Photographer: Brian Bowen SmithStyling: Aimee PrestonMakeup + Grooming: Melina FarhadiCoordination: Clif LoftinAll clothing and accessories: Steven Tyler’s own

Steven Tyler opens up the door and welcomes us into his villa in ras Vegas whereby he has agreed to host our cover photograph shoot. He’s dressed in a T-shirt and also jeans, his hair loose pulled back in a ponytail. That greets us with that famous, huge smile and gives each of us a hug together we to walk in. In the living room Aimee, his live-in love, has included some personal touches—scarves end lamps, hats hanging ~ above sconces as you enter, candles and also incense burning…all making it feel favor home during his remain while performing a residency v his legend band, Aerosmith, titled “Deuces are Wild” in ~ the MGM Park Theater.

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At 71, tyler energy and vision because that his career—and this photo shoot—are very clear. He knows what the wants and also how he wants it; gift the conductor and the muse. This is exactly how he has authored the story that began the trip of Aerosmith, with an unwavering vision for what that knew he constantly wanted to become: a absent star. And there to be no plan B. The remembers having actually a conversation v the band before they relocated together come Boston. “I looked in ~ every one of those f***ing guys and went, ‘You in? room you in it? you in it?’” that recalls. “‘You are not gonna call me her father is gonna contact you up and tell friend you need to have a 2nd career—did her father say that? he didn’t? girlfriend promise?’ store in mental the kind of guys you have. You have actually Tom Hamilton, lost child. Brad Whitford, last child. Joe Perry, a country bumpkin just like me a father that played guitar and a mom that to be a gym teacher. So it to be ripe because that the picking. Us all wanted to execute it. We wanted to have actually something to prove to people. And do you recognize until this second, every night when you view us, we are still up over there trying come prove something come people.” and also that was the beginning. Tyler to be the voice that ultimately united 5 guys through the exact same dream.

Photo Credit: Brian Bowen Smith

That dream didn’t come without specific challenges and also obstacles. Today, almost 50 years due to the fact that Aerosmith rocked the radio waves with its electric and also poetic music, Tyler is prepared to talk candidly about the circumstances that virtually killed the dream in that is infancy and also how it has survived the music industry, now performing live in Vegas. “Imagine the your biggest dream is the you wanted to be signed come a label,” the says. “It was our just dream. However, our supervisors f***ing lied to us. They had actually a attend to the label, and also we weren’t signed come a label. But that didn’t protect against us. Or imagine, for instance, finding the end that among your albums marketed 22 million copies—remember ago then they to be CDs? and CDs marketed for $19 apiece, and also so what’s $19 time 22 million? roughly $418 million. Then, what’s thrown at you is the the band needs to pay for a thing referred to as packaging and also soft goods. So now… the band wants to know, ‘What’s that?’ only one human asked the question—it was moi,” he continues. “I found out from my A&R man. And what did us make on that album? i won’t even tell you since I don’t desire to get in a lawsuit. That was the second coming of Aerosmith. In between our management and also our money people, us did not get what we deserved, and those 2 things space what I will certainly tell you. Exactly how did I survive in the music business? By gift in a band that sat together in new Hampshire, new England in the 1970s that had a dream.”

Tyler had come ago from Woodstock once he and Joe Perry had actually the run-in that would adjust both of your lives, “I’m mowing the lawn in my driveway traction in, in one MG sporting activities car, Joe Perry—hair down to here, glasses damaged with white tape,” that says. “The nerd that you witnessed in all those nerd movies in the ’80s? Joe Perry. And also he goes, ‘Hey man, what are you doing increase here?’ and I nothing remember if i knew him. ‘My tape is playing at The Barn. I’ve checked out your band play there many times,’ ’cause we played indigenous ’67, ’68, ’69, ’70. Every summer I would certainly go up there and also play at The Barn.” and also Steven went the night, and he realized that this was a real chance for other amazing. That recalls, “I had actually no more band, and then I saw him, and I thought, ‘If I deserve to take my ear the my father offered me and add it to his jam band, climate I can have what magic I recognize the Stones had, The who had, The Kinks had, The Beatles had. Lock all had actually some magic. What was that? The Beatles: Paul McCartney and also John Lennon; the Stones: Mick Jagger and Keith Richards; Led Zeppelin: Jimmy Page and also Robert Plant. Every among those big bands had a magic element: 2 guys. I never had actually a brother, and also nothing looked together cool together Joe Perry.” and so, castle all relocated to Boston, after ~ Perry’s parents lent that money to buy a Ken Kesey-style bus come get about in, and also an apartment.

