Rock to Recovery — a nonprofit founded by former Korn guitarist Wesley Greer that provides support for addicts through music therapy and other initiatives — recently held its second annual benefit event at the Fonda Theatre in Hollywood, California. One of the most emotional moments of the September 16th ceremony came when Corey Taylor took the stage to receive Rock to Recovery's "Icon" award, which recognizes individuals in the music industry who've battled and overcome addiction. Following an introduction from Geer and former Sevendust guitarist Sonny Mayo, the Slipknot/Stone Sour frontman, whose battles with alcoholism culminated in a suicide attempt in 2013, addressed the crowd with a heartfelt acceptance speech.
"I don't really know what to say," he began. "It's been eight years, and you put a lot of shit in perspective. You have a lot of time to think. You have nowhere to go with it. Your trial and error becomes your way of life, who you are is a question every day, and why. And in this industry, that 'why' is kind of wrapped up in a lot of weird shit."
He went on to speak Rock to Recovery's praises. "So the great thing about this program, this organization, is it takes away all of that shit. It takes away the stigma of trying to be a better person, trying to be a stronger person, a healthier person. It takes away the feeling of being alone, surrounded by people who are doing the exact same stuff that you do. And it lets you enjoy it again, which is a fucking hard thing to do when you're force-fed an idea that it's only cool if you're fucked up. It's not. It's actually better once you get your head together, or try to."
Taylor wrapped up his speech by exposing his demons to the audience, tears welling in his eyes. "I had my first drink when I was five years old, did my first drug when I was 11, and it was just all fucked up from there," he recalled. "I lost a lot of friends," he said, before concluding on a more optimistic note: "One day at a time. And every day is a gift. So thank you for having this gift with me."