Aerosmith's Steven Tyler and R&B bad girl Pink are a match made in rock-star heaven
Pink is Steven Tyler's favorite color. And he has a thing for feisty female singers. So it's no wonder that his favorite young artist right now is Pink--R&B's most florid bad girl. "My daughter Chelsea turned me on to her first record," says Tyler, 53. The two first met at a Zootopia concert in Uniondale, New York. "I was walking toward the stage, and Pink had just played," he says. "And she comes running over and said, 'I'm a fan.' I was so taken with her." So he went out and bought pink boots.
Tyler's got a lifetime of music experience on Pink, 21. The band Aerosmith was formed in 1970; Pink released her debut album, Can't Take Me Home, in 2000. Over the last three decades, Tyler has seen his band enter rock's vanguard, bow out in a drug haze and subsequently make a triumphant comeback ("Walk This Way," in 1986, with Run-D.M.C.). In January, Pink hit the Top 40--for the third time--with "You Make Me Sick." Aerosmith have skillfully plied their rock-star angst and excess in 30 videos, five of which have won MTV Video Music Awards. Pink has yet to win a moon man, though she has been nominated once (for Best New Artist).
But the pair; who are currently curled up together on a couch in Chicago's Ritz-Carlton, have plenty in common. Both have suffused their videos with unambiguous sex appeal (Pink's latest is "Lady Marmalade," with Christina Aguilera, Mya and Lil' Kim in slinky lingerie; Aerosmith's is "Fly Away From Here"). And both are first-class flirts.
TV GUIDE: Pink, do you remember watching Aerosmith on MTV as a kid?
PINK: Oh yeah. "Walk This Way." I thought "I'll be sharing a stage with him one day."
STEVEN TYLER: You make me blush.
TVG: You both have that effect on people. Is sex appeal an integral factor in your video making?
PINK: I didn't think so until I did "Lady Marmalade." It took two days for them to talk me into that outfit. I was ready to tell them to get another girl, but we had already done the track.
TYLER: But look how good you look in it.
PINK: I'm glad I did it. Believe it or not, I'm shy about my body. I'm very muscular. All the other girls are skinny and pretty and feminine, and I'm, like, spiked hair and combat boots. So it took me awhile.
TVG: What makes a video cool?
PINK: I like videos that have to do with what you're talking about. I hate when I see somebody talking about heartbreak and they're on a, like, carousel. It doesn't work for me. I'm not feeling your pain.
TYLER: Yes, music is visual. I used to get pissed off at this format where you had to put a picture to your song. Now, when I think of "Livin' on the Edge," I always think of that visual in the beginning with those girls skating down the street with hockey sticks, smashing windows.
PINK: God, that was my favorite video. The makeup you had on! Oh, my God.
TYLER: Demi Moore, when she was pregnant, had her body painted, naked, for the cover of Vanity Fair. And I got the artist, Joanne Gair, to paint me. Got naked and held myself in.
TVG: How long did it take to apply the makeup?
TYLER: About five hours. It was fun.
TVG: How many people were in the room?
TYLER: Just three. I had them close it down. People are always going to take that one shot of your [private parts], and they're going to use it in something. Plus I was embarrassed to hell.
TVG: Rock stars get embarrassed?
TYLER: Yeah, sure. Of course.
PINK: I like embarrassing people like that. Every time I have a new makeup artist working for me, I have to break them in. I take all my clothes off and just sit in the chair. "I'm ready."
TVG: When you do wear clothes, they're distinctive. Do the clothes make the rock star or does the rock star make the clothes?
PINK: What you wear is who you are.
TYLER: It always comes down to how you are in them. I got to look like a peacock!
TVG: You are both featured on MTV a great deal. How important is it to your career?
PINK: I loved MTV growing up. I got grounded for watching. It was too suggestive. But it was everything I knew one day I would be.