Steven Tyler on Sobriety: 'Life Is Good'

Plus: The American Idol judge answers reader questions about his family, an alternate career and his signature scarves

Photo: Most Wanted/Flynet

Now that the new season of American Idol has finally begun, the question of what newcomers Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez would be like as judges has been answered. (A summary? He’s a little naughty, she’s especially nice.) “I’m not into flambéing,” says the Aerosmith frontman, 62, “but I didn’t fight my way to the top of the food chain to be a vegetarian.”

For PEOPLE readers, plenty of other queries remain. You asked, Tyler answered:

Reports in the media have said you had some health issues this past year. How are you feeling?
B. Tharp from Lebanon, Ohio
“I’m on fire. I finished my book, Does the Noise in My Head Bother You?, I’m doing Idol and I just celebrated a year sober. Life is good.”

I am sure contestants will be covering Aerosmith songs. What are your thoughts on that?
Karen Thomas from Cranberry Twp., Pa.
“It’s a bad idea. I could find a little room to stretch in any song, but when they do your own you get to be a bit more critical. You’re not going to sway me doing one of my songs.”

Your father [Vic Tallarico] taught me music at Cardinal Spellman High School in the Bronx. How does he feel about you on Idol?
Sabrina Repetti-Oliva from New Providence, N.J.
“I’ll tell my dad you say hello. He’s 94 and he loves it. And my kids [Liv, 33; Mia, 32; Chelsea, 21; and Taj, 19] are really proud. They love just about everything I do. They know that no matter what it is, I’m going to have so much fun with it that it’s gonna come out great.”

Ever thought what your life would be like if you weren’t famous?
Lexy T. Aztec, N.M.
“I’d be a piano tuner or a landscaper, or in one of those lookout posts in the woods with Smokey the Bear. I wanted to be a conservationist.”

Where do you buy your signature scarves that you wrap around your microphone?
Kylie Cooper Odinville, Ala.
“A designer makes my stage clothes, so when they get some fabric, I usually take that. The scarves on my mic stand in the early ’70s were my ragged clothes. If my judge’s mic had a longer neck, I’d tie a scarf to it.”

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