U2 played a three-song set on Monday night (June 26) to honor bassist Adam Clayton as he received the Stevie Ray Vaughan Award at the annual MusiCares MAP Fund Benefit Concert at the PlayStation Theater in New York City.
The group played “Stuck In A Moment You Can’t Get Out Of,” “Vertigo” and “I Will Follow” at what will be the smallest and most intimate show it’s played this year, when the Irish quartet is touring stadiums to celebrate the 30th anniversary of its Joshua Tree album.
In his remarks, Clayton joked that “I’m not used to achieving anything on my own” but nevertheless told the audience that “I’m an alcoholic, addict, but in some ways that devastating disease is what drove me towards this wonderful live 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.”
He did note that he “didn’t think you could be in a band and not drink” but said he had wise counsel from Eric Clapton, who told Clatyon “that I needed to change my life and that I wouldn’t regret it.”
Clayton also revealed that Pete Townshend visited the bassist while he was in rehab to offer support. And, Clayton added, his U2 bandmates were instrumental in his recover:
“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…I guess they loved me before I knew how to love myself, so it’s really important that they share this with me.”
U2 returns to stadiums on Wednesday when it plays the first of two shows at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.
Gary Graff is an award-winning music journalist who not only covers music but has written books on Bob Seger, Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen.