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Video: Jerry Cantrell Takes Recovery Plaudits

The Alice in Chains star talks about his journey to sobriety and is praised by fellow rockers.

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Cantrell credits his band and family with
helping him get sober. Photo via

By Valerie Tejeda

06/21/12

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Jerry Cantrell of Alice in Chains talks sobriety on a newly-released video from the MusiCares MAP fund benefit on May 31. Cantrell, the guitarist and co-founder of the band, was honored with the Stevie Ray Vaughan award for his contributions to the organization, which helps addicted musicians. “I’m as imperfect as they come,” says Cantrell of his rocky road to recovery. “I just try to do what I can to not get high today, you know.” Alice in Chains has had serious substance abuse problems over its 20-year history, losing two members to addiction: singer Layne Staley in 2002, and bassist Mike Starr in 2011. Cantrell shares the details of how he finally decided to get clean: “Shawn [Kinney, Alice in Chains' drummer] was at the door with my brother. So my choices were open the door and go to rehab or jump out the back window, down down a cliff, into some blackberry bushes. That’s the choice I took,” he says. “And I ended up here. So, I didn’t intend to get here but I’m very grateful that I am here and it took a lot of people to help me get here.” Billy Idol guitarist Billy Morrison says of Cantrell, “He’s probably one of the nicest guys I’ve ever met.” And former Guns N’ Roses bassist Duff McKagan has words of praise for MusiCares: “It’s a resource we have. We’re sort of taking care of our own community.” 

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