During the writing process, they think of how they would perform the song live, "and usually, if it feels good, we're going to finish the song," Perry said
"The bottom line is fans just want to hear a good song," he said. "Some people will look underneath to see who wrote it, but they just want to hear a good song. And if they don't hear it, they're not going to buy it just because you wrote it."
Still, Tyler and Perry never won a Grammy for songwriting. Aerosmith's four trophies are all for performing.
That's why the two men are deeply touched by these latest honors. Past recipients of the ASCAP Founders Award include Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young and Tom Waits. The Songwriters Hall of Fame includes artists such as Johnny Cash, Marvin Hamlisch, Elton John and Mick Jagger.
"Writing songs is like panning for gold. It's like sifting through life and you look for a little nugget, and if you hit on it, you're really lucky," Tyler said. "It's such an honor to be with those other songwriters. If I can use that as a template, that's where the honor lies."
Follow AP Entertainment Writer Sandy Cohen on Twitter at www.twitter.com/APSandy .
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