With studies showing 70 percent of music people suffer from anxiety and depression, the message that help is out there has never been more important. MusiCares provides mental health and addiction services, counseling, and treatment to support music professionals. GRAMMY-nominated guitarist Dave Navarro recently shared his experience with past mental health challenges, providing a message of hope for those still suffering.
"Some of the loneliest times in my life have been in rooms full of thousands of people because not one of them knew what was going on inside me," says Navarro. "Rarely do we pick up the phone at 3 a.m. after a gig and ask for help. … What's great about MusiCares is that it is now recognized and it is well known that it is here to help. The real challenge is letting people know that it is a great strength to reach out for support."
Duff McKagan is taking some time out of his busy schedule with Guns N' Roses to jam some tunes and celebrate with his peers at MusiCares' 2018 Concert For Recovery honoring Pearl Jam guitarist Mike McCready in Seattle on May 10. The bassist is especially looking forward to honoring McCready — a friend he has known "since we were 14 years old" — for his commitment to helping others with recovery, his support of MusiCares and his philanthropic work with organizations such as the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation.
"Mike is a guy I look up to," says McKagan. "I know what he went through. I was there. Recovery is not a static line. Recovery is not something that just happens. … It's an ongoing process and it's a day-to-day thing."
The GNR co-founder is a Concert For Recovery veteran, having helped raise funds for MusiCares at the 2012 event honoring Alice In Chains' Jerry Cantrell. This time around, he's looking forward to performing with the likes of bandmate Slash, Cheap Trick's Robin Zander, Heart's Nancy Wilson, Star Anna, and Social Distortion's Mike Ness.
"These are really, really cool things as musicians to be able to do," says McKagan about performing. "And that expands our support group also."
During the coronavirus pandemic, the health and livelihood of the people who bring us music are in jeopardy. Through the COVID-19 Relief Fund, MusiCares provides support for the producers, engineers, singers, songwriters, musicians, tour and live production crews, and the hundreds more who need your help to keep the music playing. For more information and to donate, visit musicares.org.
MusiCares is widely known for their work in health and human services in support of the music community. Take a look inside one such program, Sober Jam. Hosted by the Gibson Showroom in Austin, Texas, this unique monthly jam session gives musicians of all ability levels a scene all their own to hang out in a safe space and jam with others in recovery.