I'm like a kid waiting for Santa Claus! I'm heading to Vegas at the end of June to see Aerosmith's Deuces are Wild residency show at the Park MGM, and I have a VIP stage ticket.
I was thinking about the times that I've seen the band perform in the past and there is one show in particular that stands out. This must have been around 2006 because it was the Rockin' The Joint tour and the venue was outdoors in North Carolina (Charlotte perhaps? I don't remember). The stage had a catwalk and was in a "T" configuration. Before I delve into the specifics, keep in mind that this was long before barricades existed around the stage, security personnel were posted every few feet in front of the musicians, etc. This was back when you could stand flush against the stage and actually touch the musicians. I would cut off the tip of my right pinky finger to live in those times again.
Back to 2006. Tyler was singing and strutting up and down the catwalk in his skin-tight pants when he came to the edge of the stage, leaned over, and started serenading a group of young women. One of the gals reached up and grabbed his package. I'm not talking UPS here, I mean the package...the family jewels...the hanging brain...Cracker Jacks...kerbangers...knackers. You get the picture; I know I sure did because I was standing right behind the female perpetrator.
You may be speculating that Tyler enjoyed it, but he didn't. He absolutely did not. He jumped backwards, scowled, and wagged his finger 'no-no' at the woman. The demon of screamin' was screamin' pissed!
Whenever I hear an Aerosmith song or read an interview with members of the band, I always picture that scene and wonder why it made Steven Tyler so angry. Was it because he was sexually molested (and in case you've been living under a rock, grabbing someone's junk is a punishable crime according to the Sexual Offences Act 2003 in the U.K. and ranges on a continuum of illegal activity from sexual misconduct to sexual battery to sexual assault in most states in America)? Or, was it because it distracted him and broke his concentration? Or, perhaps, did the woman grab hard enough to hurt Tyler? And, it could be all of the above. Regardless, I don't blame the singer because it was totally inappropriate and the violation visibly upset him.
I graduated from high school and college in the late 1980s (1986 and 1989, respectively)...the decade of decadence...and back then sexual misconduct was not a thing. It was the norm. However, I'll never forget watching Tyler's reaction to being touched inappropriately because it was the first time that it occurred to me that men could be victims, too. And as we know today, sexual misconduct does not discriminate; it affects us all.
I don't wish to leave this post on a low note, so here is my favorite quote from Steven Tyler:
"You have no idea how expensive it is to look this cheap."
I can't wait to see what Tyler wears on stage in Vegas, and even though I won't be able to touch him, I know that my stage ticket will get me almost as close to him as I was in 2006.