Religion: Steven Tyler

Are you religious? How would you describe your religious beliefs?

I’ve come to believe that even though I stand next to Joe Perry, who can be so powerful onstage, and that I watch videos of Alicia Silverstone, who can also be powerful, also that I’ve written powerful songs such as_ Dream On_, that a power greater than myself is what sustains me.

And what form does that ‘greater power’ take?

I’m not going to put my finger on that, but it’s not a grey old man. It’s more about something that comes from inside, like thinking you can walk when you cover your eyes. The second you are brave enough to do that, when you let go and place your confidence elsewhere, you unleash a magic that’s greater than yourself. Something external takes over.

So if there’s no God, do you think there’s a Devil?

I think John Lennon said it best: “God is a concept by which we measure our pain.” All of that stuff – heaven and hell, the Devil – was created by man because of his fear while here on the planet. There’s an energy that’s inside every human being, but the more intelligent we become, and the more we realise that we have self-esteem, the more man will no longer need to be in fear of those concepts. Who needs to have fear of heaven and hell? When you die, your soul goes elsewhere. We each have our own belief system and I’m not trying to impose mine upon anyone else. But, yeah, I definitely believe in a power greater than myself.

If God had looked down on you during the 1970s, what would he have seen?

I think that his precious work was going amok. Don’t you?

Well, quite probably so. But are you a better man now?

I’d say, yeah… of course. But don’t make this all about sex and drugs. You tell me. This band has been around for forty years and we’ve had two careers – is that better or worse? We’re still making music and we’re walking and talking and taking in solid food, so who can complain? We also, at the end of the day, want to make you want to fuck your girlfriend, so what’s wrong with that?

If you could add an eleventh commandment, what would it be?

Thou shalt love thine self.

Is that a sexual suggestion? Care to elaborate?

No, it’s not sexual! How many people do you know that don’t love themselves, or even know who they are? C’mon, it’s obvious. You must love yourself before you learn to love someone else.

Dave Ling

Dave Ling was a co-founder of Classic Rock magazine. His words have appeared in a variety of music publications, including RAW, Kerrang!, Metal Hammer, Prog, Rock Candy, Fireworks and Sounds. Dave’s life was shaped in 1974 through the purchase of a copy of Sweet’s album ‘Sweet Fanny Adams’, along with early gig experiences from Status Quo, Rush, Iron Maiden, AC/DC, Yes and Queen. As a lifelong season ticket holder of Crystal Palace FC, he is completely incapable of uttering the word ‘Br***ton’.