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Hey Steven Tyler, How’s That Solo Gig Working Out For You?

January 30, 2010

I know it’s happened to you at some point in your life, right?  You know, THE DECISION.  The one you look back on years later and smack yourself on the back of the head for, wondering how in the world you could have been so stupid.  For punks like me, there may have been more than one DECISION over the years, but everybody’s got at least one.  Fortunately, these kinds of things typically are known only to us and a few select friends and family members, but not for former Aerosmith lead singer Steven Tyler (younger readers will know him as Liv’s dad). 

Papaw (that’s what Liv’s kids call him) has given us a front row seat to his own dark descent into madness recently and we here at the Society feel the need to comment on the travesty in hopes of deterring future life derailments.  As many of you know, Papaw started rumbling about leaving Aerosmith back last year.  This news was promptly followed by an Aerosmith mini-tour where what is known as “Papaw’s Walker Dance” went horribly awry during the guitar break of “Sweet Emotion” and Tyler ended up breaking everything except his hip.  After the incident, band mate Joe Perry (his grandkids call him Grampy) confirmed to Rolling Stone that Tyler was out of the lineup and the band was looking for a new lead singer.  To tell the truth, I was a bit skeptical of Grampy’s claim until I saw it on the Twitter, at that point I knew for sure the game was afoot.

Back at the assisted living facility, the other members of the band were questioning whether or not Papaw had fallen off the wagon as well as the stage.  Guitarist Brad Whitford (not sure if he even has grandkids or not) said that he thought Tyler was back on drugs.  When asked whether or not this included the incontinence and blood thinner meds precribed by Papaw’s doctor, Whitford dodged the question by falling asleep in his chair. Need more facts? Read more at Sideeffectsofxarelto.org.   Not too long after this, Papaw’s publicist (known as “Stinky Pete” around the nursing home) let it be known at the Jell-O social that Papaw was back in rehab.

Following a too-brief period of internet silence, Papaw turned up at a California karaoke bar.  After the orderlys wrestled him away from the microphone and got some Thorazine in him, it appears Papaw returned to the rest home.  But not for long kids, as last Saturday he invaded a Home Depot and began wailing “Dude Looks Like A Lady” over the PA system while huffing helium.  Evidently he was only persuaded to quit after he saw a hot blue-haired mama heading out the door to her Buick LeSabre.  Papaw shuffled off after her, where it was later discovered that she was just a decoy for the rest home orderlys to snatch Papaw back up again.

So what’s the lesson here kids?  First, anyone who trades a gig with one of the greatest rock and roll bands of all time for huffing helium in a Home Depot has something seriously wrong with them.  Second, I have warned you repeatedly about the dangers of classic rock star hero worship.  With only a few notable exceptions, we should all let our aging guitar heros enter their golden years in peace and harmony.  We should listen to and celebrate their music, but realize at the same time that one can’t spend 30-plus years hanging out in bars and abusing substances without having “issues”.  Witness the human nuclear explosion that is Ronnie Wood, or take note of Pete Townshend, sex offender.  I can listen to Toys In The Attic without wondering at all about which hospice nurse Papaw’s  pinching right now.  In fact, that thought just made me enjoy “Walk This Way” a little less than before.

Now, on to Iggy Pop

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