OOPS! He did it again. The frontman for the rock band Aerosmith is a judge on American Idol. The professional bad boy turned celebrity judge is in the spotlight again for making waves for contestants during the reality television show’s new season auditions. You never know what this colorful character and legendary rock star is going to say. His motto seems to be ‘Carpe Diem’, but should he button his lip on occasion rather always than seizing the day from those contestants aspiring to make it all happen for them as competitors on the American Idol stage?
Aerosmith rock band frontman and American Idol judge Steven Tyler has been one of the most talked about rock stars in modern music history. Tyler has stayed in the spotlight quite a bit in recent weeks, not for a new song release, but for representing the image of the rock and roll bad boy. The bad boy image carries a price, even for a 63-year-old rocker who has mellowed over time. Whether he’s responding to groupie girls who lavish him with attention or he’s wise-cracking jokes that were funny when the Baby Boomer was just a twenty-something Bad Boy surviving having grown up partying and raising hell on the streets of Boston, if there is an opportunity to blurt something ridiculous, he rarely let’s the moment pass. He’s like an over the hill rock star who makes much ado about nothing when there really is nothing much to say.
Tyler tried to have some fun singing the national anthem at a New England Patriots football game and a million amateur music critics claim Steven Tyler sang the worst national anthem in history. The story ended badly (except for the fact the YouTube hits made his Star Spangled Banner rendition go viral within days).
Tyler cracked a joke about a young Idol contestant, and tabloid news headlines around the world read, “Engaged Steven Tyler Hits on 15-Year-Old Idol Contestant” within a matter of days. The Today Show then asked their fans, “How far can Steven Tyler go with icky comments on ‘Idol’?” Equally disturbing — unless you realize that a major media source picked up on celebrity gossip dialogue and took the water cooler issue seriously enough to run it as a featured story of the day.
The fine folks at Today were simply responding to the news that one of the show contestants (who already got booted off before she ever made it to Hollywood by the way) claimed to the tabloid media that she is furious with the show producers and the judge.
She says Steven Tyler encouraged her to wear really inappropriate hot pants and a tiny top for her audition and told her if she did she was almost guaranteed to win this thing because she looked so hot scantily clad. Then, they kicked her off supposedly for dressing inappropriately. We guess it never crossed her mind that she would actually have to compete for the top spot in the auditions by being able to actually SING.
But, every cloud has a silver lining, right? Now she’s in the news and likely to be offered shady modeling opportunities in music videos and his commentary got the Network show lots of free publicity.
It’s just this sort of sensationalism that ups ratings but makes you cringe hearing the soundbites without knowing the full story.
In this writers opinion, folks need to put some of the more wacky comments of the celebrity senior into perspective, though. First of all, he’s a Baby Boomer.That means he says some things as a beatnik, wandering traveler that he means as the highest form of compliment but in this day and age are no longer PC.
Take, for instance, when Tyler joked with a dad about Tyler’s history growing up in Boston playing concert venues during the summer to the man’s daughter. Stating that it was “hot, humid, and happening, just like your daughter…” was a bit over the top, and the father (who happened to be a former major league baseball player that Tyler really was trying to impress by paying his little girl a huge compliment) did not seem to appreciate the simile at all.
Rock stars are grown ups who get paid to act like teenagers, though, no matter what generation they are from. Teenagers made awkward comments when they are trying to impress someone. Tyler is a sports fan. In this case Tyler was trying to impress a celebrity athlete, not date his 15-year-old daughter.
Since they formed in 1971, Aerosmith has been one of the most successful American rock bands of all time. Typical of the rock and roll era of the 1970s the band has gone through battles with substance abuse and burnout. But they have survived. So will the contestants who Steven Tyler chides.
Besides, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.
“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.”
Quote attribution? Says me. Now he’s rocking it on reality TV. Steven Tyler stealing the spotlight from the less talented contestants or putting it on hot music artists who may or may not win this thing but still deserve attention from somebody seems to be a win-win situation for everybody.