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Steven Tyler Says Mick Jagger Comparisons Hurt

Steven Tyler, Mick Jagger
Pascal Le Segretain / Alberto E. Rodriguez, Getty Images

After 40 years with Aerosmith, Steven Tyler takes the long view on the group’s well-documented ups and downs. He’s comfortable with what the band have achieved in their career together. But that doesn’t mean the unfavorable comparisons to Mick Jagger from early in his career don’t still sting.

“The ‘cheap imitation of the Rolling Stones‘ criticism was constant,” Tyler tells Rolling Stone. “And it hurt for the first couple of years. It was constantly Mick Jagger this and Mick Jagger that — that I copied him, and Janis Joplin too. Mick was the cheapest, easiest shot.”

It took some time, but Aerosmith eventually proved the critics wrong. The band will receive the ASCAP Founders Award next week in Los Angeles, just after their induction into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. After years of personal and professional upheaval, Tyler says it’s about time his band finally received some credit.

“We’ve been strung out and sober,” he muses. “We’ve sold in, and we’ve sold out. Some days we didn’t even sell at all. What matters is we’re still together as a band.”

Next: Top 10 Aerosmith Songs of the '70s

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