Shane Evans, the former drummer of Collective Soul and a member of the Georgia Music Hall of Fame, is breaking a seven-year silence to warn Phoenix-area teens about fame, the consequences of lifestyle choices, and his descent and eventual recovery from drug addiction.
Evans, 42, will play a handful of songs from Collective Soul and then address a group of youth at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013 at The Rock Teen Center, 13625 N. 32nd St, Phoenix. The event is sponsored by Alice Cooper’s Solid Rock Foundation, a Phoenix-based non-profit organization that allows teens to build confidence and discover their passion through music, dance, self-expression and creativity.
Evans’ speech, “Rock, Recovery and Redemption” will touch upon the meteoric rise of Collective Soul, his departure from the group, his substance abuse problem and the long road to recovery.
“I’ve been clean and sober for three years and I’m finally at a point where I can discuss my triumphs and tragedies in public,” Evans said. “So if I am to tell my story, I want to tell it to someone who will listen and learn from my mistakes.”
Almost two decades ago, Evans was riding high as the drummer for Collective Soul. The Stockbridge-based quintet shot to international fame with their 1994 release “Hints, Allegations and Things Left Unsaid”, and their mega-hit, “Shine.” In the span of seven years, they tallied a total seven #1 radio hits, 19 Top 40 singles, and sold more than 10 million albums and CDs worldwide. Evans says with fame came the spoils of success and lifestyle choices that almost killed him.
“It’s nothing short of a miracle that I’m still alive. Drugs robbed me of almost everything including my family, friends, my home, and my dignity,” Evans said. “Through sobriety I’ve gained all of those things back and more. My life today is blessed and I want to share my experiences to help others.”
Evans said he was dismissed from the group in 2005 because of his excessive drug use. His mother’s demise from complications of diabetes, the accidental death of a girlfriend and a pair of DUI arrests pushed him further into despair. Evans said he hit rock bottom while living on the run from police at a run-down motel in Atlanta, Ga. He says he was two days away from being homeless when he finally made the decision to get clean and sober in August 2009. Weeks after Evans’ sobriety anniversary, Collective Soul was inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame.
“I still love all of the guys in Collective Soul because they are my brothers and we shared a lot of wonderful and life-changing experiences,” Evans said. “Me getting kicked out of the group was entirely my fault because of my addiction. It’s something I’ve finally come to terms with and must own up to in order to remain sober.”
After completing a yearlong recovery program at Waypoint Center in Dahlonega, Ga., Evans became a substance abuse counselor, helping others to overcome their addictions.
Solid Rock was founded in 1995 by long-time Arizona residents and devoted fathers Alice Cooper and Chuck Savale who envisioned a faith-based organization dedicated to make an everlasting difference in the lives of kids and teens in the community. Originally, Solid Rock existed to raise money for other organizations with like-minded missions, however, the dream went well beyond its original fundraising foundation. With the opening of The Rock Teen Center at 32nd Street in the Spring 2012, the dream has finally become a reality.
If you go:
What: “Rock, Redemption and Recovery” by Shane Evans
When: 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013
Where: The Rock Teen Center, 13625 N. 32nd St., Phoenix
Cost: Free to all local area teens
Information: 602-522-9200 or www.alicecoopersolidrock.com