By Robyn Collins
At a MusiCares award ceremony last night (June 26) in New York City, U2 bassist Adam Clayton thanked his band and friends for the support they provided during his treatment and recovery for alcohol abuse four years ago.
The rocker accepted the Stevie Ray Vaughan Award in recognition of his dedication to MusiCares MAP Fund, which offers musicians access to addiction recovery treatment.
British record producer Chris Blackwell called Clayton someone who “lived through addiction and came out the other side, and has been courageous enough to admit it.”
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.”
“We have a pact with each other,” continued Clayton, “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 honoring that promise, and letting me be in your band.”
He added, “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.”
Clayton shared that Eric Clapton was ultimately the one that pointed out his problem. “He didn’t sugarcoat it. He told me that I needed to change my life and that I wouldn’t regret it.” U2’s bassist also thanked The Who’s Pete Townshend for visiting him in rehab.
He wrapped up his speech by quoting U2 lyrics by Bono: “If you walk away, walk away, I will follow.”
During the event, the band, which has been together for four decades, performed “Stuck in a Moment You Can’t Get Out Of,” “Vertigo,” and “I Will Follow.”
There were also performances Michael Franti, Jack Garratt, reggae singer Chronixx and Macy Gray and The Lumineers, who are on tour with U2 on their Joshua Tree tour.
Watch Adam Clayton’s speech here: