In Their Words

Kevin Wall has produced epic live concerts and events like Live Earth, Pink Floyd at the Berlin Wall, and Live 8. He credits his ADHD with giving him the creativity and vision to pull off the world’s biggest events.

Kevin Wall produces great concerts despite having ADHD
Kevin Wall produces great concerts despite having ADHD

I wasn’t formally diagnosed with ADHD. My wife, Sue Smalley, a psychiatry professor, knew that I had it.

My school experiences confirmed her “diagnosis.” The teachers had disciplined me in the classroom by taping my mouth shut and my hands to the chair so I’d stay put.

While ADHD symptoms were a handicap in school, they are strengths in the work world. ADHD gives me the ability to connect the dots and to think big. When I helped produce Live 8 or Live Earth, or was involved in Free Nelson Mandela or Pink Floyd at the Berlin Wall, I could “see” exactly what the show might look like on TV. But if you ask me to leave tickets for you at the box office, I fall apart.

Moving to Los Angeles after high school was the best move I ever made. In school, they had told me to sit down, calm down, and listen. In L.A., it was the opposite: They asked me to share ideas, take risks, and try new things. I did, thanks to my ADHD.

Updated on November 6, 2019

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