Last night, a number of famous musicians appeared at a benefit show honoring both the MusiCares charity—which provides medical and general emergency assistance to people in the music business—and Adam Clayton, the bassist for U2. A lot of the performers in attendance talked about how MusiCares helped them out, either by replacing stolen equipment or helping band members get into rehab programs, but Variety’s account of the evening makes it sound like Clayton touched a lot of people with stories of his own struggles with alcohol.
Clayton explained that he used to think it was impossible to “be in a band and not drink” when he was younger, and it apparently got so bad that Bono, The Edge, and Larry Mullen had to organize a sort of intervention for him. After what he characterized as “two particularly destructive benders,” Clayton got a call from none other than Eric Clapton, who “didn’t sugar-coat it” and told him that he “wouldn’t regret it” if he turned his life around and went to a treatment center. While there, he got a visit from Pete Townshend, who “put steel” in his back and helped him get through the experience.
Throughout all of it, though, his bandmates stuck by him, with Clayton saying, “I had three friends who could see what was going on and loved me enough to take up the slack of my failings.” He then added, “I am unreservedly grateful for their friendship, understanding and support.” After that, the rest of U2 took the stage and played a short set in front of the small crowd that Variety says was “rousing.”