Renowned primarily for his deep association with Boston as the lead singer of the iconic rock band, Aerosmith, Steven Tyler also harbors a profound affection for the Hawaiian island of Maui. The island, where Tyler owns a home, has suffered greatly from devastating wildfires in the past month.
During the inaugural night of Aerosmith’s farewell tour in Philadelphia, Tyler seized the opportunity to persuade the audience to show their support for the beleaguered Hawaiian island. He passionately encouraged them to cast any qualms aside and contemplate a return visit to Maui, for the sake of its struggling economy.
As he poised himself to belt out the band’s major hit, “Dream On”, Tyler addressed the crowd gathered in the Wells Fargo Center. He chose to focus on the unspoiled towns of Lahaina and south Maui. “Paia and Hana: it’s still there,” he added, referring to two additional Maui resort towns that managed to come out of the wildfires unscathed.
Tyler’s narrative was laced with optimism and ambition regarding the continuation of life on the island. “It’s a place to go and do, you know, the love thing. It’s still open, it’s still happening. Everything’s beautiful, except we gotta come there and make it more beautiful, OK?” he exhorted.
Shortly after the catastrophic event, governmental officials including Gov. Josh Green immediately advised potential visitors to avoid the island while it underwent recovery. This directive was abruptly reversed as officials soon realized the vital role of tourism for the economic stability of Maui and its residents.
This about-face was in stark contrast to the stance of those such as Tyler’s own daughter, Mia, who had initially dissuaded tourists from visiting in the aftermath of the wildfires.
On Friday, Hawaiian authorities reported that the number of individuals missing from the fires stood at 385. The blazing inferno transformed the seaside locale of Lahaina into ruins within a few hours on August 8th. Gale-force winds exceeding 60 mph accelerated the spread of the fire, leaving half of the town’s 12,000 inhabitants to seek refuge in hotels and short-term vacation rentals. Restoration of the town is projected to span several years and incur billions in expenses.