Steven Tyler says he signed on as a judge of "American Idol," a show he had never watched, to defy his estranged bandmates.

The colorful 63-year-old singer, on the promotional trail for his new autobiography, "Does the Noise in My Head Bother You?," had to fight off a legal threat to toss him out of the band he co-founded 40 years ago so that he could join America's top-rated TV show this season.

"Did I take this job to show the band? F---, yeah," he said in a cover story for Rolling Stone magazine. "Not to show them, but that I can't be held hostage anymore. I will be my own hostage. The band can't throw me out."