Rock guitarist Joe Perry of the band Aerosmith joined Billy Joel on stage on Saturday, November 10, during the Piano Man’s concert at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The two legends performed a great version of “Walk This Way” to the delight of the sold-out arena.
When the song was done, Joel continued playing his gig. Perry, however, found himself in the midst of a critical medical issue and left the Garden on a stretcher to be treated at a local hospital.
According to TMZ, once the 68-year-old musician was backstage in his dressing room, he collapsed and “looked terrible.” Paramedics rushed in and worked on Perry for about 40 minutes, putting a tracheal tube down his throat to clear the airway. Since the musician still “did not look good,” he was put on a stretcher, given oxygen, and immediately taken to a nearby hospital.
“[He’s been having] breathing issues for the last few weeks and it came to a head last night,” a source told TMZ, adding that the condition involves congestion in the lungs.
A rep for Perry confirmed the details of the backstage treatment to Rolling Stone on Sunday, November 11.
“This morning, Perry remains in the hospital where he is alert and responsive,” the rep further explained.
“The Aerosmith guitarist will be unable to appear today at Rock and Roll Fantasy Camp in Florida and apologizes to those attending. Perry is expected to return to the road later this month.”
This is not the first time that Perry has collapsed while performing in New York. On July 10, 2016, while playing with his side project, Hollywood Vampires, at the Ford Amphitheater at Coney Island, he fell ill minutes into the concert and was immediately taken to a hospital in an ambulance.
The show continued on without him, with guitarists Johnny Depp and Tommy Henriksen handling his parts in the Alice Cooper-fronted band. “Dehydration and exhaustion” were given as the official reasons for the 2016 emergency.
Perry, who released the solo album Sweetzerland Manifesto in January, is slated to embark on a 10-date tour in support of the record on November 30 in Sioux City, Iowa. He will hit venues in Illinois, Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and California through December 16.
In 2019, Aerosmith are scheduled to take part in their first Las Vegas residency, Deuces Are Wild, at Park MGM’s Park Theater. The 18 dates are spread across April, June, and July.