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January 18, 2011
'American Idol': Steven Tyler has lunch, then chats

Steven Tyler.jpg

By Leigh Grogan
lgrogan@sacbee.com

On a lunch break, Steven Tyler opened a call today with "American Idol" reporters by forgetting that he was actually on the line and asking, "Should I give a limerick? There once was a man from ..." (I can't print the rest!)

The conference call operator quickly told him he was "live." I love it. Already, before Season 10 of "American Idol" kicks off tomorrow night, Tyler is all about the levity. "Darlings, how are you?" he asked.

Tyler, 62, was a tad bawdy, but takes seriously his chores as one of the show's two new judges. Here's his sneak peek:

Q: OK, so what do you think you can do for "Idol" and vice versa?
Tyler: I'm not going in there to be a overly bearing judge. I'm bringing my Italian, the 40 years of being the front guy of Aerosmith who's judged the hell out of myself and the band. No more, no less. I'm looking for three things: can they sing, are they in pitch and do they have star quality - all folded into one.

Q: The show starts with the audition process. How did that go for you and do you regret any choices?
Tyler: I made some harsh comments the first week (we'll see that the opening nights). Only a couple contestants snapped back, "What do you mean?!" I admit I'm not versed in that type of judging. I couldn't say they were no good without substantiating it.

Q:Has the bad vibe been dialed down between you and Aerosmith? Any regrets there?
Tyler: I show my scars. But I have such an identity with this band. We've been writing. I have songs I've written for solo and Aerosmith. The guys are actually flying in for the show, then we'll be together Saturday. And we've got a tour planned for next November/Decenber that will take us to South America and Japan. he rumors about "Idol" getting in the way are just not true.

Q:Do you think, as a road dog, you can be as sympathetic for the contestant working in a gas station as the guy playing in a roadside tavern?
Tyler: I remember what it was like for me before I was allowed in a club. Those scars gave me character. I want to know where they've sung. In church? Then I know they got a great sense of blues or melody.

Q: One of your songs, "I Don't Want To Miss a Thing," has been performed over and over on "Idol." Do you want a moratorium on it?
Tyler: During auditions at least 15 or 16 contestants sang it. That and a song by Pink. Someone at home must have told them, 'Hey sing that, Tyler will love it!' That song is tough, especially with no accompaniment. But, if any of the Top 20 sing it, it should be good.

Q: How long have you signed up for this gig?
Tyler: I have more than a one-year contract.

One thing's for sure, Tyler isn't a replacement for Simon Cowell, nor should he want to be. He certainly won't be sporting ill-fitting shirts! The show airs at 8 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday nights on FOX40 (KTLX, Channel 40).

Check back here for audition updates and feel free to comment. Let's get the "Idol" chatter going!

PHOTO CREDIT: Steven Tyler yucks it up with co-judge Jennifer Lopez in L.A. Chris Pizzello/Associated Press

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