Oprah Talks to Steven Tyler About His Hardest Battles and Greatest Loves
Steven: It's a little nook. It's a place that you can grab on to. There's so much God here. And so much life.
Oprah: It's really special when somebody lets you inside a space that truly is private and belongs to them. When you were growing up around here, was there a part of you that sensed this would be a place to come home to?
Steven: Definitely. I grew up with the smell of the lake and the feeling of the woods. This place is the true Steven. Then I left at 18, 19, to rock 'n' roll out. I wound up doing so many drugs that I thought I was taking this place with me, because every time I smoked a joint I felt like I was up on Mount Sunapee or underwater here, looking at the fish. I was trying to re-create it.
Oprah: May I say, after reading your book, I am surprised you're still alive. I don't know of another person who has taken more drugs than you.
Steven: It used to be cool to hear that. Now it kind of hurts.
Oprah: Are you surprised you're alive?
Steven: Yeah, I am. In a world of doing Madison Square Garden, coming off stage and getting pecked to death by chickens, it's a comfort to go sniff a little something. And so I just rode that beast. But this last run, two years ago, when I was falling asleep here in the pit—
Oprah: The pit being over there? [Points to a sunken sitting area in Steven's living room.]
Steven: The pit being right there. I was on Lunesta, which is a sleeping pill, and drugs for the pain in my feet because of some operations I had. And people would say, "You're gonna kill yourself; you're gonna be dead tomorrow."
Oprah: Weren't you snorting the Lunesta?
Oprah: Who snorts Lunesta?
Steven: One who is a snorter. If I'm going to do the drug...
Oprah: You want to get it into your system and get it in fast.
Oprah: What did drugs do for you that fame and money and adoration couldn't?
Steven: They made me feel like a rock star before I was one. Because I thought that's what rock stars did—fake it till you make it.
Oprah: You're two years sober now?
Steven: Yeah. I had 12 years before.
Oprah: And until you get back to that point—until you safely make it to 12 years again—is there always a fear that you might slip?
Steven: You know, I just have to keep it honest and open. 'Cause I do feel like doing things I used to do. It's called euphoric recall. I've got to be careful with that. But I'm so locked and loaded right now in AA and my 12-step program that I'm good.
Next: The truth about Steven's rock star life