Irish rock legend speaks about his demons

Irish rock star Adam Clayton has opened up about his depression in a candid interview on RTE’s Late Late Show.

Adam Clayton copyright U2 cc2
Adam Clayton

The U2 bassist is a supporter of the mental health campaign ‘Walk in My Shoes’ that was launched by St Patrick’s Hospital in Dublin.

He told the Late Late Show views on Friday that he has suffered from depression since he was a teenager. He also spoke about his alcoholism. The success he enjoyed with U2 along with his ever increasing alcohol consumption helped to keep his depression at bay in the short term.

He said: “When I was working and on tour I was fine. My drinking increased and increased and increased and because I was successful it was covered up and taken care of,”

“But when I got home after a tour I didn’t know what to do. My drinking increased.”

After managing to get himself sober he then hit rock bottom when he started drinking again in the 1990s.

He said: “The worst morning of my life was when I woke up to newspaper headlines of ‘U2 star drags Garda 45 feet, and it was like, ugh, that’s me.

“I’d been controlling my drinking for three or four months. I thought I’d have one. I don’t know what happened then”.

“That was the end of my world. The only thing I wanted to do was be in a band and perform great songs.”

He had help from his band mates and his friend Eric Clapton who advised him to go into rehab.

Since then, Clayton has cleaned himself up and sorted his personal life out. He is married to Brazilian supermodel, Mariana Teixeira de Carvalho, and couldn’t be happier.

He said: “If I’d known it would be this great and this easy I would have done it years ago,”

Clayton has also been a vocal supporter of the Walk in my Shoes campaign and previously wrote a letter to every school in Ireland in a bid to raise awareness of mental health issues.

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By Michael Kehoe

Michael Kehoe is a writer for Irish Music Daily and Ireland Calling. His favourite Irish Music bands are Flogging Molly and the Dropkick Murphys.