U2 bassist Adam Clayton opened up about his recovery from addiction in a speech at a MusiCares MAP Fund concert on Monday night (June 26).
Clayton was honoured with the Stevie Ray Vaughan Award for his work for the charity, which helps musicians with addiction recovery.
Taking to the stage, Clayton joked, “I’m not used to achieving anything on my own,” before saying, “I’m an alcoholic, addict, but in some ways that devastating disease is what drove me towards this wonderful life I now have. It’s just that I couldn’t take my friend alcohol. At some point I had to leave it behind and claim my full potential.”
Revealing that he previously “didn’t think you could be in a band and not drink. It is so much a part of our culture,” Clayton said it was Eric Clapton that first told him to seek help. “He didn’t sugarcoat it. He told me that I needed to change my life and that I wouldn’t regret it.” Clayton also described how The Who’s Pete Townshend visited him in rehab.
Of his bandmates’ support, Clayton said: “We have a pact with each other. In our band, no one will be a casualty. We all come home, or none of us come home. No one will be left behind. Thank you for honouring that promise, and letting me be in your band.”
He added: “I was lucky because I had three friends who could see what was going on and who loved me enough to take up the slack of my failing. Bono, the Edge, and Larry (Mullen) truly supported me before and after I entered recovery, and I am unreservedly grateful for their friendship, understanding, and support.”
Watch in the video below.
Earlier this week saw U2 pay tribute to the late Leonard Cohen in Toronto.
U2 are scheduled to bring their Joshua Tree tour to the UK next month – performing at London’s Twickenham Stadium on July 8 and 9.