Thought the Steven Tyler/Aerosmith saga couldn't get any weirder? Think again. Now, amidst talk of big-name replacement vocalists, Tyler's legal eagle has sent a letter to the band's management to shore up the singer's position in the group.
Steven Tyler, appearing on a red carpet or at a Home Depot near you. Image: © LUCAS JACKSON/Reuters/Corbis
Billboard has obtained a letter sent by Tyler's attorney, Skip Miller, to Aerosmith manager Howard Kaufman last week, requesting that the band's management "immediately cease and desist from engaging in acts and conduct to the harm and detriment of your own client, Aerosmith, and our client who is one of its members."
Miller told Billboard, "Steven Tyler does not want lawsuits. We do not want to go in that direction. The direction we want is Aerosmith, with Steven Tyler...This is the direction it's all intended to go. It's just amazing to me current management would be taking any other position."
A "shareholders" meeting called
"Aerosmith without Steven Tyler is like the Rolling Stones without Mick Jagger, or U2 without Bono. While this management strategy may get the band on the road a few months sooner, it ultimately could destroy Aerosmith" Tyler's attorney Skip Miller
In the same letter, Miller has called a meeting of Aerosmith's "shareholders" on 9 February to discuss the band's future, including the recording of a much-delayed new album and touring possibilities. The four-page letter also states that "we reserve all of our legal rights and remedies in this matter, including, without limitation, pursuing legal action for damages and other appropriate relief."
It's been a busy few weeks for the two prime movers in Aerosmith, Joe Perry and Steven Tyler. Perry has spoken out to the Canadian press about replacing Tyler, and rumors are floating that singers such as Billy Idol, Lenny Kravitz, Chris Cornell and Paul Rodgers have all been approached.
Tyler's still singing...just not in arenas
At the same time, Tyler, said to be in undergoing treatment for painkiller addiction at the Betty Ford Center, has been popping up in the strangest of places, singing karaoke to Aerosmith songs at a bar in Palm Springs, California, and then singing over the public address center at a nearby Home Depot.
Tyler's recent antics have done little to win over Kaufman, who, according to Miller, "said that he didn't think Steven should be part of Aerosmith, flat-out said the band would be better off without Steven - which, in my opinion, is a very questionable management decision by a fiduciary."
Miller is accusing Kaufman of "playing band members off against one another instead of seeking to solidify their relationships and unify them for the overall good of the band...Aerosmith without Steven Tyler is like the Rolling Stones without Mick Jagger, or U2 without Bono. While this management strategy may get the band on the road a few months sooner, it ultimately could destroy Aerosmith."
According to Bilboard, Howard Kaufman has declined comment.