Occasional Aerosmith frontman and new American Idol liability Steven Tyler has addressed those longstanding rumors surrounding his audition for a reunited Led Zeppelin in 2008, saying that he was actually offered the job of filling in for abstaining singer Robert Plant, but that he flatly turned it down. Appearing on Howard Stern’s show, Tyler rejected earlier claims—propagated by his bandmate Joe Perry—that his audition for Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones, and Jason Bonham had been “shambolic,” with Tyler forgetting many of the words and generally embarrassing himself. Instead, Tyler claims the audition was really a hit, with Tyler bringing the sort of infusion of fresh young energy that only a 60-year-old singer could provide, and the whole thing going so well that Page immediately asked him, “You want to make a record with me?” Yet in Tyler’s words, “I looked Jimmy in the eyes… I went, 'No.' I'm in Aerosmith. He's in the biggest band in the world and I'm in a band like that. I have such an allegiance to my band and I love it so much." Ah, well, at least you didn’t waste anyone’s time, then.
Tyler refusing the job seems like an unfortunate choice, given that it was only about a year later that Tyler left Aerosmith to focus on “Brand Tyler” anyway—and an odd one, considering his loyalty to Aerosmith apparently extends to turning down singing with “the biggest band in the world,” but not to giving them a heads up that he might be spending the next six months spouting platitudes on a reality show. Even more unfortunate is that this may have been all for naught, considering his relationship with Perry seems to be once again on the rocks, now that “Brand Tyler” is essentially a scarf-and-cliché pile shrieking at all the 16-year-old girls it’s not currently eye-fucking: “Joe is missing in action,” Tyler said of his recent attempts to get the band together and “write some shit” in between his TV duties. “I texted him 20 minutes ago. 'Hey, Joe: Where are you?' He's angry with me for what? Because I took fuckin' Idol? What a crock of shit." Maybe once Perry hears how Tyler totally spurned Led Zeppelin for him he’ll come around.