Layne Staley the legendary frontman for Alice in Chains, left us 16 years ago to…
Written by megarock on April 5, 2018
Layne Staley the legendary frontman for Alice in Chains, left us 16 years ago today. The date of his passing is estimated as his body was not found until April 19. (The following is from wikipedia) “On April 19, 2002, Staley’s accountants contacted Staley’s former manager Susan Silver and informed her that no money had been withdrawn from the singer’s bank account in two weeks. Silver then contacted Staley’s mother Nancy McCallum, who placed a call with 911 to say she hadn’t heard from him “in about two weeks.” The police went with McCallum and her ex-husband to Staley’s home; “When police kicked in the door to Layne Staley’s University District apartment on April 19, there, laying on a couch, lit by a flickering TV, next to several spray-paint cans on the floor, not far from a small stash of cocaine, near two crack pipes on the coffee table reposed the remains of the rock musician.” It was reported that the 6 foot Staley weighed only 86 pounds when his body was discovered.
In an interview on VH1’s Celebrity Rehab with McCallum, former Alice in Chains bass player Mike Starr said that he spent time with Staley the day before he died as Starr’s birthday was April 4. Starr claimed that Staley was very sick but would not call 911. The two ex-bandmates briefly argued, which ended with Starr storming out. Starr stated that Staley called after him as he left: “Not like this, don’t leave like this”. Since Staley is believed to have died a day later, on April 5, Starr expressed regret that he did not call 911 to save his friend’s life; Starr reported that Staley had threatened to sever their friendship if he did. Starr was the last known person to see Staley alive. The interview ended with Starr apologizing to McCallum for not calling 911, but McCallum was insistent that neither she nor anyone in her family blamed Starr for Staley’s death. She also told Starr: “Layne would forgive you. He’d say, ‘Hey, I did this. Not you.'” With that said, Starr still blamed himself for the death of Staley. Starr kept this story a secret until his appearance on Celebrity Rehab in August 2009. Starr was found dead on March 8, 2011 as a result of prescription drug overdose. During this same interview, McCallum also claimed that Staley had attempted rehab 13 times, although it is not clear whether any of these attempts were during his reclusive years.”
The passing of Layne is often overlooked on April 5th as it is the same date on which Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain passed away in 1994. There are many that feel that Layne’s work was more important to the ‘grunge’ sound than Cobain’s was.
We will not try to make any assumption on either artists work or its importance We just wish they both were still with us. Layne was just 34 years old when he passed.