Thursday, December 17, 2009

Aerosmith in Crisis: Who Will Replace Steven Tyler?

Posted By on Thu, Dec 17, 2009 at 9:55 AM

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In Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry's mind, there's apparently little difference between the recent departure of singer Steven Tyler and that of, say, Jimmy Crespo. Do you need an explanation for who Jimmy Crespo is? Exactly. Perry's cavalier attitude toward replacing his toxic twin reminds me of the part in Spinal Tap where Nigel leaves the band and David St. Hubbins treats his legacy like that of one of their drummers. Needless to say, I'm pretty pumped to finally witness Aerosmith's "Jazz Odyssey" period.

I've already mentioned before that Aerosmith is my least favorite band in rock 'n' roll history. I did so when posting this video of their (former?) lead singer Steven Tyler falling off a stage in Sturgis back in August. (Totes roflcopter for life!) At the time, I said I was "[holding] out hope that [the Sturgis fall] was the beginning of the end for the unfortunate institution that is Aerosmith." Little did I know how prescient those words would be. You can't even begin to imagine all the water damage I did to my home last month when I wept a sea of joyful tears upon hearing the news that Steven Tyler had reportedly left the band to work on "Brand Tyler." Or had he? Days later, he appeared at a Joe Perry solo show, seemingly burying that hatchet and proclaiming that he was NOT leaving the band. The memo apparently fell on the deaf ears (literally) of his bandmates, who claimed they were on the hunt for a replacement.

As you can imagine, the last six weeks have been a quite an emotional roller coaster for me. Imagine how you'd feel if you someone told you that Joe Lieberman had resigned from the Senate, only to briefly reclaim his seat in time to drive up the price of your Adderall prescription, before leaving it to, say, Tucker Carlson. The most recent loop in the Aerosmith rollercoaster (not this roller coaster) caused me to let out a death-scream when it was reported that Perry & Co. had extended an invitation to retro-rocker Lenny Kravitz--another one of my faves--to replace Tyler.

Proving that there just might be a merciful God in this universe, Kravitz declined Aerosmith's offer, saying:

As much as I am flattered that Aerosmith's camp would consider me to front the band, Steven Tyler is a family friend, and no voice could ever take the place of his. I hope the band stays together. They are classic.

Or in other words: "Do I look like 76-year-old junkie doing an impression of Angela Lansbury doing an impression of Mick Jagger? FUCK OFF!" While I can't help but feel like music in general has dodged a .50-caliber bullet, I'm fearful of what kind of sonic disaster is waiting around the corner. You see, this whole business of Aerosmith offering Steven Tyler's be-scarved mic stand to Lenny Kravitz has me wondering who else might potentially be on the band's shortlist.

Check out this Blabbermouth post for a brief interview with Perry, in which he urges fans to send audition tapes and videos to his manager. While Perry claims to have found the singer for his side project, The Joe Perry Project, on YouTube, I have a sneaking suspicion that the band's request to Kravitz means they're aiming higher than Tim "Ripper" Owens, and that Perry's "send tapes" shtick is just some throw-away malarkey to make himself look accessible. The fate of these fan tapes is likely to become the constant burden of some hapless intern in the band's management office. Say a prayer for him, if you believe in that kind of thing.

You see, the only way Aerosmith are going to survive with paychecks is to have the story of Tyler's replacement trump that of the iconic lead singer leaving the band after 39 years. You remember how Gary Cherone didn't work out for Van Halen? Imagine if they'd replaced him with, say, Chris Cornell instead. Peeps would've gone ape, y'all! Since I'm thinking it's definitely gonna be a marquee artist who fills Tyler's slipper-socks, I've made a list of my guesses for who I think is on Aerosmith's list. Feel free to let me know who I've forgotten.

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Scott Weiland

Aerosmith's hopping off the H-train 22 years ago, recording "Angel" and continuing to exist indefinitely should have ended the argument over why rockers should NEVER take vows of sobriety. Ole' Scotty-Poo (as I call him) might just be the guy to get 'em back in pursuit of the dragon. In my view, Weiland is the obvious choice. As generic a rockstar as there is, this guy was born to be the poor man's somebody. Case in point: Velvet Revolver. And since '70s Aerosmith were no more than the Stone Temple Pilots of their day, Weiland is sure to fit like a glove. A sticky, gross glove in a K-hole.

Ian Astbury: See above.

