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It was Steven Tyler who rocked the house when he came on stage at Thursday’s Prism Awards to present his friend Richie Supa with his accolade for writing the song “Last House on the Block.”
“Is this a room full of recovering alcoholics and drug addicts?” shouted Tyler to wild applause. “Then I’m right at home.”
The Prisms are presented by the Entertainment Industries Council for accurately depicting substance abuse and mental health issues in movies, TV and music.
“Richie and I would have gotten a Grammy from Beelzebub for all the drugs we took,” Tyler said about Supa, with whom he wrote “Amazing” in 1992. “I was snorting f—ing Lunesta; doing Nepalese Temple Balls.”
Before and after Tyler’s appearance, the award dinner was markedly more sedate. Twenty-seven awards were given, each with a clip from the winning movie or TV show. As an example, The Fighter won for substance abuse portrayal in a feature film (beating out four other movies, including White Irish Drinkers).
To keep the evening moving, the awards were presented even while dinner was served, with the winners’ speeches and clip dialogue (“OK, I’ll go see psyche services tomorrow,” from one daytime drama) being heard over the relatively low room noise.
“We’re slapping people on the back for accurately portraying these issues,” EIF president Brian Dyak said. “What we’re doing is helping the creative community tell stories with more substance and depth. Look at Black Swan. It’s addressing mental health issues.”
For his part, Tyler — who attended the awards after the taping of American Idol — seemed to enjoy his brief role in the evening. He arrived just before the presentation; read his early remarks from typed sheets of paper (everyone else used the teleprompter); spoke off-the-cuff about making it through recovery; had his picture taken with a half-dozen guests; then strolled off to his limo singing “Thanks For the Memories.”
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