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Photo Credit: Brian Bowen Smith

“In fact, top top the method down to Boston from brand-new Hampshire i thought, ‘My God, we are going to be in a band. This is going to be a an excellent one,’” Tyler remembers. “And then ns thought, ‘what am ns going to compose songs about? If i’m standing in former of a crowd, what would I sing?’ So ns would probably say, ‘Good evening, people, welcome come the show. Acquired something below I want you all to know.’ and then i thought around a book I had just read that john Lennon was talk about…He check out a publication written by Arthur Janov, The Primal Scream, around just getting it out of your system. Mother died, Dad left, and you know—scream therapy. So, ‘Good evening, people, welcome come the show. Gained something below I desire you every to know. As soon as life and also people lug on primal screams, you acquired to think of what it’s gonna require to make your dreams.’ therefore I created my an initial lyric, and also then I grabbed my guitar, and also I tuned it come an open cord. And also one great thing mine dad provided me together a gift ’cause he went to Juilliard—I prospered up under the piano. Therefore I had an ear. Not just did I understand scales, i knew not just the note the sharps and the flats, and an ext importantly, what stays in in between notes.”

Previously, Tyler hadn’t to be willing to discuss the truth behind every the hit documents he created along with the remainder of Aerosmith. “I desire to live somewhere between the songs and also what they perform to people and also the truth,” the says. “I feel the if i told the truth around a lot of things, that would ruin the ride because that people. Castle are really interesting stories, yet I had actually found and also come come the conclusion that I’d rather have actually them listen the song and also love the song.” that is till today. “We don’t desire to fight. If anything, we want to it is in riding top top a surf board a mile the end on a huge wave the songs, a career of songs all the means into the beach,” the maintains. “That’s what we execute it for. Each sequence the albums was that. And also when i look back, i go, ‘19 albums in over WTF… fine never recognize ’cause we never really called the truth around what we went through,’ which is one of those stories. Carry out you want to go into it?” he ponders. “Or do you want human being to just love the album? do you want to make the a big-deal story, or do you want people to know what you no know since you to be high on drugs, and also your managers and also your document label f***ing love that about you. They loved that about the band. Our an initial managers love that us were stoned. Our document label, they loved that us were stoned ’cause castle knew we weren’t looking at any type of of the money transactions. And oh, no that how it’s constantly been… the side of the music company that is simply a f***ing dark, dirty, trench that lies, of lawyers.”

The battle with drugs that Tyler and the remainder of the band challenged was well-documented during their career. “Aerosmith made that from ’72 come ’79 no necessarily stoned, however beautiful… then us all became an extremely f***ed up,” he says. “There were no such things as rehabs; over there were psychological institutions. I went far in ’84 and ’86, and I didn’t really gain it. The beforehand ’80s were terrible, and drugs took us down. Ns was the an initial one to obtain treatment. There to be a moment in ’88 where management and the tape pulled an intervention on me. Castle thought, ‘Get the command singer sober, and all our troubles would be over.’ So, I gained sober, and you know it took me countless years to obtain over the fury of them sending out me to rehab when they walk on vacation. However today since of that moment… ns am grateful and owe a many thanks to them because that my sobriety,” he adds. “I met mine ex-wife Theresa, and I had two more beautiful children. The tape hired a brand-new company, Geffen Records, and also a an excellent A&R man named john Kalodner. We all had actually a manager that assisted us hit that battle together. You might never have done cocaine or heroin, however you listen it, and also you go, ‘Woah, you were a heroin addict?’ and also I would say, ‘Yeah, yet that’s nothing contrasted to when a tape writes their own songs and also plays them and also hears them earlier in a recording studio on these speakers that space bigger 보다 life. Then, you room on the radio … over there is no drug stronger than music. My sobriety price me nothing much less than everything.” Ultimately, what changed Tyler’s life is his sobriety.

