To celebrate the release of his autobiography Does The Noise In My Head Bother You?, we've picked through the sordid mass of sex, drugs and rock and roll to pull some choice quotes from the unreconstructed rock god's tome.
Steven Tyler on the cosmos:
"God is in the gaps between the synapses. Vibrating, pullulating (sic), pulsating. That's Eternity, baby."
"You can't go home again, you go back and it's not the same. It's all crazy, small. Gives you vertigo, trying to go back. Like if you went to visit your mom, walked into the kitchen, and she had a different face."
On evolution: "My family history - if you go back two hundred years ago - the Tallaricos were from the boot of Italy, Calabria. And before that? Albanians, Egyptians, Ethiopians. But let's face it, in the end, in the beginning, actually we're all Africans. You can't grow humans in cold weather."
On Mick Jagger comparisons:
"Somebody said, "Wow, you look like Mick Jagger!" And that was it...off and running! "You know what, I'm Chris, Mick Jagger's brovver." And I went with it like mad. Shot off and immediately lapsed into a Cockney accent. "Bloody bleedin'' poncey wanker, spot of Marmite, darlin'? Care for a leaper, mate? Ghastly weather we're 'avin, innit?"."
On Janis Joplin:
"Everybody used to think Mick was my hero, but I'll confess now ('cause that's what a memoir is for, right?) it was Janis. The scarves on the mic, the howl - inspired and perspired by pure 180-proof Joplin. She's bone deep and still makes me weep."
On band mate Joe Perry:
"We're polar twins. We're total opposites. Joe is cool, I'm hot, a sulphur sun beast, shooting my mouth off. JOE'S A CREEP...I'M AN ASSHOLE. He's the cowboy with the brim of his ten-gallon hat pulled down the Hell-it-don't-matter-none dude. But god-dammit, is he always going to win? Am I always going to be the one with egg on my face?"
On groupies and hygiene: "I'm very oral and I like clean. Back then, sure, you could've gotten gonorrhea, but with one shot of Penicillin - see ya. STDs were a dime store a dozen in those day. How do you avoid 'em? Screw 'em through Saran Wrap? Nah, if they washed, they were clean. As someone once said, "You ain't seen nuthin' till you're down on a muffin'"- and I'm no different."
On fame: "Fame is a bitch. You've probably heard that somewhere, but only because it's goddamn true. It's a riderless horse, it's a two-headed dog sniffing its own butt, a one-eyed cat peeking in a seafood store. And it's the absolute greatest generator of creative friction there is."
On groupies (again):
"One says, "Hello, boys, we're the Little Oral Annie Club." Well, beam me up, Scotty, says I.
Then she says, "Well, sir, we've taught each other how to give great head, so when we meet rock stars...we blow you like no man has been blown before." I think I can safely speak for all males of the species...this moment would have changed your religion."
On (more) groupies:
"The girl standing there in front of me was hot, not to mention very ambidextrous. She could bend over backward - my kinda girl - and she had a flat head where I could rest my beer."
On drug philosophy: "Aerosmith did drugs...drugs, drugs and more drugs. Can it take you down? Yes. did it take me (us) down? Well, we're still here. But it's also what life is all about. Watching whales breech; holding a baby bunny; getting a new puppy for Christmas...that feeling of GREAT. It's all humans really want."
On gender: "I've been misquoted as saying that I'm more female than male. Let me set the record straight - it's more half and half. What better to be like than the stronger of the species? I mean, women are the superior beings, are they not? Sure they male brings the food home, but can they birth children and feed them from their breast?"
On (yes, you've guessed it) groupies again:
"The first girl has her lip pierced with a four-foot chain hanging from it that's connected to the other girl's pierced clit. I said; "How you gonna feel my mouth?" The question was, at best, rhetorical. "Oh, I will," she smiled. They climbed on top of the billiard table and we commenced to play. Gave new meaning to the term pocket pool."
On stage drug consumption:
"Joe had vials of coke with straws in them at the back of the stage, and when the lights would go out he'd go over there and (assistant) Kelly would put the straw in his nose; he'd take a hit, then the lights would come on again. The coke bingeing got so bad and blatant to where we just laid our lines on top of the bass amps on the left side of the stage."
On LSD (Lead Singer Disease):
"The lead singer is the dancing bear, the cash cow, and sometimes that's hard for band members to handle. They know that there's no getting by without the front man. They sure have had fun making fun, but every time they point a finger at me, there's three of them fingers pointed right back at them."
On the beginning of the end:
"We were zombied out on Tuinals and smack. (Personal assistant) Kelly used to send the security guards to wake us up. Knock on our doors and if we didn't answer break them down. If we'd been up all night or up all week, okay, go in. Put us into the limos and out to the airport...that's how we used to get Joe and me on the road in the bad old day."
On the actual end of the band:
"I was so drunk, but I remember clearly being on the steps of the trailer, walking down and yelling at Joe, "You're fucking fired!" I don't even know where that Chairman of the Board voice came from. We were a gang, a unit. But I was just so angry. I never actually punched Joe, but that night I came really close."
On prescription drug addiction:
"Have you looked in any of your friends' medicine cabinets lately? You can get your drugs from your doctor and hide them from everyone. But it will start to dawn on you, maybe not until you're forty or fifty, that you're hooked. Your little sleep aids will turn on you. You began taking half an Ambien to go to sleep and now you're up to six a night?"
On not joining Led Zeppelin:
"I just didn't think a band like Led Zeppelin needed a singer like me. They already had the best; they were the best. Robert used to say, 'I think I could sing and shear a few sheep at the same time.' I can think of a few things I could do while singing but that ain't one of them. Maybe that was the problem."