40 Years Ago: Aerosmith Bail Out Fans After a Concert Pot Bust
When a crowd of cops invaded Aerosmith's Oct. 3, 1978, concert in Fort Wayne, Ind., they found dozens of kids possessing pot. All of them were dragged out of the show, part of the band's tour in support of its recently released Live Bootleg! album.
Some fans were also charged with underage drinking and smoking, which was against the facility's rules. Among those reportedly "manhandled" that night was singer Steven Tyler's seamstress, who was nabbed after she lit a cigarette onstage, according to Stephen Davis' Aerosmith bio Walk This Way.
The loss of his scarves may have been a bit too much for Tyler, who railed against the cops, calling them both "scumbags" and "gestapo" from the stage.
But that wasn't the end of the story. Aerosmith finished the show, and then offered to put up the money to bail out each and every one of their arrested fans. Estimates on just how many were hauled off to jail that night range from 63 people to perhaps 53 to maybe only 30. Longtime local disc jockey Doc West referred to the group as the "Fort Wayne 44," and has even organized a recent reunion of those who were part of the bust.
As many as 28 of those arrested reportedly took the band up on its offer, and Aerosmith's tour accountant eventually paid approximately $4,200 in bail and fines in a separate court appearance.