David "Bagel" Ungar/FilmMagic
Steven Tyler says that in thousands of concerts he's only fallen off the stage four times – but this last one was worthy of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
"I landed upside down, and after twenty stitches on the back of my head, and a broken left shoulder, I just want to say that I'm plain grateful that I didn't break my neck!" the 61-year-old Aerosmith lead singer said Thursday in his first comments since last week's accident
that left him with a broken left shoulder and 20 stitches on the back of his head.
Tyler said everything seemed to be going perfectly at the Aug. 5 show in Sturgis, S.D., where after a storm caused a one-hour delay, "Tens of thousands of my biker buddies were ready to rock!" He called it "one of the best shows we've played in a long time! The band was slammin' and I was lovin' every minute of it!"
The first trouble came when the fuses on the equipment blew and the sound went down in the middle of the song "Love In an Elevator." "Well, I wasn't gonna go hide under the big top and play 'ROCK STAR' and wait for everything to be fixed," he said in his statement. "I wanted to go out to the crowd to continue the show ... so, the Train Kept A-Rollin' and I ran out on the cat walk and grabbed my mic to finish the song."
That's when things got out of hand. "I was doing the Tyler shuffle and then I zigged when I should have zagged ... AND I slipped, and as I live on the edge ... I fell off the edge!" he said, expressing relief that he survived the ordeal.
Tyler thanked fans "for your love and support" and paid tribute to the band's crew and the venue's staff "for taking care of me in a time of need," as well as the police department and the helicopter crew "for getting me outta there before I bled to death."
He also thanked "all the doctors and nurses at the Rapid City Hospital for putting my Humpty Dumpty ass back together again."
"And most of all ... I want to thank the angel on my shoulder," he said. "Looking forward to seeing all of you very soon."