Was Steven Tyler sober when he fell and broke his teeth in a hotel bathroom in Paraguay?
The 63-year-old Aerosmith rocker and "American Idol" judge, who has been treated for substance abuse in the past, says he passed out in the shower after suffering from food poisoning. He spoke about the incident via telephone on NBC's "Today" show on Thursday, October 27.
When asked by host Matt Lauer if he had fallen off the wagon, Tyler said: "Being in the program that I'm in, it's something that we have to accept. I went public with my problems only to address them straight on. So people thinking that is natural and normal."
"We flew last night from Paraguay after that incident and we're in - where are we now? Argentina - for two hours," he added. "If anybody knows anybody that used substances, they wouldn't be up the hour after having a talk with Matt Lauer and the rest of America. It's nothing that I don't understand. I get that people think that. It still bothers me a little but it's something that I have to deal with for the rest of my life."
"But you're clean and sober, that's not the issue?" Lauer asked Tyler, who then replied: "No it's not the issue."
Tyler said in March that he has been sober for about a year and a half. He and Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry were once dubbed "the Toxic Twins" due to their drug and alcohol abuse, especially in the 1970s and 1980s. Tyler's latest stint in rehab came in late 2009, when he was treated for an addiction to prescription painkillers resulting from 10 years of performance injuries.
'AEROSMITH ROCKS ON'
After his fall on Tuesday, Tyler received stitches at a hospital and underwent emergency dental work, during which he received two implants to replace his broken teeth. The incident prompted Aerosmith to postpone a planned concert in Paraguay by a day.
"It was the second show in South America and it just so happened that I got that - what's it called, when you eat something - Montezuma's revenge," Tyler said on the "Today" show. "I passed out. I was in the shower and I got nauseous and I started to get sick and I just fell on my face. I woke up with the water running, wondering where the hell I was."
"The next thing you know, my tour manager was calling the American embassy and we found the best hospital," he said. "They stitched up my eye, they did a little plastic surgery and they fixed my tooth, all in one fell swoop."
Tyler performed with Aerosmith at the Jockey Club in Asuncion, Paraguay the following day.
"Wore my sunglasses through the first song, took them off and the crowd roared because they knew that I'd fallen down. I just figured, it's all about playing to the people. We rocked. We broke the house record. Not only did I break my face but the next night, we broke the house record."
Perry praised Tyler, saying on his Twitter page that he "put on one of his best shows ever" after his injury.
"Gotta hand it to Steven for playing the show tonight considering how sick was from food poisoning the night before," the guitarist Tweeted. "He's amazing. Steven even played harp with his busted lip. My mind was blown. Aerosmith rocks on."
The rock band, known for hits such as "Dream On," "Don't Want To Miss A Thing" and "Cryin'," is scheduled to tour South and Central America and Japan through December. Tyler has been working with the group on new music and said in September that a new Aerosmith album could be released as early as March 2012. It would mark the band's first major record in about eight years.
Tyler is also set to soon resume his duties as one of three judges on the FOX show "American Idol." Earlier this year, he had signed a multi-year contract, reportedly worth $18 million, to return to the show for his second season. The reality show debuted in 2002. Season 11 is set to premiere in January 2012.
Check out two fan-made videos of Aerosmith performing its hits "I Don't Want To Miss A Thing" and "Cryin'" at the Jockey Club in Paraguay on Wednesday below.