Photo Credit: Brian Bowen Smith

Three years into his sobriety, Tyler, that his very own volition, determined to discover a deeper knowledge about codependency concerns so he might be closer come his bandmates. He confirm himself into a routine at Sierra Tucson and also during the time, he came head-on with women who had been terribly abused. In considering the ladies in his life and also his desire to safeguard them and provide a for sure place, he wrote the tune “Janie’s gained a Gun” with bass player Tom Hamilton, i m sorry earned Aerosmith its an initial Grammy. “Janie’s acquired a Gun” additionally led to Janie’s Fund—a passion project and structure that support abused girls. “I obtained to thinking, ‘Wouldn’t it it is in something if I could have a Janie’s Fund?’ So, instead of ‘Janie’s acquired a Gun,’ Janie’s got a Fund and also have a Janie’s House,” that recalls. “It was very early dream, and sure enough, two decades later i met through some folks native Youth towns that embraced me. Mine manager at the time introduced me to them. The was an additional dream come true.”

Youth towns is a top nonprofit organization that started 33 years ago and is headquartered in Memphis, Tenn. The is taken into consideration the most effective nonprofit working through abused and also neglected kids and also families in America. Richard P. Shaw, Chief development Office because that Youth towns Janie’s Fund, join our conversation. “We’ve been known by the White House, Harvard organization School U.S. News & World Report as among the most reliable organizations in the country, addressing the issue of abuse and neglect through kids,” that says. “Taking voice, his passion, his platform and combining it v an company like Youth villages that is best in class, would permit Steven to carry out what the was ideal at—bring awareness come this problem of what happens to kids in America.”

On November 8, 2015, on the 26th anniversary of the relax of “Janie’s gained a Gun,” the charitable initiative to be launched together with Youth Villages. In its 4 years of existence, much more than 3,500 supporters from over 40 nations have added to Janie’s Fund, helping raise upwards the $7.5 million. Proceeds increased to day have directly noted 167,000 work of counseling and also trauma-informed care for much more than 1,200 girls, including 30 girl who obtain safe, therapeutic solutions in its two Janie’s Houses, in Memphis and Douglasville, Ga., top top a day-to-day basis. “The one routine in certain that it supports is a program referred to as LifeSet,” demonstrate notes. “LifeSet is a program that works through young women periods 17 to 22 that have actually grown up in the foster treatment system, which means they’ve come into foster care due to the fact that they’ve been abused or neglected. They spend years in the foster treatment system and also oftentimes suffer even additional trauma gift shifted around, going from family members to family, never having any stability or permanency. Exactly how it functions is fifty percent the money us raise yearly goes straight into the program—there’s no administration, there’s no overhead. Climate fifty percent of it is put into a long-term account the is walk to grow over time and also outlive united state all. This problem that we’re addressing is regrettably going to be here forever, for this reason we’re trying to produce something that’s instantly influence and help girls, but likewise is walking to grow over time. This is the legacy that his daughters and son and his grandkids can carry on right into the future. legacy is not simply this amazing, iconic, talented, force-of-nature absent star, but it’s likewise this caring, loving, passionate guy that saw his function in life no just about music, but also about caring for others. That’s the heritage that ns wake as much as every day and I’m excited to aid him build that.”

