A short write-up about Layne Staley
This is a personally written Biography which was briefly updated when this site was re-vamped. For a more in-depth article on Layne, please visit Wikipedia. There are many more detailed occurences of biographies all over the internet that it's so hard to compete and Wiki hold lists of external sources listed on the page.
On April 19, 2002 our friend Layne Staley was found dead in his Seattle home.-Official statement from Alice in Chains following the death of Layne
The official cause of the death is still unknown.
Yesterday we all managed to come together in Seattle.
It's good to be with friends and family as we struggle to deal with this immense loss and try to celebrate this immense life.
We're all looking for the usual things: comfort, purpose, answers, something to hold on to...a way to let him go in peace.
Mostly we're all feeling heartbroken over the death of our beautiful friend.
He was a sweet man with a keen sense of humor and a deep sense of humanity.
He was an amazing musician, an inspiration, and a comfort to so many.
He made great music and gifted it to the world.
We are proud to have known him, to be his friend, and to create music with him.
For the past decade, Layne struggled greatly.
We can only hope that he has at last found peace.
We love you, Layne, dearly, and we will miss you endlessly.
Layne Thomas Staley was recognized as the more 'gloomy' person of the bands he was in by the public. But in fact all the band members said that he was a kind sensitive and humorous guy.
Layne was in three bands: Alice In Chains, Mad Season and Class of '99. (See other projects here)
Alice In Chains was Layne's band, formed alongside Jerry, Sean and Mike (Starr). They'd been going strong since 1987 and had been formerly known as 'Alice 'n Chains'. Diamond Lie were Jerry's glam rock band and if you look on a search engine of some sort your sure to find pictures of the band in their gear.
Mad season (or 'Gacey Bunch') were a side project which consisted of members from Screaming trees and Pearl jam and of course Layne. Layne's last public words were spoken in song on Mad Season's first and only album. Named "Above", The album was decorated with Staley's drawings. The band split after the death of both bassist Baker Saunders and Layne.
Class of '99 was a 'one-off' band which done two covers in its appearances, these were Pink Floyd's 'Another Brick in the Wall' parts two and three. The tracks were featured on the soundtrack of 'Faculty', an American movie based around aliens and schools. Members of the band included Rage Against The Machine guitarist Tom Morello amongst others.
After a long 5 year public silence layne decided to talk to Adriana Rubio, A South-American journalist who wrote the book 'Angry Chair' which contains the last ever interview with Layne Staley. The book focuses on interviews with Layne's immediate family (Mother and Sister) throughout, but has Layne's last public words recorded from a phonecall.
The book is not an authorised publication from the Layne Staley Estate, and has been subject to immense criticism, however it is a talking point. Copies are scarce and have known to reach in excess of $100 online.
Born on August 22nd 1967, Layne passed away on 5th of April 2002. Coincidentally, the same day Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain committed suicide. He was found almost 2 weeks after.
Alice in Chains - The Re-ignition (!)
Alice in Chains were reformed in 2005 for a tribute to those who lost their lives in the Asia tsunami disaster in a hope to raise money for aid. They set about introducing a new singer, William DuVall, as their frontman.
Some fans hated the idea of a replacement, others rejoiced in nostalgia when they heard the news they may see AIC again. Gaining on mixed receptions, AIC then started to tour, a few vocalists have performed with them since Layne passed, more notably Billy Corgan and James Hetfield, but the decision was made to include DuVall permanently.
AIC are still as good musically as ever, releasing Black Gives Way To Blue, their first studio album in 14 years, on September 29 2009. It has had a couple of well selling singles in USA and acclaimed music critics attention. The title track from the album leaves a message in "i'll remember you", a lyric that ends the album.
Personally, the album doesn't completely satisfy me, and as with any album mixed receptions are likely to arise. More so in this case as fans will think the memory of Layne is tarnished by the decision to "replace" him.
There are reports of Mike Starr not agreeing with this, stating it's disrespectful to carry on without Layne. Purely what i've heard through internet chit-chat, but anyone that knows of Mike Starr would see that as most likely true..
Make your own mind up..
Sadly since this website has been in construction, Mike Starr, former bassist of Alice in Chains, and one of Layne's friends 'til the very end, passed away.
Reports suggested that he never really got over the death of such a close friend (Layne) and his demons finally caught up with him, as did Layne's. He featured in USA reality TV show 'Celebrity Rehab' which helped those with addictions over-come them.
After a stint in rehab, all seemed to be going fine, but he was found dead in an apartment in Salt Lake City. He was only 44 years old. It's a sad moment for all Alice in Chains fans, as he played a massive role in the development of the early works.
Unfortunate his life may have been, but he influenced a generation of fans who will never forget him. It seems a tragic end for the man who was reportedly the last man to have seen Layne alive.. No longer are their wings denied.