When Welland’s Anthony Yorfido tried to get Steven Tyler tickets earlier this year, he had to dream on. Both shows at Fallsview Casino this week were sold out.
The huge Aerosmith fan, born with Down syndrome, figured he was out of luck. But things were about to get crazy.
Late Thursday afternoon, he and his mom Diane walked into Niagara Medical Supplies Inc. on Montrose Road. A cocktail server at Fallsview casino, Diane was there to pick up some support panty hose.
There was a limo out front, and when she walked through the door she thought she recognized the guy getting a back brace by the counter.
“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 he ran over to the rock legend to give him a hug. A thrilled Tyler hugged him back, then hugged and kissed Diane for good measure. He then asked if they were going to the show Thursday night.
Couldn’t get tickets, she told him.
“He’s like, ‘Oh, don’t worry about that, you guys are coming with me. I’ll get you backstage passes.'”
The problem? Diane had to work Thursday and couldn’t go. So she made quick calls to her boyfriend and Anthony’s dance instructor to go with him. She had no idea Anthony’s night was about to get even bigger.
As Tyler took the stage to Sweet Emotion, he shouted “Anthony’s in the house!” and brought him out to play the maracas
“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!'”
While this was happening, the pictures were being sent to a stunned Yorfido’s cell phone while she was working. Just down the hall.
“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, 24, Friday 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.'”
Tyler was playing the second of two sold-out shows in Niagara Falls this week, performing Aerosmith classics and a few new songs with backing band Loving Mary.
It’s a visit Yorfido will never forget. If she wasn’t a Tyler fan before, she’s a huge one now.
And it all began with a chance visit to a medical supply store.
“He just happened to go in there,” she says. “He says to Anthony, ‘I didn’t come in here to get a back brace, I came in here to meet my new buddy Anthony.’ I was crying, that was so nice.”
Courtesy of The Toronto Sun by John Law, Postmedia Network.
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