In addition to Janie’s Fund, Tyler’s heritage will be the brotherhood that he has actually nurtured v his bandmates: Joe Perry, Brad Whitford, Tom Hamilton and also Joey Kramer. “I continued to be in this band due to the fact that I recognize the strength that Joe and I have from every the songs that we’ve written, or Brad and also Tom and Joey,” that says. “Joey has been below through thick and thin. I have had plenty of times in my life where I just couldn’t handle, even if it is it was a marital relationship or my addiction had reared that is ugly head, and the rest of the guys in the band room not unequal that. But we have actually all checked out each other through it, and we are right here today. My totality life is dreams coming true. Ns am so past grateful for it all.”

Photo Credit: Brian Bowen SmithPhoto Credit: Brian Bowen Smith

In 2020, Aerosmith will certainly celebrate 50 years together. In respect of this tremendous benchmark, the record Academy announced that the band will be honored together MusiCares human being of the Year. “Every morning i wake up, and I ask God to please go into my mind before I do,” Tyler shares. “Half procedures avail us nothing, and also beware of the half-truths since with drugs and also alcohol, it’s most likely that you obtained a host of the not correct half. It i do not care not around me anymore. It’s around carrying the message and also the world that room going to dice if ns don’t obtain this. What renders me an alcoholic is not just how much ns drank or how frequently I used, or that I did any type of of that with. That what happens to me and who I end up being when i do, and I don’t choose that guy.I will always support MusiCares since it helps people weave a parachute the end of whatever that has been broken.”

As the day pertains to an end and the night unfolds, that showtime. Performing to a sold-out show in Vegas, the power is electrical as Aerosmith takes facility stage, and also Tyler’s voice filling the room. Fans was standing the totality show, singing follow me to every word. His power is much better than ever prior to in his life. “I am so grateful to establish this magic in composing these song that have actually a life past my own,” that notes. “I look at Joe every the time, and I claimed to the the other night, after we played “Movin’ Out,” the first song that we ever before wrote together, ‘Do you realize the we wrote that tune 48 years ago?’ ns so grateful to be able to re-enact this moments and also be in that band through the body ns have. My isms are one of the best things i like around myself, yet that component of me the is so f***ed up, if friend will, is likewise what pushed this band and what wrote those songs and what felt the require to.”

Photo Credit: Brian Bowen Smith

When asked about Aerosmith’s residency in ras Vegas, that replies, “They hear united state play great old rock ’n’ roll, and there are no samples. I sing in the very same key, and Joe plays prefer a madman. Listen, I gain to stand alongside Joe Perry—he is a true rock star, one of the last. He’s just the greatest. He survived. And also keep in mind, something that no one talks around is loud noise,” he points out. “Loud noise at specific dBs, prefer 100 dBs, becomes exponential. We’ve been playing at those volumes, and it goes in, so we have, come a particular extent, PTSD. And by walking onstage… do the efforts to do ourselves palatable to an audience to win them over, it’s choose going come war, and the volume is favor woah, and people don’t treat us favor that. Castle think us are simply drug-addict survivors. However we have actually survived that, too—sound go in, and also we leave the stage. I change stage clothes, ns come ago here. I’m sitting here tomorrow night after ~ the show, and my ears space buzzing. I’m so wound up by those beautiful human being that space singing along with the songs and freaking me out. Yet they leave there thinking, ‘I can’t freaking believe it,’ and guess what? Me too! and I’m below going, ‘What simply happened?’ ns can’t walk out. I need to stay here. Therefore the puppies are my solace. My lover ideal now and the guys—we talk to every other. The hasn’t happened in 25 years. The means we are with each other now, there is together magic there. And also you can’t quantify it. It is the thing. You talk dreams, but you can not quantify it. Therefore Brad didn’t want you come kiss his cheek. Now, you walk out and also you placed your arm around him during “Last Child,” and you introduce him as the critical child. And he feels you, and you feeling him. That’s the means it need to have always been.”