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Ted Nugent

In case the guys wanna go in the complete opposite direction of Weiland and ensure their future sobriety, the Motor City Madman and mikado of rock 'n' roll teetotalers, Ted "the Nuge" Nugent, is just the guy to keep them on track. Even though he's not nearly as proficient a vocalist as he is a guitarist (or right-wing kook of the black helicopter variety), I'm willing to bet that he can squeak out a blues run in the same makes-me-wish-I-was-born-without-ears fashion that Steven Tyler spent four decades perfecting. A "tragic" hunting accident is the only good thing I could see coming out of this one.

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Kid Rock

This would probably be the worst. Kid Rock is talent's nemesis. His career shouldn't have survived past the voice-modulation on his 1999 sonic crime against humanity "Only God Knows Why," yet the Rock has managed to ingratiate himself with psuedo-rock royalty and sustain a career courtesy of America's vast collection of know-nothing simpletons. The guy can't sing--however, being the snake-charmer that he is, I bet he can convince Joe Perry he's Muddy fuckin' Waters.

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Josh Todd

This is the guy whose singing style The Spin recently described this way: "his squealing high-pitched caterwauling makes him sound like a feral cat succumbing to an industrial strength vacuum cleaner." At 38, Buckcherry singer Josh Todd is likely Aerosmith's idea of a whippersnapper. He fits the bill of a generic rock star and has already been rumored as under consideration by Aerosmith. If I were to be given a choice between the ability to magically go back in time and prevent George W. Bush from winning a second term, or prevent Josh Todd from joining Aerosmith in the future, I'd opt for the latter.

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Sammy Hagar

Few things are worse than the music of Aerosmith. The music of Sammy Hagar is one of them. It's a scientifically proven fact that no band has ever improved after the addition of Sammy Hagar. A swift high-pitched hhhHHHheyyyyy-a! is it all takes for Hagar to effectively lop the balls off any rock band. Perhaps that's what it'll take for the world to see what a wimpy-ass band Aerosmith truly are at their core. Also, he'll make them look young.

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James Hetfield:

Take just one look at this photo and tell me James Hetfield circa-now has a soul. You know it's sad but true. I could definitely see this former singer for Alcoholica walking. Just close your eyes and picture it: "We're living on the edge-AHH / You can't help yourself from fallin-nahaaAAAA."

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Matt "Lig" Knabe: Some of you will laugh, and others will need an explanation. Those who needed an explanation will proceed to laugh. Dude sang for the now-defunct local active-rock outfit Ligion. His demo is likely en route to Joe Perry's management office as we speak. If they do end up going with an unknown, I guarantee you won't be able to tell the difference between he/she and this guy.

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Chris Robinson: I'm not what you'd call a Black Crowes fan, but I do think that singer Chris Robinson probably has a little too much self-respect to embark on an endeavor such as this, but then again, he might not. I'd bet money that he's on the list. Dude's a pretty good singer, and he and Aerosmith share an undeniable affinity for vanilla blues, and angels. Also, fans of both would probably accept the pairing. This is probably the least offensive option.

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Joan Jett: OK, I don't really wanna say anything bad about Joan Jett. So I won't. Just saying that I could easily see this happening. Twilight star Kristen Stewart is starring as Jett in the upcoming biopic The Runaways. If that's not a sign of impending apocalypse, then I don't know what is. If they stuck to pre-Get a Grip material this could possibly make Aerosmith tolerable, but they'd still be fucking Aerosmith, and they won't. Perhaps THIS is actually the least offensive option.

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Axl Rose: This one could actually be interesting. Thirteen years of production and tens of millions of dollars couldn't save Chinese Democracy from its inevitable failure. Having gotten that albatross of an album out of his system, and STILL not up for reuniting the real lineup of Guns N' Roses, what the hell else does Axl have to do when he's not busy getting in fights at airports? His joining Aerosmith--a band whose greatest redeemable quality is having influenced Appetite for Destruction--would undoubtedly be a music story that would easily obliterate that of Tyler's departure. Actually, THIS is easily the best option. Aerosmith could use the occasional racist rant or press-provoked riot. Just picture Brad Whitford attempting to sprint his 97-year-old ass off the stage in time to avoid getting hit by sprinkler heads yanked from the lawn of some shed in St. Louis. Also, this is probably the only thing that could keep Aerosmith from releasing an album for 13 years--which would be great. The only pairing that could possibly be more interesting an option than this would be if they were to draft Morrissey. C'mon Axl, get in the ring with Aerosmith, motherfucker!

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