As members of the classic rock band Aerosmith, bandmates have done their best to live up to the title of being ‘The Bad Boys from Boston’. Their lead singer Steven Tyler has always done his best to define what a stereotypical rock star should look like, dress like, talk like, and act like; he is the rock music legend that most Americans would cite as their number one answer choice if they were asked to name an all-American rock star on Family Feud game night. But has the new judge on American Idol become less of a music hero that inspires the youth of America and more like a creepy old guy?
Like his Aerosmith band mates, after four decades of rocking Steven Tyler has survived living life on the edge. For years, he rocked the house night after night as their lead singer during exhausting world tours, then went through drug rehab where he wrestled with his own physical and emotional addiction and detox demons, and he’s broken more hearts than he can count on one hand — including his own, time after time. But bottom line, Tyler — as a famous face and iconic music figure — has survived. Now that he’s a judge on American Idol he seems to have hit his stride. But how he struts his stuff (while letting his freak flag fly) is not appreciated by all. Especially anyone who gets easily offended (or jealous) when someone else steals the spotlight from an aspiring contestant who is battling for their own particular version of street cred and stage rights.
After watching a recent episode of American Idol, an entertainment editor for the Toronto Star wrote negatively about the reality TV show auditions in Aspen, Colorado. In a plea to the producers, he said, “Can we please stop with the young women kissing him (Steven Tyler)? It’s creeping me out.”
But if the writer is getting creeped out by women kissing Steven Tyler, perhaps they should stick to watching Andy Williams reruns on Public Television.
If you are feeling overly sensitive about any of his wild remarks, its best to just get over it now. In the world of rock and roll, women want to kiss rock stars. The American Idol judge is an urban legend in that department. Lots of women who still profess to be Aerosmith band groupies; they still think he’s sexy. It’s the contestants who idolize him, not 100% of the audience.
The producers already knew that, though, when they hired him. His groupies don’t represent the bulk of Americans who love watching the reality television competition each season. But, in defense of his critics, he could tone down the sexual innuendo and the crazy eyes a bit. A bit. [Not too much, though, because when contestants are dull and Randy Jackson is even duller while saying over and over that someone's song tone was not exactly right for them or made them sound pitchy or Jennifer Lopez is moved to tears, the show seriously gets a bit boring.]
Tyler is the poster boy for what a rock star is; he’s the front man for one of the greatest rock bands in history and he captures viewers attention with racy remarks. Watching him is no different from tuning in to see Simon Cowell. Steven’s just missing minus all the metro-sexual machismo and rarely makes commentary with such sadistic twists.
But when he’s leering at young girls at his age and the film footage airs on FOX Network or YouTube it makes the whole program cast look a bit cheesy. Why? Because he is old enough to know better. Plus, he’s supposed to be on the clock. Since he is getting paid to be a judge and mentor of these young Hollywood hopefuls, his colorful commentary and animated antics make him look unprofessional at best. At worst, he comes across like that creepy uncle your mom told you not to go anywhere with when you were just a kid. Or that bad Santa at the strip mall who you really don’t want your kids sitting on his lap for fear that isn’t a candy cane he’s concealing.
But seriously… even if he keeps on putting on his game face that used to lure groupies backstage with alarming regularity to hook up with him in the olden days, now he’s an old guy who just got engaged to his long time girlfriend over the Christmas holidays. He’s the father of Lord Of The Rings and Armageddon movie star Liv Tyler, the woman who inspired elf ear plastic surgery. And very few realize he’s also a grandfather. Now granted, he could still be considered a lewd and lascivious threat to young ladies or he could just be that wacky rocker whose worth a fortune and is getting new talent ready to handle all sorts of comments from crazy fans and strange talk from people in Hollywood who are after one thing — scoring. You know… the ones who make false promises to aspiring talent to take them all the way if they will go all the way?
We don’t think Steven Tyler is abusing his position in that way at all, but honestly. That seems to have been the culture of the Hollywood movie and music industry since California became the gold rush state and evolved into such a desirable place to work and play.
Even though he may be one of the bad boys of Boston when it comes to the world of music, Tyler is a good guy when it comes to caring about the citizens of Boston, where he has donated heavily and volunteered to make the holidays a little brighter by supporting the local Feed Kids Now campaign. They like him because he is an all-American classic home town boy who made good in Hollywood.
If American Idol hired Tyler to bring a little more color to the show (and by that we don’t mean just his scarf collection) they have succeeded. Seems that everything Steven Tyler does draws critiques and criticism, as well as plenty of attention.
Good guy American Idol judge, bad boy rock star, or just acting like creepy old Uncle Steve.