Living the life of a rock star is one that is fraught with perilous traps and unrelenting obsessions.
The fast paced surroundings with infinite supplies of the best drugs and alcohol in the world are tough to leave. Some musicians are capable of participating in this lifestyle for years at a time without issue. Drugs and alcohol can flow freely in and out of their lives without ever feeling as though they really need to have a drink, or they really need to get high. Conversely, as in the general population, a small percentage of rock stars become incapable of putting the bottle down. Addiction develops, getting high is now a necessity not a luxury.
Eventually, there are two choices for a true addict/alcoholic: Door number 1. Die. Door number 2. Get Sober.
There is no Door number 3.
And the winners of Door Number One are…
Steven Tyler, Aerosmith
Steven Tyler got sober in 1988 maintaining his sobriety for 12 years. Tyler did have a slight relapse on prescription pills, but he checked himself into the Betty Ford Clinic in 2006 and has been sober ever since.
Clapton has been a figure in rock since his days with Cream in the 1960s.
In 1980 Eric Clapton got sober and since has dedicated much of his life to recovery with his Crossroads Executive rehab clinic in Antigua.
Sir Elton John has been clean and sober for over two decades now. Following his involvement with Ryan White in the early 1990s.
White was a teenager that contracted AIDS from a blood transfusion, which ultimately led to his death. White inspired Elton to get his act together so that he could help those with HIV.
Anthony Keidis, Red Hot Chili Peppers
‘Under the bridge downtown’ is where Keidis was shooting dope a long, long time ago. The Red Hot Chili Peppers front man has been clean and sober reportedly ‘for years’ and is now considered to be one of the healthiest rock stars in the world.
James Hetfield, Metallica
Hatfield documents his journey of recovery in the film Some Kind of Monster. In 2001 Hetfield checked himself into rehab and has been sober ever since.
Ringo Starr, The Beatles
The Beatles drummer says that he has been sober since the 1980s which he now describes as being an “alcoholic haze.”
Bowie battled his demons with cocaine addiction for decades, finally surrendering in his 50s. David Bowie was sober until the day he died when he lost his battle in an unfair fight against liver cancer.
David Bowie was 69.