Joe Perry Defends Steven Tyler's National Anthem Performance

Aerosmith lead singer Steven Tyler's rendition of "The Star-Spangled Banner" at AFC title game was blasted online.

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According to, Aerosmith lead singer Steven Tyler's rendition of "The Star-Spangled Banner" at Sunday's (January 22) AFC title game between the New England Patriots and the Baltimore Ravens was blasted online, with one fan writing on Twitter, "Steven Tyler's national anthem before the Patriots/Ravens game couldn't have been any worse if John Madden farted it through a harmonica." Tyler was also ridiculed for having a teleprompter nearby - apparently in case he forgot the words.

"That song is a b-tch," Tyler's Aerosmith bandmate Joe Perry tells the National Post. "They should just get one guy, like an opera singer, who delivers the song exactly the same way when you see the American flag or the Canadian flag, so no one messes with it. Why can't somebody interpret it the way that they want?"

Perry said that Tyler flew from his home in Los Angeles, after attending two funerals, to sing the national anthem and that his Aerosmith lead singer meant no disrespect.

"He's got a one-in-a-million voice and people are lucky to hear it," said Perry. "Give me a break, he's a rock singer. He's using the tools that he's got."

The singer's previous performance of the national anthem, at a Boston Bruins hockey game in 2010, came under fire when he mumbled or mispronounced some of the lyrics, and his 2001 performance at the Indianapolis 500 was panned when he changed the line "home of the brave" to "home of the Indianapolis 500".

Tyler returned earlier this month to "American Idol" for his second season on the panel of judges.

He and the rest of Aerosmith have been working on a new studio album, which is tentatively set for release this spring.

20 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Exactly. Why can't it be open to interpretation? The song should be about how one interprets it and their love for their country, no? Don't change the lyrics or anything, but don't get all upset because not everyone that sings it is some, as Perry said, opera singer. Good for him for standing by his bandmate's side. For a song that says "The land of the free", people are sure bitchy about people singers that try to stray away from how it's always done.
    "Give me a break, he's a rock singer. He's using the tools that he's got." Uhuhuhuh uhuhuhu...tool...uhuhuhhuh (Butt Head voice)
    Trent Armitage
    I honest to god think that no one expected anything extraordinary from this. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't like I was expecting something amazing when I watched it.
    ive got to say, i didnt see a problem. although it would have been so much better if they jut got all of aerosmith to play it
    I gotta ask.... what the hell did people expect to hear when they heard Steven Tyler sing the national anthem? How could he have done it in any different way? Did people expect him to suddenly have a completely different voice once he started singing or something? He sang the song, hit every note, got every word right and did it in the style he's been singing in his entire career, I don't see the problem
    I think people are very easy to bash singers when it comes to singing the national anthem. Pretty much any celebrity that comes in singing it gets bashed like "oh they didn't sing it as well as they should." The only person that deserved it was Aguilera cuz she forgot the lyrics at one point.
    Roxxie Roxx
    I think it not just "not bad" but really good. National anthems all sound pretty much the same. All dramatic and opera like. Now there is nothing wrong at all with opera but I much prefer Rock. If I was king I'd change the national anthem to one sang more like how Steve tyler just sang.
    Want to hear someone sing the national anthem badly? Listen to me sing it. Want to hear Steven Tyler sing it like Steven Tyler would? Listen to his rendition from the game. Nothing wrong with it whatsoever. And yes, his voice is getting tired. Saw Aerosmith last year, and it had certainly gone downhill from when I first saw them in the late '90s (when, by the way, his voice was still incredible). But frankly, Steven Tyler's voice at 50% is still better than 90% of the rock singers out there.
    I thought it was alright until the part at the end when he screamed yeah just after the land of the free line but im not american so maybe its not a big deal to me.
    sandi st
    Look.... this is Steven Tyler, one in a million voice!! He ROCKS!! He was awesome... so get over it!!! I love Steven Tyler,this is such bullshit!
    Steven Tyler can sing the national anthem however he so chooses. It's in the constitution for Christ's sake, the first amendment
    This wasn't spectacular, but it wasn't "Madden farting in a harmonica". It just was. I think people should be happier that they got one of rock's more talented musicians to sing instead of an "artist" everyone hates but is still mysteriously popular.
    vikkyvik wrote: Want to hear someone sing the national anthem badly? Listen to me sing it.
    This. I'll be more than happy to give them a real reason to complain.
    I don't care HOW you wanna sing it as long as you aren't flat on half the freakin' notes, Mr. Tyler.
    Sorry, that is fantasy. I have perfect pitch, and he hit every single note perfectly with zero glissando, except for two early on, and in those cases the gliss was probably intentional. The last singer who could hit notes that dead on was Nat King Cole, and he's been out of the game for decades. What people are interpreting as "botched" is that they are not comfortable with a strong rock voice interpretation. A "screech" is a part of typical heavy rock technique, and he is courageous enough not to rely on expected technique, which is what makes him the best front man (DL Roth included). If you want technique (but no real talent or soul) get Wayne Brady to sing it next time.
    I would like to see any one of those who complained get up in from of millions and sing it any better.
    Icarus Lives
    I find it really horrible and tistasteful that they flew a BOMBER over the field after the anthem was sung. Murderers.