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Interview with Steven in Post Crescent - May 19, 2011

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Interview with Steven in Post Crescent - May 19, 2011

Post by Soulmonster on Wed May 18, 2011 10:37 pm

Former Guns N' Roses drummer and 'Celebrity Rehab' addict Steven Adler is back on his feet and ready to rock Menasha's Waverly Beach

Written by Mike Thiel



The first time I met Steven Adler, he was roaming the streets of College Avenue outside his Adler’s Appetite tour bus. It was well past midnight and Adler had just finished a show with his band at Mill Creek in downtown Appleton. There were fans asking for photos and autographs, while a local reporter (me) also requested a short video clip. Adler took the extra time to meet everyone’s request. He cared not about meet-and-greet passes and the extra cash that comes with it — he just wanted anyone who wanted anything from him to get it. He was just happy to have a second chance. And a third. And a fourth. And a fifth.

For those who’ve never heard of Steven Adler, he was the original drummer for mega-band Guns N’ Roses during the time of their multi-platinum debut “Appetite for Destruction.” However, life in the fast lane wasn’t kind to Adler as he was eventually booted from the band for his flagrant drug abuse.

Adler said he would use $300 worth of drugs in one night, though he wasn’t getting $300 worth of drugs (he said his dealer was ripping him off). Even so, Adler’s been in and out of rehab centers throughout his 46 years and continued to have problems with addiction even after a heart attack, 30 overdoses and a stroke by age 31. Adler said it wasn’t until his time on VH1’s “Celebrity Rehab” with Dr. Drew Pinsky and his time on VH1’s “Sober House” that he finally kindled a now-or-never moment. A second stint of Adler on “Celebrity Rehab” season 5 will air this summer — that particular treatment has lifted Adler to his highest level of newfound sobriety to date.

He’s turned back to his music, taking the first drum lesson of his life 18 months ago while creating new songs with his latest hard rock project, Adler’s Appetite.

Currently, Adler and his band are on tour (with a stop at Waverly Beach on May 26) until early July before Adler’s Appetite heads back into the studio. For the first time since the ’80s, Adler said his music career feels like the old days.

“It reminds me of when I was playing back for Slash and Duff and Izzy and Axl (of Guns N’ Roses) back in the day, when we were playing the clubs in Hollywood,” Adler said. “That’s the whole vibe of our show. It’s just an anything goes, kick (expletive) rock and roll show.”

For a while, it didn’t appear that Adler would outlive Guns N’ Roses. However, in 2011 the drummer appears to be back in control of his life — clean and confident — indulging only in his latest reincarnation of rock and roll.

Q: Adler’s Appetite shows blend original music with Guns ‘N Roses songs. Why do you still play GNR?

Because those are my songs. My name’s on there. I had a part of writing those songs so I’m always gonna play ’em. Out of all my musician friends I have that have made records for the last 30 years, none of them listen to any of their music. I love my records. I still listen to my music. I asked Sebastian (Bach), you listen to Skid Row? He said, no. I asked Fred Coury, you ever listen to your Cinderella records? He goes, no. The only person who listens to their records that I know is Steven Tyler. He feels the same way. He goes, man I love my music. I always listen to it (laughs).

Q: Have you mended everything with the members of GNR?

Yes, and all it took was for me to accept responsibility and make my amends to those guys. I got to apologize to those guys and make amends to each one of them separately. As far as I know, I’m still friends with ’em. I mean, they are four major league (expletive), but we were five major league (expletive), so you never know. And I say it with love. (laughs)

And you’re clean right now?

Of course. I wouldn’t be sitting here talking to you.

How long have you been clean?


I got off the heroin and the crack and the pills in 2008 when I first started working with Dr. Drew. And then I went on a marijuana maintenance program and that was working for a little while, but like all things, it started bringing me down and it kept me from getting to the next level.

So I talked to Dr. Drew and he had me come work with him again on the new “Celebrity Rehab” that comes out June 29 to get off of marijuana and Jagermeister. I was drinking the loud mouth soup and smoking the herb. I was able to get to a certain level in my life and my career but the pot and Jager were holding me back, so I worked with him and it was very successful. … It was just a blessing to be able to work with Dr. Drew and Bob Forrest again.

In 2008, I feel like I made a 170-degree turn and now, this recent stint I’ve been working with Dr. Drew, I made a whole 180-degree turn in my life.

You’ve been in and out of rehab many times. Is this the absolute last time for Steven Adler? No more relapses?


You know, I pray every day that it is. That was such a waste of time and waste of money. I pray every day, all day that I don’t ever have to go back and do that again. I’m much stronger of a person and I believe much more in myself. Basically I realized that my addiction is something I have for life and just because I’m not doing it now doesn’t mean the addiction isn’t doing anything either … beause I know damn well addiction is just doing push-ups and working out and waiting for that one moment for me to slip.

And I still have bad dreams. I still have these crazy drug dreams. I can’t even get away from it in my sleep. It’s not every day, but it happens. I went in the ring with Muhammad Ali and Manny Pacquiao for 35 years. Coming out of it as healthy as I did, I’m pretty lucky.

Steven Tyler was quoted in his new memoir saying some things about you and “Celebrity Rehab.” Here’s one part: “It didn’t seem to me all that ethical using actual (expletive) people like Steven Adler in a reality show. … They then sensationalize on a melo-(expletive)-dramatic reality show, which so traumatizes them they end up in worse shape than ever — from the drugs they bought with the money from the show.”

He’s right in a way and he’s wrong in a way. … To make a couple bucks is a good thing, plus all of us that did the show have hit rock bottom, so we didn’t have the money to survive, but the people could either take in the money, take an opportunity to get sober like I did and start my life again — or I could’ve taken the money and went and bought drugs with it, which most of the people who did the show did do.

But Dr. Drew gave everybody an opportunity to get their lives together, and doing it for me, personally, doing it on camera helped me so much. I say to anybody out there who has somebody in their life that’s an addict or an alcoholic, videotape them when they’re high or drunk.

You know how people have those blackouts and their friends say, look, you did this and you did that? And the person goes, no I didn’t, you’re crazy. You videotape them and they see how terrible they act, I’m telling you, it will change their whole world on what they’re doing to themselves.

When I did “Sober House” after “Celebrity Rehab,” I showed up with a bag of heroin and syringes and aluminum foil, wasted, and they videotaped me. I have to speak for myself, but I would do drugs because it made me feel more comfortable around people. It’d make me feel like I was better looking. I felt like I was taller. I was funnier. But I saw myself high on heroin and I was not funnier. I was not taller and I was not better looking. So seeing that really opened my eyes. … I didn’t want to be like that anymore.

Source: http://www.postcrescent.com/article/20110519/APC0502/110518113/Former-GNR-drummer-Steven-Adler-back-his-feet-ready-rock-Waverly-Beach
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