AEROSMITH lead singer Steven Tyler‘s rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” at the 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.” Tylerwas also ridiculed for having a teleprompter nearby — apparently in case he forgot the words.
“I don’t know. As I said before, I put emphasis on, ‘In the land of the free’ and I went up,” Tyler explained to the Associated Press. “Oddly enough I hit the note so I don’t know what they are talking about. I emphasized ‘free’ which was for freedom. It was well thought out prior to. I wasn’t messing with American tradition.”
“That song is a bitch,” Tyler‘s AEROSMITH bandmate Joe Perry told 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 last 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.