Just a small tribute for Mike Starr who just passed away and for former singer Layne Staley.... r.i.p m/
Alice in Chains is an American rock band formed in Seattle, Washington, in 1987 by guitarist Jerry Cantrell and original lead vocalist Layne Staley. Although widely associated with grunge music, the band's sound incorporates heavy metal and acoustic elements. Since its formation, Alice in Chains has released four studio albums, three EPs, two live albums, four compilations, and two DVDs. The band is known for its distinct vocal style which often included the harmonized vocals of Staley and Cantrell.
Alice in Chains rose to international fame as part of the grunge movement of the early 1990s, along with other Seattle bands such as Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and Soundgarden. The band was one of the most successful music acts of the 1990s, selling over 25 million albums worldwide, and over 12 million in the US alone. The band achieved two number-one Billboard 200 albums (Jar of Flies and Alice in Chains), 14 top ten songs on the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart, and eight Grammy Award nominations.
Although never officially disbanding, Alice in Chains was plagued by extended inactivity due to substance abuse, culminating in the death of Layne Staley in 2002. Alice in Chains reunited in 2005 with new lead vocalist William DuVall and released Black Gives Way to Blue, their first studio album in 14 years, on September 29, 2009. The album was a success, being certified gold by the RIAA in March 2010.
Former Alice in Chains bassist Mike Starr, who played on the band’s first two influential albums and was one of the last people to see singer Layne Staley alive, has been found dead in a Salt Lake City, Utah home, TMZ reports. Starr, who was 44, was arrested earlier this month in Salt Lake City and found to be in possession of six Xanax pills and six Opana painkillers. According to a police report, Starr asked an officer if he’d heard of Alice in Chains, and said he was in Utah with a friend to put together a new band. “It’s a terrible shock and tragedy,” the rocker’s father told the website today.
Starr played on the Seattle band’s 1990 album Facelift and cowrote “It Ain’t Like That” and “Confusion.” He also performed on 1992′s Sap EP and Dirt LP, which featured the band’s breakout tracks “Down in a Hole,” “Rooster,” and “Would?” which also appeared on the soundtrack to the film Singles (the band also briefly performed onstage in the movie, too). Starr exited the band in 1993 and later admitted he’d been booted because his drug problem was out of control.
The musician, who appeared on VH1′s Celebrity Rehab and Sober House in 2010, displayed erratic behavior while battling a vicious heroin addiction on TV. He wore headphones most of the time, and said, “My singer dies, and the only way I can hear him is through this… It takes me back to when Layne was alive.” In a pivotal episode of Rehab, Starr spoke with Staley’s mother and apologized for not doing more to help her drug-addled son. “I wish I would have called 911, he told me if I did, he’d never talk to me again,” Starr said. “I was too high. I got mad at him, I said, ‘I’ll just leave’ and his last words were ‘not like this.’ And I just left. I can’t believe that. I’m so ashamed.” Staley was found dead of a lethal mix of heroin and cocaine in his Seattle apartment in 2002.
When Starr first appeared on Rehab, his onetime bandmate Jerry Cantrell criticized the show for sensationalizing drug recovery: “[Mike is] a friend of ours, and we wish him the best. But that show’s not really cool.” Starr seemed to have kicked his dangerous addiction, and appeared on an episode of the following season’s Rehab to demonstrate his progress. He was six months sober at the time of the taping.
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