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booze battle U2's Adam Clayton opens up about struggle with alcohol


Adam Clayton

Adam Clayton

Adam Clayton

U2's Adam Clayton has opened up about his struggles with alcohol and mental health and said he believes he's one of the "lucky ones" to still be alive today.

Speaking to RTÉ 2FM's Tracy Clifford on the 20th anniversary of the bands global smash hit album All That You Can't Leave Behind, the bassist said it took him a long time to realise "what a mess" he'd made.

He candidly opened up about his drinking habits, explaining that alcohol was holding him back.

"It took a long time to realise really what a mess I'd made. Eventually, when the penny did drop, I was just fed up of making excuses to myself and other people," he told Tracy.

"I had to face that actually instead of thinking that drinking was the thing that got me through life, it was actually the thing that was holding me back."

The musician relayed the inspiration behind his band's infamous single Stuck in a Moment and opened up about how INXS singer Michael Hutchence's death made his band realise how lucky they were and how nothing in life is guaranteed.

"On Stuck in A Moment, I think most people know this is about our friend Michael Hutchence, the singer in INXS, he was someone who we used to always see in the summers," he said.

"I suppose it can happen to anyone, one small mistake, and his life started to veer off in a direction that was somewhat out of control.

"I don't think any of us realised how alone and how vulnerable he was.

"He lost his life right before an INXS tour, and as fellow musicians and minstrels and performers, that cut very deep in us and I suppose it made us feel very grateful that in our band, it really is the four of us that look out for each other.

"I think what it underlined is that very often, you just don't know what's happening in people's lives.


"If there's anyone listening to this going through something similar, and I know these times are very difficult, if you can reach out to someone, tell them what's going on. If you can just not go through it on your own, there are people out there to help."

The bassist added that All That You Can't Leave Behind was the first album he recorded sober, and he was so proud of that.

"(This record) was a new departure, it was the first time I think I'd recorded a record completely stone-cold sober, and to a degree, I was white-knuckling it," he explained.

"The songs really do mean something coming from that period in my life.

"Particularly in the light of Michael Hutchence's story, I really feel lik

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