Steven Tyler returned to the stage October 26th, only two days after he was hospitalized following a fall in his Paraguay hotel room. The 63 year-old Aerosmith front-man was forced to postpone the show at the Jockey Club in Asuncion, Paraguay by one day while he recovered from what was described by hotel bellboy Gustavo Perez as a "nasty fall."
Official reports blame the fall on a severe bout of food poisoning, but speculation has been rampant that the notorious former drug addict may have fallen off the wagon. Tyler spent much of the 70's and 80's in a downward spiral of drug and alcohol abuse, while Aerosmith's commercial success waned. The band famously got sober together in 1986, resulting in a commercial and critical resurgence over the next 20 years.
In 2008, however, it was reported that Steven Tyler was seeking treatment for an addiction to prescription painkillers that he began taking after multiple surgeries left him in intense pain. In a statement released at the time, Tyler said:
"The 'foot repair' pain was intense, greater than I'd anticipated. The months of rehabilitative care and the painful strain of physical therapy were traumatic. I really needed a safe environment to recuperate where I could shut off my phone and get back on my feet."
In 2009, Aerosmith were forced to cancel the remainder of their tour after Tyler fell from the stage in Sturgis, North Dakota, breaking his shoulder and injuring his head and neck.
When asked by "Today Show" host Matt Lauer about speculation that he's no longer sober, Tyler had this to say:
"Being in the program, it's something we have to expect. People thinking that is natural and normal. We flew last night from Paraguay after that incident and we're in Argentina for two hours. And anyone who knows anyone who uses substances wouldn't be up at this hour having a talk with Matt Lauer and the rest of America. It's nothing I don't understand. It makes me a little upset. But people think that."
Lauer replied, "So you're clean and sober? That's not the issue?"
"No, it's not the issue." Tyler insisted.
After last night's performance, lead guitarist Joe perry tweeted:
"Steven even played harp with his busted lip. My mind was blown. He put on one of his best shows ever. Aerosmith rocks on. Gotta hand it to Steven for playing the show tonight considering how sick was from food poisoning the night before. He's amazing."