Layne Staley is (possibly) dead

I say possibly because the Seattle police have not made a positive ID, but it doesn’t look hopeful. It seems that his body was found…I just heard it on the news.

I saw Alice in Chains over 10 years ago, opening for Megadeth. They were just starting out at the time but for an opening act, they put on a hell of a show. I think they were among the 2 or 3 best bands of the 1990’s - even though I never really got into grunge or the whole Seattle scene. I saw them 2 other times since then as headliners.

It was known that Staley had problems with drugs for some time and his addiction caused his music to suffer greatly. Hearing that he’s dead at 34 is hardly unexpected, but it’s still sobering to think that I’ll never hear him sing “Would” live again. I know its a tired cliche, but its such a waste when a yet another talented person just has to dope themself out of their talent, and ultimately out of life.


Damn. What a waste.


Friend of mine who lives in Ohio says Staley is living out there working as an artist. That was about a year ago so I guess he could have been in Seattle this week…

Here’s a link to the latest news I could find. The body hasn’t been officially identified yet, but “unofficial sources” say it’s him.


I don’t know, I guess it’s just not official yet. doesn’t say anything, but that’s the topic all over the message boards there.

This story cites the body as Staley’s, although it’s unconfirmed at this point.

So…are they gonna play “Man in the Box” at his funeral? (Sorry!)

This sucks. Of course realistically I think we all had to know that it was a matter of time. I’m just sorry that I never got to see AIC live.

:frowning: God. This is depressing. I used to love Alice in Chains, never saw them in concert, but still…Ah. sigh Poor guy.

Yep, its him. So much for the rumored AIC reunion.

I didn’t get into Alice In Chains until they’d been popular a while, but I grew to really appreciate their sound. I’m very sorry to hear about his.

MAN that’s bad… I have to admit it made me laugh, though…

I was never much of an Alice In Chains fan but now that song will have new meaning for me. I don’t think I’ll be able to listen to it again without thinking of that and laughing.

Still it pisses me off that yet another rock star has to die from an overdose. We should start a campaign to get the “drugs” out of “sex, drugs, and rock’n’roll.”

I was thinking that Layne Staley has wound up being a big ol’ pile of “Them Bones.”

mtv reports that it is confirmed. so sad, i dont know what to say… im angry too that he couldn’t save himself.
here’s hoping that we don’t lose more people…and to their music!!

JRIP Layne

I missed my one chance to see them back in 1991. They ended up becoming one of my favorite bands. I really don’t have much else to add, other than it sucks he couldn’t beat his demons.

There’s not much I can add without sounding like a “me, too” post, but what always amazed me more than anything was the man’s voice. It was brutal, evocative, and instantly recognizable. I’ve always wanted to sing like him.

I think everyone who was into AIC & knew about his struggle also knew that it was probably only a matter of time before he killed himself with that shit. I once said in a post that I couldn’t imagine weeping over the death of some entertainment figure…I’m not hysterical, but I’m shedding tears. :frowning:

Alice in Chains Singer Found Dead
Sat Apr 20, 7:48 PM ET
By GENE JOHNSON, Associated Press Writer

SEATTLE - Layne Staley, lead singer and guitarist for the grunge band Alice in Chains, was found dead in his apartment, authorities said Saturday. He was 34.

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 Fish.

Police did not immediately release details on anything that was found at the scene, and a spokesman did not respond to several messages.

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, and often wrote about heroin.

“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.”

While Alice in Chains didn’t garner as much respect as other Seattle grunge groups, the band’s influence still reverberates, Cross said.

“Critically, they’ll never rate in the same pantheon as Nirvana, but they were a band that inspired hundreds, if not thousands, of other bands,” Cross said. He pointed to Creed and Godsmack, a band that shares its name with an Alice in Chains song.

“They had huge commercial aspirations from the beginning. They fulfilled that, and so much of that was Layne’s voice,” Cross said.

His voice ranged from a low, growly monotone to a pained, piercing wail; many a bar-band singer frayed vocal cords in the early 1990s trying to imitate it. Staley also played some guitar for the group.

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.

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.”

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?”

The latter song was partly inspired by the 1990 heroin overdose death of Andrew Wood, singer of the seminal grunge group Mother Love Bone.

Staley’s body was found just over 8 years after Cobain was found dead in his Seattle home of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Heroin was found in Cobain’s bloodstream, and his head had been so mutilated that he could not be immediately identified.

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 yourself.”

I just want to add yet another “me too” sort of post.

The complete lack of news coverage sort of confirms that it’s the end of an era. I would have expected the local hard rock radio station to be digging deep into the AIC catalog but instead they were playing all your favorite hits by Creed, Staind and Limp Bizcit.

God I miss the 90s.

Originally posted by The Red Menace

I was thinking the same thing today. I looked for videos on MTV & MTV2, I listened to K-Rock (out of NYC), as well as WLIR, a (Long Island) station I like that’s not so much into the “harder sounding” Seattle bands, for lack of a better term.

MTV2 played the “No Excuses” video with a ticker underneath stating that he’d died at age 34 & that they don’t yet know the cause of death. Also heard “We Die Young” on WLIR. That’s it, though. No retrospectives or anything. I find that a bit depressing.

The local hard rock station out of Hartford played a lot of AIC yesterday, probably 2-3 songs an hour for most of the day.