Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler didn’t know who Janie was or why she had gun nearly thirty years ago when he wrote the title to the hit song, “Janie’s Got a Gun.” However, her identity and story became very clear when Tyler entered rehab in the ’80s to battle his drug and alcohol addictions.
Steven Tyler opened up to People about how his past addictions led to his charity, Janie’s Fund, that provides support and resources for abused girls. The rocker turned country artist said he lived a reckless life full of drugs and alcohol during the ’70s once Aerosmith gained fame. “Then the ’80s came and I fell to my knees with my addictions,” revealed Tyler.
— JaniesFund (@JaniesFund) May 9, 2016
When Steven Tyler was in a rehab center in Tuscon, Arizona, he met many women who were dealing with the pain of abuse. Janie, the fictional character who shot her father to escape his abuse, became a voice for these women.
“Seven out of 10 girls that came through that facility had suffered from physical or sexual abuse. It was staggering. That’s where the rest of the lyrics came from.”
Steven Tyler to play NYC’s Lincoln Center May 2nd to benefit Janie’s Fund!
— Aerosmith (@Aerosmith) April 4, 2016
Steven Tyler teamed with the Youth Villages organization to launch Janie’s Fund late last year on the 26th anniversary of “Janie’s Got a Gun.” Tyler told People, “I think this is what I was born to do.” The 68-year-old hosted a benefit concert in honor of the charity on May 2, in New York City before he heads out on his summer tour. Survivors of abuse were invited to attend the event as his special guests.
Tyler, who has three daughters and a son, said, “It’s hard when you have your own children, listening to kids who didn’t have a childhood.” Tyler hopes to help the Janies of the world as they face the challenge of overcoming abuse and neglect. His goal is “to bring attention to these poor girls so then can get help before it’s too late.”
— Pat Lawler (@YVPatLawler) May 3, 2016
In a press release announcing the project last year, Steven Tyler explained how Janie’s Fund will bring awareness and a voice to the victims of physical and sexual abuse.
“As a father and grandfather, I want to focus my energy on things that really matter and leave behind something else in this crazy world along with my music. I am starting Janie’s Fund to give a voice to the millions of victims who haven’t had one and encourage everyone to join me on this mission.”
— Fox News (@FoxNews) May 8, 2016
Steven Tyler is also offering one speed demon out there the opportunity to own the world’s fastest convertible in support of Janie’s Fund. Tyler has put his “bad***,” insanely fast, very rare Hennessey Venom GT Spyder up for auction, according to Fox News.
The 270 MPH machine is one of only 12 in the entire world and Tyler set the opening bid at $1.1 million. While Tyler said he’s only taken the car to a mere 140 mph, he promises “It’s incredibly fast, it’s crazy, it drives well.”
Hear more about Janie’s Fund from Steven Tyler himself in the video below.
As USA Today reports, Steven Tyler will kick off his 19-city Out on a Limb solo tour on June 2, in Las Vegas. The tour will differ from any Tyler has done before, opting for more intimate venues that will better allow him to connect with fans and share stories behind some of his songs — like the one surrounding “Janie’s Got a Gun.”
[Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for M2M Construction]