Richard Williams recently shared a story on AXS TV about how Steven Tyler, the lead singer of Aerosmith, once attempted to sabotage a Kansas show while the two bands were sharing the bill. It’s not uncommon for rock acts to compete with one another and try to outdo each other, but Tyler’s attempt to sabotage the show was pushing the limits of competition. Williams recounted how they had learned that Tyler had a reputation for unplugging opening acts if they tried to upstage Aerosmith, and so they decided to set a trap for him.
Richard Williams, the guitarist of the band Kansas, recalled a time when Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler attempted to sabotage their show while sharing the bill. Despite their previous friendly relationship, Williams couldn’t forget the incident. To prevent Tyler from unplugging their amps during their performance, Williams and his bandmates placed dummy wires around the stage to confuse him. The plan worked, and the show was a success, with the audience enjoying Kansas’s performance.
However, Tyler was not pleased with how the show turned out and came on stage to unplug all the amps. But as Williams and his bandmates had planned, Tyler fell into their trap and was unable to unplug anything. The night ended with Kansas confronting Tyler, which was likely not a friendly encounter. Despite the incident, Williams still reminisced about the good times they had with Aerosmith over the years.
“Aerosmith, we had done some shows together, and they were becoming popular at a little fast array but around, but at the same time we were playing together, and we got along great… [Starts recalling the incident] We’re playing in Kansas now, and this kind of our turf, and we were still first on the bill, and they were closing the show.
We have been told that their singer which is, nothing against him, it’s a funny story, but Steven Tyler, a tremendous rock vocalist, he had a problem sometimes with the bands going over a little too well, and we were told that sometimes he’ll come out and unplug the band.
So what we did was we ran dummy lines to where he could get to, and we ran our main power to another direction that was hidden. So he came out there to stop our show, and it didn’t work out, and I guess he got upset about it, and our bass player went after him, and it was a confrontation, and it wasn’t a good moment.”
Steven Tyler’s reputation for unplugging opening acts who upstaged Aerosmith was a “low blow,” according to Richard Williams, who shared how Tyler almost sabotaged their show with Kansas. Williams and his bandmates devised a plan to put dummy wires all over the stage to prevent Tyler from finding the hidden power source and unplugging them. Despite Tyler’s attempt, the show was a success, and the audience loved Kansas. Although Kansas confronted Tyler afterward, they have since made peace and are on good terms.