Steven Tyler: ‘The reason I’m a drug addict and an alcoholic’

Tyler is the cover boy on next week's Rolling Stone.

Blame Janis Joplin.

This morning on Today, Matt Lauer offered a taste of his upcoming interview with flaming rock star and American Idol judge, Steve Tyler (watch clip below).

At one point Lauer asks him what toll Tyler’s heavy drug usage has taken on the singer. Tyler responds, “The reason I wind up in rehabs, and I’m a drug addict and an alcoholic is I romanticize the stuff.”

He mentions getting high with Janis Joplin as one of euphoric memories he maintains. Curious choice, given that Joplin died at 27 of a heroin overdose. Tyler is 63.

The Aerosmith frontman, who has a memoir, Does the Noise in My Head Bother You?, coming out May 3, explains that drugs were an essential aide to creativity, likening himself to Rembrandt.

In the interview set to air on Dateline on Sunday night and Today the following morning, Tyler declares, “There were times I was dried up.” But he needed LSD and other stimulants, he says, to keep churning out songs to keep up with the constant influx of British bands. In other words, he was a patriot first, an addict second.

When Lauer suggests that linking drugs with creativity may be sending the wrong message, Tyler forcefully states that drug abuse ends inevitably with one of three results: “death, jail and insanity”.

Hey, those are our pet nicknames for you, J. Lo and Randy. Rock on!


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