Matt Sorum Recalls ‘Spiritual Experience’ Meeting Archbishop Desmond Tutu
The world suffered a great loss over the weekend as South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu died at the age of 90. The anti-apartheid advocate and frequent voice of justice made an impact on many he met over the years, including former Guns N' Roses drummer Matt Sorum who shared his recollection of meeting Tutu in 2014 during a trip to South Africa with Kings of Chaos.
The all-star collective consisting of Sorum, Steven Tyler, Billy Gibbons, Duff McKagan and Nuno Bettencourt traveled to South Africa for shows when they were invited to meet Desmond Tutu for tea, an experience that Sorum will never forget.
"Very sad to hear of the passing of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, I had the honor of meeting him while on tour in South Africa with Kings of Chaos in 2014," recalled Sorum. "I received a call from a friend asking if we’d like to meet him for tea. Steven Tyler, Duff, Billy Gibbons and Nuno Bettencourt along with our wives headed to his office walking through the Cape Town marina near The Nelson Mandela gate."
He continued, "We were greeted by his lovely staff and Archbishop Tutu. We sat with him for around 1 hour while he filled us with positive and uplifting hope for the future of Africa and the world .He was highly intelligent with a gentle tone. It was a spiritual experience being so close to a man who has dedicated his life to helping the oppressed especially during Apartheid when he was an instrumental figure along with Mandela. It was a day I will never forget and so glad I was able to be in the presence of such a great man." Sorum concluded his post with the hashtag #rip and linking to Tutu's social media account.
In a statement confirming his death on Sunday (Dec. 26), South African President Cyril Ramaphosa expressed his condolences to Tutu's family and friends, calling him "a patriot without equal."
"A man of extraordinary intellect, integrity and invincibility against the forces of apartheid, he was also tender and vulnerable in his compassion for those who had suffered oppression, injustice and violence under apartheid, and oppressed and downtrodden people around the world," Ramaphosa said.
"Archbishop Tutu was grounded in the struggle for liberation and justice in his own country, but also concerned with injustice everywhere. He never lost his impish sense of humor and willingness to find humanity in his adversaries," said former President Barack Obama.
President Joe Biden also stated in a joint statement with his wife Jill Biden, "His courage and moral clarity helped inspire our commitment to change American policy toward the repressive Apartheid regime in South Africa. His legacy transcends borders and will echo throughout the ages."
From the rock music world, Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello called Tutu "a powerful moral and political force who was crucial in toppling the racist apartheid regime in South Africa," while sharing his social media tribute.