And Finally Artist News Beef Of The Week

CMU Beef Of The Week #108: Aerosmith v Breasts

By | Published on Friday 27 April 2012

Steven Tyler

You may remember that Aerosmith appeared in an edition of US documentary series ’60 Minutes’ back in March. It made the headlines not only because the band were very candid in their interviews, but because frontman Steven Tyler said after it went out that the band felt like they’d said too much.

A section of the programme focussed on tensions between Tyler and the rest of the band, in particular guitarist Joe Perry, which, while never a secret, were laid out in front of viewers very clearly. Asked if these tensions had ever led to a full on fight, Perry said: “That would damage the relationship too much; besides he needs his jaw to sing”.

When the filmmakers showed Tyler this, along with other footage of his bandmates badmouthing him, in a separate interview, he responded: “I always sleep with one eye open with him”, adding: “I think my busting everyone’s chops is what got this band to where it is. I get the hits. Yeah, I’m that good”.

After the programme was aired, Tyler told Access Hollywood that he and his bandmates regretted being so open about their relationships in the interviews, saying: “We all realise we might have said a little too much. Being Italian, you know, there’s some things you don’t say. There was stuff we were going through”.

True, but this band are always going through something. Two years ago they got through a particularly rough patch by sitting down together with their respective managers and lawyers to argue it out. Although the really big issues were seemingly resolved after that meeting, tensions still emerge from time to time.

But how did ’60 Minutes’ manage to get the band to speak so candidly about their problems with each other? Was it that everyone was in a bad mood that day and needed to vent? Was if the strain of years of battling to make things work showing through? Was it hard-hitting journalism? No, none of these things. According to bassist Tom Hamilton it boiled down to clever editing and devious clothing choices.

He accused the producers of ’60 Minutes’ of editing together the worst of everything the band had said about Tyler in order to provoke a strong reaction from the frontman when shown the footage. “It was tough to watch”, Hamilton told US radio station 97.5 K-Rock this week. “They took comments we made during very deep conversations and sort of barraged Steven with them. I thought it was a little brutal”.

Despite this, he admitted that everything they’d said was true: “It was the truth. It was everybody speaking what they were feeling. We talked about a lot of things involving anger – yet a lot of other things involving brotherhood. So Steven got pissed off and said a couple of things that were demeaning to the rest of us. I cringed a little bit, yet the second it was over I texted him and said, ‘You did a great job'”.

But the question remains, even if the editing magnified what they’d said, if it was all true, how did ’60 Minutes’ manage to get them to say things they new would be likely to upset Tyler in the first place? How did the show push them to risk destroying the already tense relationship between five men who have otherwise managed to stick together (for the most part) for more than 40 years? How could Aerosmith have been brought to the very brink of imploding like this?

“Lara Logan, the correspondent, had a very low-cut top on”, explained Hamilton.

Oh, right. He adds that it was clear what Logan was up to right from the start, but he was powerless to resist her journalistic, er, clothes. He recalled: “I’m like, ‘Okay, this is sort of, get the band nervous with your cleavage and make them say stuff’. And if you watch the interview you won’t see that. That’s how they do it: they show their boobs and get you to talk about stuff. It works every time”.

Now, this is award-winning war correspondent Lara Logan we are talking about, who has reported from warzones and other areas of conflict around the world for the last fifteen years. In February 2011, while covering the Egyptian Revolution, she was attacked, stripped naked and assaulted by a mob in Tahir Square. In May last year she was interviewed on ’60 Minutes’ herself, speaking about the prevalence of sexual violence against female reporters in Egypt during the revolution.

This explains why, six months later, she was back in US and being embedded with Aerosmith, rather than the US Army as she was more used to, as they toured South America. Having taken a break from war and violence, I’d say getting a bunch of aging rock stars to say some stupid things just by asking them questions wasn’t beyond her capabilities. Though being able to do so without having them try to stare down her (actually fairly conservative) top throughout would presumably have been preferable for the reporter, even if their efforts to catch a glimpse did deliver the more controversial admissions.