Don't blame Aerosmith lead singer Steven Tyler for his current marital split.
Over the weekend, Tyler announced that he was separating from his second wife, Teresa Barrick, who is the mother of his two youngest kids, Chelsea and Taj.
No reason was given for what seemed like surprising news. But I've known since before the Grammys that all was not well in the Tyler household.
Fans of Aerosmith noticed that Tyler attended the Grammys without Teresa, but with their kids. This was considered unusual, since Teresa usually accompanies her husband to awards shows in her trademark flamboyant outfits.
Several sources had phoned in the news that Teresa was busy spending a lot of time with a new friend, the contractor who had been doing repairs on the family's suburban Boston home.
In fact, it's Teresa Tyler, and not Steven, who apparently had a midlife crisis, leaving the rocker to figure out the meaning of his wife's new penchant for rap music and her driving a flashy new truck around Beantown.
Like me, I'm sure you would have thought Tyler was to blame for this marriage's end. But I'm told that the 56-year-old has been busy spending time with his first grandchild, Milo, the son of his eldest daughter, Liv, and working on a solo album. He is said to have been quite shocked when the reality of Teresa's extracurricular relationship hit him, sources told me.
Tyler married the former Teresa Barrick after meeting her in a recording studio — or so the story goes — in 1982. She was with her twin sister, Lisa, who has been an omnipresent factor in Tyler's life since then.
In Aerosmith's authorized biography, "Walk This Way," Tyler's recollection of the first meeting may have been an omen:
"Her twin sister Lisa was friends with this guy. ... who was a professional dealer. He ended up handcuffed and dead with his veins full of battery acid. ... I always had a thing for twins. I started paying a lot of attention to Teresa. My god! I offered her my drugs. Teresa goes very deep with me."
You may wonder, as many have, what the heck is going on over at the new Warner Music Group.
You also may wonder how the record business is in such turmoil. Staffs have been cut and sales are way down. Good acts aren't getting signed and old acts are being released from label deals.
A recently published SEC filing may shed some light on these issues.
After Edgar Bronfman and his investors bought the company from Time Warner, few chart hits were registered, but over 1,000 people were let go. The hits the company did have — with Green Day, Linkin Park and Josh Groban — were left-over acts signed by the prior Warner management.
Now it turns out that even if the hits aren't coming, new Warner execs are enjoying the fruits of their predecessors' labors. The recent SEC filing shows that for the year ending Sept. 30, 2004, the company had $7 million in operating income.
For the same period of time, the top five execs in management received a total of $22 million in salaries and bonuses.
The funny thing is, 1,000 people employed at a nice salary of $100,000 apiece would come to only $10 million. In other words: Keeping the laid-off workers and halving the execs' pay would have balanced the whole thing out nicely. I'm sure the execs wouldn't have minded.
Ironically, one of the top earners was Lyor Cohen, the company's new president. His bonus of $5,238,839 and salary of exactly $1 million is enough to cover the damages he was ordered to pay last year in a judgment won by TVT Records against him and his former employer, Universal Records.
Originally the damage award was for $132 million, with Cohen responsible for half. But an appeals court cut that down to a more manageable $3 million.
Cohen claimed he didn't make that kind of money — but thanks to his new bosses, he has it.
The other top earners at the new Warner Music Group were Edgar Bronfman Jr., Paul-Rene Albertini, Les Bider and David H. Johnson.
And if you're wondering how the Warner group is feeling about its future, they list some "risk factors" for potential investors. You'd think that for $22 million, the outlook might be a little rosier. But guess again. Bronfman et al are into the undersell, so don't get your hopes up.
Among the highlighted risks:
— Our internal controls over financial reporting may not be adequate and our independent auditors may not be able to certify as to their adequacy, which could have a significant and adverse effect on our business and reputation.
— Our outside auditors have identified weaknesses in our internal controls that could affect our ability to ensure timely and reliable financial reports.
— The recorded music industry has been declining and may continue to decline, which may adversely affect our prospects and our results of operations.
— There may be downward pressure on our pricing and our profit margins.
— Our prospects and financial results may be adversely affected if we fail to identify, sign and retain artists and songwriters and by the existence or absence of superstar releases and by local economic conditions in the countries in which we operate.
— We may have difficulty addressing the threats to our business associated with home copying and Internet downloading.
— Organized industrial piracy may lead to decreased sales.
— Our Restructuring Plan may not be successful and may adversely affect our business.
— Our involvement in intellectual property litigation could adversely affect our business.
— We may be unable to compete successfully in the highly competitive markets in which we operate and we may suffer reduced profits as a result.
Not listed under risks: The company is reportedly buying half of Sean "P. Diddy" Combs' Bad Boy Entertainment for $30 million. That label had one hit album last year, but Warner reportedly feels Bad Boy has a lot of potential.
Me, I'm putting my money in empty jars down in the basement.
As of today, "Meet the Fockers" has grossed an astonishing $390 million worldwide.
According to boxofficemojo.com, the film has taken in around $273 million in the U.S. alone, which is over $100 million more than its predecessor, "Meet the Parents."
Not bad, considering the budget was $80 million for a top-line cast including Robert De Niro, Dustin Hoffman, Ben Stiller and Barbra Streisand, who were probably each paid around $15 million. Second-stringers Blythe Danner and Teri Polo probably got around $5 million, with sizeable bequests to director Jay Roach and writer John Hamburg.
Ironically, "Meet the Fockers" is one of the few sequels ever to top its first chapter. "Meet the Parents" made only — and I say only advisedly in relation to the second movie — $160 million domestically and an equal amount overseas.
So what was the difference? The additions of Streisand and Hoffman cannot be overlooked, can they? Streisand hasn't starred in a comedy since 1979's "The Main Event" with Ryan O'Neal.
If you're thinking that's a long time ago, you're right — 26 years ago to be exact. Two whole generations of moviegoers have grown up thinking of her as either a cross-dressing yeshiva student ("Yentl"), a lunatic ("Nuts"), a shrink ("The Prince of Tides") or Lauren Bacall's annoying daughter ("The Mirror Has Two Faces").
"Meet the Fockers" does a lot for Hoffman, too, who otherwise found himself this season trying to make sense of "I Heart Huckabees," an incoherent comedy in which he and Lily Tomlin manage to stay one step ahead of a brutally all-star cast. His other role, in "Finding Neverland," was smallish, though nothing to be embarrassed about.
Both Hoffman and Streisand should also have nice paydays on the "back end," as they say, of "Fockers," with bonus checks going to them and the other principals.
For Streisand, this is the first real movie money she's seen in years and years. That could be bad news for her concert fans, since Babs hates to tour. She may realize it's easier to make screwball comedies than it is to schlep all over the country singing every night for $350 a ticket.
If so, she'd do well to reconvene with Peter Bogdanovich, director of her best comedy, "What's Up, Doc?" They don't make 'em like that anymore.