RAPID CITY, South Dakota – Rock legend Steven Tyler of Aerosmith suffered head, neck and shoulder injuries in a tumble from the stage at an outdoor concert and joked about the fall as he was loaded into the helicopter to be taken to a hospital, a concert spokesman said Thursday.
Tyler, 61, whose performances often include swaying and grinding on microphone stands adorned with scarves, fell while entertaining the crowd by dancing around after the sound system failed during the song "Love In an Elevator," said Mike Sanborn, spokesman for the Buffalo Chip Campground, which hosted the concert.
"He was good natured about it," Sanborn said. "He was in good spirits when he got in the helicopter. He was talking and joking with the physician."
Sanborn said it wasn't immediately clear how serious Tyler's injuries were and that he was taken to Rapid City Regional Hospital, the only major hospital in western South Dakota. A hospital spokeswoman would not confirm Thursday whether Tyler was there. A representative for the Mitch Schneider Organization, which represents Aerosmith, said the firm was in the process of gathering information about the accident at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.
"He does a lot of dancing on the stage and he does a lot of stuff with his mike stand. He put his stand down and twirled around and stepped backwards off the stage," Sanborn said.
Tyler fell onto a couple of fans in the crowd of thousands, Sanborn said. Security rushed to help him and the crowd cheered when Tyler got back up and he was taken backstage, where a physician attended to him.
Around 12:15 a.m., Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry came out to tell the audience Tyler was being taken to the hospital and that the show would not go on.
"It was an unfortunate end to an extraordinary evening," Sanborn said.
Jennifer Horton, Rapid City Regional Hospital's vice president of public relations and marketing, said early Thursday that Tyler wasn't in the hospital directory. Under the privacy laws, that means the person is either not there or chose not to be included in the directory, according to the hospital's Web site.
Tyler's publicist did not return several calls Thursday seeking comment.
Tyler, known for heavy hits such as "Walk This Way" and "Dream On," attended Sturgis last year to promote his Dirico Motorcycles line and was back this year to do that again and play at Buffalo Chip.
He was known for heavy drug and alcohol abuse in the 1970s and early 1980s. Every member of the blues-rock five-piece went to rehab in the mid-1980s, and staged an improbable comeback with the MTV generation. They were also inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
The Grammy-winning group is scheduled to play its next five shows in Canada, beginning Friday at the Canad Inns Stadium in Winnipeg. A stadium representative did not immediately respond to a phone inquiry asking whether the band had canceled that show, but an official with Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton, where the band is supposed to play Tuesday, said she hadn't heard anything about a possible cancellation there.
Fans in South Dakota were disappointed the concert was cut short but hoped Tyler wasn't seriously hurt.
Lance Yellow Robe, who said he was 8 feet (2 1/2 meters) from the stage when Tyler fell off, told the Rapid City Journal "you could kind of see it coming because he was dancing all over the stage.
"I hope he's OK," Yellow Robe said. "I could care less about the concert being canceled."