November 24, 2009
(Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images)
He may be wreaking havoc on the hearts of Aerosmith fans lately — what with making a decision to take a two-year break from the band, and recent comments from his own band mates suggesting that he may be back on drugs — but rocker Steven Tyler was in top form when he showed up and rocked out at the annual Michael J. Fox Foundation fundraiser event in New York City last Saturday night.
By all accounts, the Boston Bad Boy was all giant-mouthed smiles as he hit Manhattan’s Waldorf-Astoria Hotel for “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way To Cure Parkinson’s,” the notoriously rock-centric annual charity gala to support Fox’s Parkinson’s foundation. (Last year’s musical guest? The Who!) Late in the evening, when Tyler hit the stage to sit in with headliner Greg Allman, “He sounded fabulous!” one audience member tells Tonic.
Even more fabulous? Tyler’s presence helped raised more than $4.3-million for the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research — a dollar amount that’s on par with previous annual galas. And that’s no small feat given the state of the economy.
Elvis Costello and John Popper (of Blues Traveler fame) also performed at this year’s event, to an audience of 900 that included some of Fox’s famous friends: Roger Daltry, John McEnroe, Rachael Ray, Julianne Moore, Ryan Reynolds and Martin Scorcese among them.
As always, Fox himself strapped on a guitar for an end-of-night jam session with the band.
Marty McFly would be proud.
Founded by the Back To The Future and Family Ties star, who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 1991, The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinon’s Research is dedicated to ensuring the development of better treatments, and ultimately a cure, for the disease through an aggresively funded research agenda. To date, MJFF has funded nearly $160 million in research.