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Joe Perry

Grudging Acceptance

of 'American Idol'

1/17/2012 9:10 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF

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Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry seems to finally get it ... Steven Tyler's gig on "American Idol" is good for the band.

Perry was at LAX yesterday when he was asked how he felt about Tyler returning to "A.I." as a judge. Perry replied, "It's tough having your lead singer have a day job .. but ya know, what can you do?"

But when asked if he would ever PERFORM on the show ... Perry said, "Yeah, that could probably happen."

It's a big change for Perry ... who slammed the show back in 2010 as an advertising machine that's only "one step above Ninja Turtles."

So why is Perry coming around on Idol? Might have something to do with Aerosmith planning to release a new album in May ... and some PR on the "Idol" machine could have a huge impact on sales.

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