|(this is laynes obituary)|
|Layne Staley |
August 22, 1967 - April 19, 2001
Layne Staley, lead singer for the grunge band Alice in Chains, was found dead in his Seattle apartment, on
Friday, April 19. He was 34.
Police did not immediately release details except that tests were required to establish the identity because the body,
discovered Friday, had started to decompose. The King County Medical Examiner's office did not release his cause of death.
"It was natural or an overdose -- that's the way it was determined by our investigators," said Seattle Police spokesman Duane
With Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Soundgarden, Alice in Chains was one of the most prominent bands of the Seattle grunge scene
of the early '90s. The group was known for its dark, menacing sound, which combined grunge and heavy metal.
Layne was born on August 22, 1967 in Kirkland, WA. His parents divorced when he was young. The first instrument Layne played
was the drums at age 12. He played in different bands around Seattle. In these bands, he would sing while drumming. He soon
he gave up drumming and just sang.
In 1987, Layne met guitarist Jerry Cantrell at a party. Jerry introduced him to Mike and Sean. They decide to start a band.
Alice In Chains were born. The group's first album, Facelift, was released in 1990. It later released “Dirt” and
“Alice in Chains”. The group's hits included “Man in the Box”, “Them Bones”, “Rooster”,
and “Would?”. While Alice in Chains didn't garner as much respect as other Seattle grunge groups, the band's influence
still reverberates. Staley’s voice ranged from a low, growly monotone to a pained, piercing wail. He also played some
guitar for the group.
Layne had battled substance abuse. During the time between the albums “Facelift” and “SAP”, Layne
became addicted to heroin. In a 1996 interview with Rolling Stone magazine, Staley spoke of how his drug use influenced his
lyrics. "I wrote about drugs, and I didn't think I was being unsafe or careless by writing about them," he told the magazine.
"Here's how my thinking pattern went: When I tried drugs, they were (expletive) great, and they worked for me for years, and
now they're turning against me -- and now I'm walking through hell, and this sucks."
Alice in Chains stopped touring in the mid-'90s, when Staley's drug use proved too great an obstacle. He began a number
of stints in rehab. Layne later got together with Mike Mcready (Pearl Jam), Barret Martin (Screaming Trees), and John Baker
Saunders to create the "Seatle Supergroup" Mad Season. The band released the amazing album, “Above”. Layne also
drew the pictures for the album.
"He was a sweet guy, but very troubled," said Charles Cross, a former editor of the defunct Seattle music magazine The
Rocket who recently wrote a biography of Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain. "He lost his girlfriend to drugs a number of years
ago. People still had hopes he would turn around. It's a sad tale."
Staley's body was found just over eight years after Cobain was found dead in his Seattle home of a self-inflicted gunshot
wound. In the 1996 interview, Staley reflected on Cobain's death: "I saw all the suffering that Kurt Cobain went through.
I didn't know him real well, but I just saw this real vibrant person turn into a real shy, timid, withdrawn person who could
hardly get a 'hello' out. ... At the end of the day or at the end of the party, when everyone goes home, you're stuck with
For more on Layne Staley visit canoe.ca
|Kurt Cobain, Musician
February 20, 1967 - April 05, 1994
Kurt Donald Cobain was the pioneer of the musical group Nirvana. The grunge band from Seattle was one of
the most successful grange bands in the 90’s. The band achieved multi- platinum album sales, they redefined and brought
to the fore front the sound of grunge music. Kurt was born on February 20, 1967 in a small town called Hoquaim, but later
moved to Aberdeen, a desolate logging town. Kurt’s parents divorced when he was seven. Soon after, Kurt became difficult
to deal with. He grew increasingly anti-social and withdrawn. Kurt contends that his love of music became his only emotional
outlet. Kurt’s pain and suffering became the backdrop for many of Nirvana’s greatest hits.
Kurt listened to and was inspired by British punk bands the Sex Pistols, Black Flag and Joy Division. Kurt was attracted
to Punk’s often dark and rebellious lyrics. Kurt joined a number of bands in the Seattle area playing guitar and singing
lead vocals. By 1988 Kurt formed the band Nirvana and one year later Nirvana recorded its first album “Nevermind”.
The album propelled Nirvana to the level of superstar status overnight. Riding the wave of success, Nirvana went on to record
hit after hit. Unfortunately, Kurt’s emotional problems became increasingly worse as he became more and more uncomfortable
with the idea of becoming a musical celebrity.
Kurt turned to heroin in order to try and cope with is emotions. By February 1992 Kurt married Courtney Love and soon after
they had their only child Frances Bean. Kurt’s behavior grew more and more erratic. His drug abuse became more frequent,
overdosing on several occasions and having attempted suicide a number of times. Finally Courtney Love, Kurt’s bandmates
and friends convinced him to enter a detox clinic in L.A. After a few days, Kurt fled and returned home. On April 5, 1994
Kurt killed himself in a flat in his Seattle mansion by placing a shotgun in his mouth and pulling the trigger. Kurt’s
body was found when an electrician came to the house to install a security system. A suicide note written in red ink was found
by Kurt’s body. The letter was addressed to Courtney Love and daughter Frances Bean. A vigil was held where about 5,000
people gathered to mourn the death of Kurt Cobain.