If Steven Tyler's recent remarks about snorting Lunesta and partaking in a backstage three-way are any indication of the kind of judge he'll be on "American Idol," then the country's most-watched show is in for a wild ride.
As Tyler touted his new role on "Idol," which premieres tonight, during interviews with David Letterman and Howard Stern, it was clear the Aerosmith frontman had not signed a morals clause with the family-favorite show or even been coached on what not to say.
On Monday, Tyler admitted to Letterman that his 2009 fall from the stage, that resulted in a broken shoulder and required 19 stitches in his head, was caused by drug abuse.
"A couple years ago, I was [snorting] Lunesta because of some problems with my feet," he said. "That shows you what kind of a drug addict I was, only the finest for me... I was looking for any excuse to get high."
Lunesta is a prescription sleep aid. Tyler checked into rehab four months later, and while he was there, he sent his manager a text telling him to find him a new gig, the rocker told Howard Stern on Tuesday. Two days after checking out of rehab, he was writing a song with DioGuardi when she suggested he might make a good judge. Apparently, she passed the word on to the show's producers, who contacted Tyler.
Tyler also took pains to say that his role on 'Idol' does not mean the death of Aerosmith.
"'Idol' is going to take this band up 10 notches," Tyler said, adding that the band is already booked for November and December.
Comparing Tyler to Mick Jagger, Stern quizzed the 62-year-old rock legend on why he took the job as judge. "You don't even need 'American Idol,'" Stern said.
"I needed a rest for my feet and it was just something else I could get into," Tyler said, referring to a series of surgeries and post-operative physical therapy that he underwent to correct long-time foot injuries caused by his trademark stage moves.
Tyler has since admitted that he became addicted to prescription painkillers as a result of his foot pain.
"I wanted to see if this would be a good fit," he said about "Idol," adding that his contract allows him to "bail the first year if things aren't good."
"I just thought what the hell," he added. "I get to sit next to Jennifer Lopez. She's an alpha female."
Though he wouldn't tell Stern how much he's making, he did say it's "more" than the reported $12 million that Lopez is getting.
Not bad for a guy who admits he never watched the show because he didn't like the idea of someone being called an idol if they didn't pay their dues working the club circuit. But, Tyler said the caliber of talent has "made him tear up."
And he seems to be enjoying himself and what he calls his "dream team." "I got new hair and new makeup," he said. "I feel like a rock star."
Asked about the media comparing him to former judge Paula Abdul, Tyler laughed, saying it's because of the rehab rumors that dogged Abdul.
But he added that he'll be no Simon Cowell either. "You can't say you suck," he told Stern. "Simon got off on doing that. My heart's not like that... I'm not into putting people down. I'm into bringing them up."