NEW YORK (Reuters) - Aerosmith lead singer Steven Tyler said on Thursday he was sober when he fell in the shower in his Paraguay hotel room earlier this week.
Tyler, who received stitches to his face and broke his teeth in the fall on Tuesday, told NBC's "Today" show that he was suffering from "Montezuma's revenge," or stomach flu.
"I passed out," the rocker and "American Idol" judge told Matt Lauer in a telephone interview from Argentina, where he is continuing an Aerosmith tour.
"I was in the shower and I got nauseous, and I started to get sick and I fell on my face. I just passed out," he said.
Tyler, 63, said he "woke up with the water running on me wondering where the hell I was," at which point his tour manager phoned the American embassy for help with a hospital.
Asked whether he might have fallen off the wagon, the rocker, who has been public about struggles with substance abuse, said "people thinking that is natural and normal."
But Tyler said he had flown last night from Paraguay and had just arrived in Argentina hours earlier.
"And if anybody knew anybody that used substances, they wouldn't be up the hour after having a talk with Matt Lauer."
Asked flat out whether being "clean and sober" was the issue in the fall, Tyler replied "No, it's not the issue."
But he added "I get that people think that."
Tyler said his injuries would not affect the tour, noting that he went on stage on Wednesday and "pulled myself up by my boot heels."
He said he wore dark glasses for the first song, then took them off to show his battered-looking face, and the crowd roared its approval.
"Not only did I break my face, but the next night we broke the house record," he quipped.
Two years ago, Tyler broke his shoulder after falling off the stage during a U.S. concert, forcing the group to scrap the rest of its North American tour and aggravating tensions within the band.
Tyler has signed up for a second season as a judge on the TV singing contest "American Idol," and he published a tell-all memoir this year called "Does this Noise in My Head Bother You?"
(Reporting by Chris Michaud; editing by Jill Serjeant)
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