U2’s Adam Clayton Opens Up About Struggles With Alcoholism

U2 bassist Adam Clayton spoke at length about his struggles with alcoholism and addiction during a MusiCares benefit concert in New York City.

Clayton was honored with the Stevie Ray Vaughan Award in recognition of his dedication to MusiCares MAP Fund, which offers musicians access to addiction recovery treatment.

During his acceptance speech, Clayton spoke at length about living with addiction.

“I’m an alcoholic, addict. But in some ways, that devastating disease is what drove me towards the wonderful life I now have. It’s just I couldn’t take my friend alcohol. At some point I had to leave it behind and claim my full potential,” he remarked.

Regarding his U2 bandmates, Clayton said, “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.”

Clayton also received help from Eric Clapton & Pete Townshend on his road to recovery. He said,

“After two particularly destructive benders, Eric Clapton was there on the end of the phone. He didn’t sugarcoat it. He told me that I had to change my life and that I wouldn’t regret it. He gave me the number of a treatment center and the power to give a call to them. Once I was going through that five week program Pete Townshend visited me and again put steel on my back.”


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