Great White's Mark Kendall On Sobriety: I Won't Drink Today No Matter What Happens

By Kelly Burch 02/08/19

“I don't care if I have guns pointed at me—I'm not drinking. That's how serious I am," the Great White guitarist said at a recent recovery event. 

Image: 
Great White's Mark Kendall
Photo via YouTube

Instead of denouncing drinking for good, Mark Kendall, founding guitarist of the legendary rock band Great White, focuses on staying sober just for today. 

"Nobody's ever gonna hear me say, 'I'll never drink again,' or, 'I'm done.' I just don't go there. I don't put these impossible tasks [in front of me]. 'Cause I don't know if I'll never drink again; I can't tell you if that'll happen. But what I can tell you is that I'm not gonna drink today no matter what happens,” Kendall said as part of the No More Heroin Survivor Stories. 

“I don't care if I have guns pointed at me—I'm not drinking. That's how serious I am. And I know it sounds stupid simple to some of our audience out there, but when I do it this way and just leave the task to be today… I'm just not gonna drink today. Yesterday, whatever happened, I don't know; I don't wanna think about it. I probably didn't drink though.”

As for tomorrow, Kendall says he’s not concerned with it.  

“I'm not concerned about something that takes care of itself. Time takes care of itself. Years are gonna go by all by themselves. The only thing that I can control with confidence is being sober today only—that's my task. If I make it to midnight, I've made it through another day. That's the way I've done it, and 10 years rolled by. It's not like I sat there one day and [went], 'You know what? I think I'm gonna be sober for 10 years. I'm just gonna go for it.' I never did that.”

Kendall struggled with alcoholism and started toying with sobriety in 1991, according to Blabbermouth. However, he didn’t give sobriety his all until 2008, which is when it clicked for him, he said. 

"I'd try it and then I'd quit again. So I'd literally keep starting and stopping and keep trying it again—try to drink like the normal guy that just watches the football game on the weekends with his buddies and has, like, four beers. I wanna be that guy and not wake up the next day and have to drink again. So I'd force it and not drink, so I could tell myself that I'm normal now. But then again, here it comes again—I'd end up in pain,” Kendall said. “So I kept trying and trying and trying—going two years, a year and a half, a year, another two years. And keep trying and trying."

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Kelly Burch writes about addiction and mental health issues, particularly as they affect families. Follow her on TwitterFacebook, and LinkedIn.

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