Friendship, music and recovery emerged as the predominant themes at the 8th Annual MusiCares MAP Fund benefit concert on May 31 at Club Nokia in Los Angeles. The annual benefit concert raised funds for the MusiCares MAP Fund, an organization that provides financial and supportive assistance for music people in need of addiction recovery services regardless of their financial situation.
Alice In Chains' co-founder Jerry Cantrell was honored with the Stevie Ray Vaughan Award for his commitment to the MusiCares MAP Fund and helping other addicts with the addiction recovery process. Certified interventionist Neil Lasher received MusiCares' From the Heart Award for his unconditional friendship and dedication to the mission and goals of the organization. A longtime supporter of MusiCares, Lasher helped initiate the first Safe Harbor Room — MusiCares' support system at major industry events for artists and crew members facing addiction issues — in 1997 at the 39th Annual GRAMMY Awards. The event also included a special presentation commemorating the official launch of the DJ AM Memorial Fund in honor of the late Adam "DJ AM" Goldstein.
Hosted by comedian Steve-O, the concert featured musical performances by Alice In Chains, Duff McKagan's band Loaded, Heart's Ann and Nancy Wilson, Billy Idol, and Screaming Trees' co-founder Mark Lanegan. Highlights included Loaded teaming with the Wilsons for covers of the Rolling Stones' "Dead Flowers" and Elton John's "Curtains" and a trio of hits from Idol, whose "Rebel Yell" brought the audience to its feet. Moby provided musical ambience with a DJ set during dinner.
Metallica frontman James Hetfield, a previous Stevie Ray Vaughan Award recipient, was featured via a special video presentation. Hetfield congratulated Cantrell on his honor while also thanking him for his "music and friendship." Cantrell was presented with the award by his longtime friend, Alice In Chains drummer Sean Kinney. During his remarks, a moved Cantrell intimately shared his personal recovery story and thanked his friends, family and MusiCares for an "amazing night."
"I've had a lot of help and all I can claim is showing up and doing the work," said Cantrell.
To close the evening, Cantrell was joined by bandmates Kinney, William DuVall and Mike Inez for a five-song unplugged set, including Alice In Chains favorites "Nutshell," "Would?" and "No Excuses." Cantrell dedicated the former song to late Alice In Chains band members Layne Staley and Mike Starr.
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