post reported that Tyler would undergo surgery for an “undisclosed medical condition.” A statement from Tyler’s publicist read in part, “Despite Aerosmith’s desire to keep the tour going as long as possible, [Tyler’s] doctors advised him not to continue performing to give his voice time to recover.” Aerosmith’s remaining North American tour dates in 2006 on the Rockin’ the Joint Tour were cancelled as a result.
The surgery, to correct a popped blood vessel in his throat, was a success. After a few weeks of rest, Steven Tyler and the rest of Aerosmith entered the studio on May 20, 2006 to begin work on their new album. A tour launched later in fall 2006 with Mötley Crüe, titled the Route of All Evil Tour.
On July 3rd and 4th, 2006, Tyler and Joe Perry hit the stage on the Boston Waterfront with the Boston Pops and sang the songs “Dream On”, “Walk This Way”, and “I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing” as part of the Boston 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular. The concert was notable as Tyler’s first public performance since the surgery.
Steven Tyler’s throat surgery was featured in 2007 on an episode of the National Geographic Channel series, Incredible Human Machine.
Battle with Hepatitis C
In a September 2006 interview with Access Hollywood, Steven Tyler revealed that he had been suffering from Hepatitis C for the past 10 years. He was first diagnosed with the disease in 2003 and had undergone extensive treatment from 2003-2006, including 11 months of interferon therapy, which he said was “agony”. He states that he is now Hepatitis-free.