Aerosmith: Livin' on the Edge

After 40 tumultuous years together, Aerosmith is one of the last great American rock bands standing. Despite years of infighting and drug use, the band is still filling stadiums.

(CBS News) They are still rocking and still fighting 40 years later - the legendary American rock band Aerosmith. One reason Aerosmith is selling out stadiums is because its front man, Steven Tyler, has become an American Idol sensation. The other is because they still make great music, for which Tyler takes much credit. He tells Lara Logan: "I think my perfectionism and my busting everyone's chops is what got this band to where it is today." It's amazing the band is anywhere today. Decades of drug addiction, vicious arguments, and serious illness have destroyed many other bands of their generation, but Aerosmith rocks on.


The following script is from "Aerosmith" which aired on March 11, 2012. Lara Logan is the correspondent. John Hamlin, producer.

After 40 tumultuous years together, Aerosmith is one of the last great American rock bands standing. But by the standards of rock music, the band should be long gone. Survivors of legendary drug problems and vicious arguments, the kind of which have taken down so many other groups of their generation.

Yet, with the help of singer Steven Tyler's over-the-top personality and his job as a judge on American Idol, they remain one the most popular concert draws in music. With us, they discuss all of it -especially each other - with brutal honesty, perhaps even hurtful candor, rarely heard on the record.

They travel with their kids, wives, future wives, even ex-wives. At first glance, it looked like one big, happy, 40-year-old family. Twenty million dollars for 10 shows in South America brought them together, and they arrived in each country like conquering heroes.

Lara Logan: How good a band is Aerosmith today in 2012 compared to the last 40 years?

Steven Tyler: This band is better than it's ever been.

Tyler: It's not because I'm old now and the band's been around forever and it's our last tour. Bullshit. It's because this band's that good.

Their music is guitar driven and melodic, with lots of sexual innuendo.

Tyler: We're going out, and we're wowing 80,000 people. To do that and do it well is really an art form.

It's the clothes, the rock star posing, the energy...all longtime Aerosmith calling cards, four decades in motion.

Singer Steven Tyler is now 63. Lead guitarist Joe Perry, 61.

Logan: You've been described as the greatest American rock band. Is that how you feel?

Joe Perry: We've been around long enough that we have seniority. I don't know, there have been other bands that have been great, you know, and come and gone. But we're still here.

Backstage, all five members make accommodations for their age before every show: 61-year-old drummer Joey Kramer tapes his hands to prevent blisters. 60-year-old guitarist Brad Whitford gets help loosening up a tight shoulder and 60-year-old bassist Tom Hamiliton protects his precious hearing.

Logan: Without those would you be deaf by now?

Tom Hamilton: I went for a long time, you know, playing, you know, standing next to Joey, our drummer.

Logan: Is he really loud?

Tom Hamilton: Oh, he is horrendous.

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