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SoulMonster
APPETITE FOR DISCUSSION
Welcome to Appetite for Discussion -- a Guns N' Roses fan forum!

Please feel free to look around the forum as a guest, I hope you will find something of interest. If you want to join the discussions or contribute in other ways then you need to become a member. We especially welcome anyone who wants to share documents for our archive or would be interested in translating or transcribing articles and interviews.

Registering is free and easy.

Cheers!
SoulMonster

2009.03.12 - The Daily Times - Steven Adler: Back From The Brink And Ready To Rock

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2009.03.12 - The Daily Times - Steven Adler: Back From The Brink And Ready To Rock Empty 2009.03.12 - The Daily Times - Steven Adler: Back From The Brink And Ready To Rock

Post by Blackstar Tue 22 Jun 2021 - 6:29

Steven Adler: Back from the brink and ready to rock

By Steve Wildsmith
of The Daily Times Staff


His drumming helped propel "Appetite for Destruction," the 1987 album by Guns N' Roses, to not only become the highest-selling debut in history, but to sell, over the past 22 years, more than 18 million copies.

But it's only in the last six months has Steven Adler been able to enjoy the fruits of his labor.

Sure, he's received financial compensation for the five years he spent behind the kit for what, at the time, was billed as "the most dangerous rock band in the world." He's even parlayed his success into a touring band that relies heavily on G n' R covers -- Adler's Appetite, which performs Sunday night at Big Mama's Karaoke Café in Seymour.

But after a two-decade battle with addiction, Adler has managed to put together six months of clean time, he told The Daily Times this week -- and that makes the past six months a rebirth of sorts.

"Making it one day is a long time, and I've made it, like, six months," he said, voice filled with jubilation and the enthusiasm of newfound sobriety. "The last time I did anything goofy like that was on the show ("Sober House," a VH-1 reality show spin-off of "Celebrity Rehab," both of which featured Adler), when I got arrested (last summer). I've been so lucky, and I've got a great team of people around me; I've got my best friend Slash back in my life; and I'm happier than ever.

"It's like I'm seeing things for the first time. To have survived everything I went through -- a stroke, the band -- and get a second chance at life, it's crazy. And I'm so grateful I did those two shows. As much as I despised rehab and the whole AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) crap, it works!"

Born in Cleveland, Adler moved to Los Angeles as a kid. At the age of 12, he met future Guns N' Roses guitarist Slash while the two were skateboarding, and they quickly bonded. Deciding to form a band, they started out as Road Crew, picking up bassist Duff McKagan before joining up with guitarist Izzy Stradlin and infamous frontman Axl Rose. This "classic" lineup would go on to record "Appetite for Destruction," which was released in 1987.

The monumental success, however, contributed to Adler's meteoric fall. He missed part of the band's 1987 tour after punching a streetlight when drunk; in 1989, he missed out on an American Music Awards performance while in rehab. In 1990, during recording sessions for the song "Civil War" (which later wound up on the second volume of G n' R's "Use Your Illusion" project), his drug use was so debilitating that he had to record the drum tracks several dozen times before the band could even edit it down to something usable.

Shortly thereafter, he was fired; a subsequent lawsuit awarded him with a couple of million dollars and 15 percent of the royalties for the band's work during the time he was a member. For the next several years, however, that was the height of his success. He formed the first version of Adler's Appetite in 2003 and circled the outer rim of G n' R's fame -- playing with European cover bands and reuniting with a couple of his old Guns bandmates for a one-off performance two years ago -- but he never achieved the same level of fame.

His personal life was a train wreck as well -- in 1996, he suffered that aforementioned stroke; a second stroke would leave him with a minor speech impediment. Last summer, he agreed to battle his addiction publicly and was a member of the second season of "Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew," a show filmed at Pasadena Recovery Center with Dr. Drew Pinsky as the lead therapist.

"The first time they asked me to do it, I wasn't ready, so I turned it down," Adler said. "When they asked me to take part in the second season, I felt different about things. I was a little older and wiser, and I didn't want to go through all of that crap again, so I let myself give them an opportunity to help me.

"I just wanted to give myself a chance to get better than I was yesterday. That first few weeks were the toughest, because once the drugs wear off, all of the emotions come out. The hardest part to get through was that first month."

Adler also agreed to participate in "Sober House," a reality show that follows the "Celebrity Rehab" clients as they transition into a halfway house. Although filmed last summer, it didn't premiere until January, and in the third episode, Adler was discovered in possession of heroin and kicked out. That, he said, was the last time he used. He's faced some legal problems earlier this year for failing to complete community service, but he's been clean, he said, since the "Sober House" incident -- and he's still in touch with Pinsky and the show's other counselors.

"Going into the show, I was doing it to take care of myself, and it just worked out that I was inspiring to people -- at least that's what a lot of them have told me," he said. "I'm so thankful to Dr. Drew and all of those people. The cast was insane, but the doctors had it together, and I still keep in touch with them. I still have their love and support."

Another relationship he's been able to repair is that with his old friend and bandmate, Slash. Both are estranged from Rose, who now owns the Guns N' Roses name and released a 14-years-in-the-making album late last year, but Slash's own sobriety -- he kicked a notorious alcohol problem four years ago -- has been an inspiration, Adler added.

"We started together, and I thought we were going to end our lives apart because of what happened, but our friendship is stronger than ever," he said. "If you read his book ("Slash"), you'll see where me and him come from. It's wonderful just talking to him and working with him again."

He's done some recording with his old friend, Adler said, and there are other projects on the horizon -- his own autobiography, due in January; a how-to DVD for beginning drummers; and touring with Adler's Appetite, which focuses on the hits he contributed to as part of G n' R.

"It feels like the record just came out!" he said with a laugh. "The fans are still singing along, and it's such a fun time. I'm having the best time of my life."

And what of his old band? He's heard one song off of "Chinese Democracy," the new Guns N' Roses album. Or, at least he thinks he has.

"It sounded pretty good -- there was something in there about blood, that's all I can remember," he said. "God bless Axl Rose. I still love him and all those guys, so God bless him -- God or Satan, whichever one is dealing with him these days. Let's just leave it at that."

https://web.archive.org/web/20090315154345/http://www.thedailytimes.com/article/20090312/ENT/303129960
Blackstar
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