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35 Years Ago: Aerosmith Vs. Philadelphia, Round Two

Aerosmith 1978
Columbia Records

A little more than a year after an October 1977 Aerosmith concert in Philadelphia was cut short when a cherry bomb thrown onstage injured both singer Steven Tyler and guitarist Joe Perry, the group gave the City of Brotherly Love another chance. Their reward? Another trip to the emergency room.

After understandably skipping the town a couple of times on tour, the band was finally ready to move on from the earlier incident, which had left Tyler with a burned cornea and Perry bleeding from an artery in his hand. As guitarist Brad Whitford explained in the band’s autobiography, ‘Walk This Way,’ early signs that day were promising: “Near the hall, a large billboard read ‘We’re sorry about last time, Aerosmith. Glad you’re back!'”

But just six songs into the group’s Nov. 25, 1978, show at the Spectrum, trouble struck again. As Whitford recalled in an interview with Goldmine, “It was about 20 minutes into the show. Again, here’s Steven covering his face so badly. A bottle hit the monitor directly in front of him and became shrapnel. Pieces of glass had literally gone through his face, through his cheeks into his mouth and out.”

Enough was enough: “We basically took one look at Steven. We had such a sour taste in our mouth. We felt we were gonna make a statement, ‘We don’t know what to tell you, but you’re going to have to police yourselves from now on.’ So we literally said, ‘F— this, we don’t care!’ and we got into the cars and drove out of the building. We drove out and watched the riot squad pulling up as we were leaving [laughs]. For us it was much more than a coincidence. I really don’t know that Steven could have continued the show anyway. Steven was bleeding pretty heavily and there wasn’t anything else we could do.”

You can hear audio of the onstage announcements from the show below. It would be more than four years — on Feb. 14, 1983 — before Aerosmith would visit Philadelphia again. Luckily, there are no reports of Tyler or Perry being injured by any roses, chocolates or Valentine’s Day cards that evening.

Hear the 1978 Aerosmith / Philadelphia Bottle Incident

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