Thursday, August 6, 2009

Aerosmith's Tyler Hospitalized After Fall From Stage In Sturgis

Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler has been hospitalized after injuring his head, neck and shoulder in a fall from a concert stage in South Dakota, a spokesman for the venue said on Thursday.

Tyler, 61, accidentally stepped off a runway near the main stage while the band was performing Wednesday night at Buffalo Chip Campground in Sturgis, South Dakota, concert spokesman Michael Sanborn said.

Tyler, 61, fell several feet while entertaining the crowd by dancing around as the sound crew replaced a fuse that blew during the song "Love in an Elevator," said Mike Sanborn, spokesman for the Buffalo Chip Campground, which hosted the Wednesday night concert. An amateur video showed him spinning around before falling off the stage.

A concertgoer said Tyler's head was bleeding and he was holding his shoulder after the fall, but it wasn't immediately clear how seriously he was hurt. The frontman was airlifted to Rapid City Regional Hospital, Sanborn said, the only major hospital in western South Dakota. A hospital spokeswoman would not confirm whether Tyler was there, and a representative for Aerosmith's publicity firm said the company was gathering information about the accident.

The band's next concert, which was scheduled for Friday in Winnipeg, Manitoba, was postponed. On June 28, Tyler hurt his leg at a concert in Uncasville, Conn., and the band had to postpone seven shows in July. Tyler also battled pneumonia before the tour began in June, while guitarist Joe Perry fought a knee infection.

Many in the crowd were surprised and thought it was part of the act, said Jessica Kokesh, a University of South Dakota journalism student who covered the concert for the Rapid City Journal.

"We thought maybe he stage-dived into the crowd, but he didn't get back up," Kokesh said. "I thought he was falling back to crowd surf

Tyler landed on a couple of fans, Sanborn said, and security rushed to help him. Sanborn did not immediately return a call Thursday evening about exactly how high the catwalk was. The crowd cheered when Tyler got up.

"There was like a big sigh, a collective 'Whoa' from everybody," said Chuck Baker, 53, of Denver, who was about 20 rows from the stage when Tyler fell.

The rocker was taken backstage, where a physician attended to him. Later, Perry told the audience the show would not go on.

"It was an unfortunate end to an extraordinary evening," Sanborn said.

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