A mission to end America’s Addiction Crisis
RollingSone reports that Joe Walsh, The Eagles Guitarist and Ringo Star, The Beatles Drummer, shares a staggering conversation about his struggles to get sober.
During his visit in New York’s Rainbow Room, Joe Walsh took a stage to reveal his life long struggles with alcohol, and that the addiction epidemic affects over forty five million american families. A 71-year old guitarist has been sober for over twenty five years, and had received the highest humanitarian award for his activism in addiction recovery community, awarded by National Counsel on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence. Surrounded by his family and friends, the evening was filled with heart breaking stories of addiction battles. Country singer Vince Gill, the Doobie Brothers’ Michael McDonald and Butch Walker took the center stage, and rocked to Walsh’s classic “Take it to the Limit” and “Life’s Been Good”. The country singer, Gill, who is 61 shared his dream of playing with the Eagles, and also the pain of observing his brother loosing control to his addiction to alcohol in his early years. It was twenty five years ago, when his brother was plagued with the addiction disorder. He concluded his speech with “Rocky Mountain Way”, further expressing that playing with Walsh and the Eagles was not just about fulfilling the long-lived dream, but also about healing his affliction.
The long battle with addiction and alcoholism came to a halt back in 1995, when Walsh checked himself in to a rehab. His musical carrier had to be put on hold, while trying to get his life back together. For the next twenty some years, Walsh was able to regain the lead in his music solo album. He never imagined to play his guitar again. He found a lot of sobriety support in his brother-in-law, Ringo Star. In 2012, his brand new solo, Analog Man, was the first album produced as a sober musician. Walsh expressed his thoughts with an audience, telling them that his is told that he plays better while sober, than in the past. What’s most important to him today is that, he had not had a drink!
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In the interview with RollingStone, Walsh admits that he always tried to hide his drinking addiction, but his fans new he had a problem. He then shares that, what changed his mind was the fellowship of men and women who were sober alcoholics. This relationship prompted him to help others in their sobriety journey. Walsh’s decision to go public with his addiction story, stem from his desire to show others that there is a life after addiction. And his desire to save even one life. When asked about his thoughts on opioid crisis in America, Walsh replied by saying that Americans do not realize how devastating the addiction is through out the nation. An alarming amount of young people, die of opioid addiction every year. Starr added, that what is close to home for him is that many young musicians are overdosing due to an enormous pressure being on tour, and staying current on trend. For him what started of as drinking, turned in to full blown cocaine abuse.
When asked about older musicians, who medicate themselves with pain killers to keep up with their rigid schedules, Walsh voiced his concern about about older musicians taking pills for physical pain, and then drinking for mental pain. Although, once the pain is gone, they convince themselves that they are not able to perform with out it.
Walsh concluded his interview by stating that there is a difference between success and validity. He stated, when he goes on stage for two hours, and it may look really cool. However, he points out that extravagant life style and being a rock star is not an answer to your problems.
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