When I was growing up, I learned a lot about music from my dad, who instilled a great love of classic rock in me. Given that Aerosmith was just about his favourite band, I was a big fan at a young age – in fact, Aerosmith at the Molson Canadian Amphitheatre in 2001 was one of my first ever big concerts.
At a young age, I often fantasized about what it would be like to meet the band, hang out with them, or even one day have a band that might have a chance to share the stage with them. Needless to say, that fantasy has long since passed, but it’s stories like this one that make me wonder if maybe it wasn’t such a far-fetched idea back in the day.
Aerosmith’s frontman Steven Tyler is currently on a solo tour that had two stops in Niagara Falls this past week – Tuesday and Thursday at Fallsview Casino. Not surprisingly, both shows were sold out, leaving 24-year-old Anthony Yorfido – a huge fan who was born with Down Syndrome – without a way in to the show… That was until a chance encounter in a medical supply store in Niagara Falls. There happened to be a limo out front of the stoor, and when Anthony’s mom Diane walked inside, she thought she recognized someone…
From The National Post:
“I’m looking at him and I know his face, but I couldn’t think of his name.”
But Anthony did. “He goes, ‘Oh, my God! Steven Tyler, is that you?’ ”
In a flash, Anthony ran over to the rock legend to give him a hug. Tyler hugged him back, then hugged and kissed Diane for good measure. He then asked if they were going to the show that night.
Couldn’t get tickets, Diane told him.
“He’s like, ‘Oh, don’t worry about that, you guys are coming with me. I’ll get you backstage passes.’ ”
— National Post (@nationalpost) April 2, 2016
Diane had to work that night, but her boyfriend was more than happy to go in her place, and little did she know that Tyler had another big surprise in store for her son.
As Tyler took the stage that night to the song Sweet Emotion, he had Anthony brought out to play the maracas with the band, shouting, “Anthony’s in the house!” “I was talking with people at work last night and they’re like, ‘That was your son on stage?’ (Tyler) told the band to lower their music and he had the microphone right on the maracas. He was like, ‘Keep going, Anthony! Keep going,’ ” Diane Yorfido said. While this was happening, photos were being sent to her cellphone while she was working — just down the hall at the casino. “I was dying! I’m like, are you kidding me? I can’t be there?’ I was so upset.”
She heard the whole story from Anthony the following morning. “He woke up this morning going, ‘Oh my God, mom.’ He showed me the set list, he was crying. He was so excited. He said, ‘This is the best thing that ever happened to me in my life,’ ” Diane said Friday.
And while nothing will ever equal the memory of actually being up on stage with Steven Tyler and filling a guest spot with his band, Anthony has a few photos and a video as proof so he can brag to everyone about that time he shared the stage with a rock legend.
So why was The Demon of Screamin’ in a medical supply store in the first place? Well, apparently he was buying a back brace (whoa now, slow down there Old Man Tyler)… Though if you ask him, it was for a different reason entirely, saying “I didn’t come in here to get a back brace, I came in here to meet my new buddy Anthony.”
Steven Tyler seems to be especially fan-friendly lately, so if you’ve ever dreamed of having a similar experience, Dream On… It could happen!