Steven Tyler has admitted his battle against drug and alcohol addiction will never end – and he’s joked that he’s better at taking drugs than writing or performing music.
The Aerosmith frontman made the comments during a talk with graduates of a rehabilitation programme in Maui, revealing that his appearance made him feel nervous because he had no option but to be honest with fellow addiction victims.
Tyler said (via Billboard): “I’m telling you all my truth. I am a drug addict and alcoholic, and fighting it every day.
“I had it all; I didn’t care. I hurt my family and my children and my friends. If it wasn’t for AA I would have nothing. If you stop going to AA meetings you’re going to wind up using again. I express my joy all because of AA.”
The singer recalled how he’d started experimenting with drugs in 1964, and, 20 years later, he weighed 126 pounds and was “shooting cocaine” when he entered rehab for the first time. “They weren’t rehabs,” he corrected. “They were mental institutions – people that sat next to me had dribble bibs.”
He added: “I’m a better drug addict and alcoholic than I am a musician. I got to keep in check.” And he told the 11 listeners who’d completed the programme: “Listening to you guys opened up my heart. You touched me beyond belief, deeper than any song; deeper than any sunset.”
Tyler has made a number of voluntary appearances at Drug Court graduations. He explains: “It’s an honour to be part of a new society where judges and police officers are involved in knowing when someone’s in trouble, what drugs they’re on, and offering them – if they go through the programme – to get out of jail.”
He’s been clean for five years after a relapse that nearly ended Aerosmith’s career. He plans to work on a solo album while the band decide whether to record a follow-up to 2012 album Music From Another Dimension. Drummer Joey Kramer this week reported he felt “better than ever” following heart surgery.