Aerosmith sacks manager who revived band's fame, sobriety

August 02, 1996|By Steve Morse and Jim Sullivan | Steve Morse and Jim Sullivan,BOSTON GLOBE

BOSTON -- Tim Collins, who managed Aerosmith for 12 years and helped revive the band's career and steer its members to sobriety, was fired Wednesday by the band during a 14-minute meeting at the Four Seasons Hotel.

Collins led the group out of a drug-wracked tailspin in the mid-'80s to become one of the most highly paid rock bands, signed to a $50 million contract with Sony.

"They're great entertainers, but I had a definite vision, and they told me today that they don't share that vision," Collins said after the meeting.

He said they no longer wanted to be urged to support his social causes, which have included lobbying for sobriety and for First Amendment rights.

"I think the band felt pushed on social agendas," he said. He added that another sore point was that band members didn't like his telling them to record more songs for an album they thought was finished, though Sony agreed with him.

(The as-yet-untitled album has been postponed from a September release to Nov. 24.)

Meanwhile, Aerosmith will manage itself and has installed guitarist Joe Perry as chairman of the board.

"I really can't say anything at this point. It's too fresh, and we're just formulating exactly what we want to say," bassist Tom Hamilton said yesterday.

The inevitable question is whether some Aerosmith members have backslid into drugs.

"It's a big question, isn't it?" Collins said. "There's a certain element in the group that hasn't totally chosen sobriety."

Hamilton laughed when asked whether members are using drugs again. "'Oh no! They're shooting up again!' he said, mockingly. "No. You can say everybody in the band is healthy and psyched about the new record."

"Since this is an issue between Aerosmith and management, we don't comment on such," said a Sony Records representative.

Rumors leaked in recent days that Collins and Aerosmith were on the outs.

Despite his firing, however, Collins seems assured of finding comparable work.

"I've had five offers this week," said Collins. He wouldn't divulge them, but sources said that two are from international bands and one is from a multinational record company.

xTC "Tim Collins will prosper and succeed, because he's driven by honesty," said Larry Moulter, former president of the FleetCenter who is now president of Bob Woolf Associates. "There will always be someone who will want to manage Aerosmith, but there's only one Tim Collins."

Collins, 42, started with Aerosmith 12 years ago, having managed Perry for two years before that.

"Joe was living on my couch as a heroin addict," said Collins, who has admitted that he had a hard-drug problem at that time as well.

As for Aerosmith, he said, "When I came in, they were dying, emaciated, millions of dollars in debt and had 32 lawsuits." Aerosmith's record sales have since jumped from 400,000 copies of "Done with Mirrors" to 14.5 million of "Get a Grip."

"I don't want to hurt Aerosmith. I think they're the greatest rock 'n' roll band in the world," Collins said. "I hope they connect with the right energy and the right people."

Pub Date: 8/02/96

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