45 Years Ago: Aerosmith Bails Out Fans After a Concert Pot Bust
A crowd of cops invaded an Aerosmith concert on Oct. 3, 1978, in Fort Wayne, Ind., arresting dozens of kids on charges of possession of marijuana.
All of them were dragged out of the show, which arrived as part of a tour in support of the band's 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 frontman Steven Tyler's seamstress, who was nabbed after she lit a cigarette onstage, according to Stephen Davis' Aerosmith bio Walk This Way.
READ MORE: Joe Perry’s Best Aerosmith Riffs
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.
Aerosmith Paid Thousands in Fines
That wasn't the end of the story. Aerosmith finished the show, and then offered to put up the money to bail out every one of their arrested fans.
Estimates on just how many were hauled off to jail that night range more than 60 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 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.
20 Greatest Comeback Albums
Gallery Credit: UCR Staff
Was Aerosmith’s ‘Night in the Ruts’ Doomed to Fail?