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Layne Staley Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (5)  | Mini Bio (2)  | Trade Mark (2)  | Trivia (26)  | Personal Quotes (15)

Overview (5)

Born in Kirkland, Washington, USA
Died in Seattle, Washington, USA  (drug overdose)
Birth NameLayne Thomas Staley
Nickname Alice
Height 6' 1" (1.85 m)

Mini Bio (2)

Layne was born August 22, 1967 in Kirkland, WA. When Layne was seven, his parents divorced. He started playing drums around the age of 12.

Layne always wanted to sing when he played his drums, so his groupies told him that he should sing instead. So, Layne traded in his drum set for a microphone and delay.

While at a party in Seattle in 1987, he met Jerry Cantrell who suggested the two start a band. Jerry then introduced Layne to Mike Starr, who introduced him to Sean Kinney. Layne was known to be dark and mysterious, but he actually had a thirst for knowledge and was a chatterbox. He was also an artist. Layne did the artwork both for Mad Season's album and in sleeve of Alice in Chains' "Dirt" album. His best known artwork is probably the Alice In Chains Sun Logo.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Kari Johnson <kari_j@alloymail.com>

Layne Staley was born in Kirkland, Washington in 1967. In the mid-1980s, he fronted the glam metal band Sleze, then formed Alice in Chains (then called Alice n' Chains, ala Guns 'N' Roses) with guitarist Jerry Cantrell, bassist Mike Starr & drummer Sean Kinney.

Their debut album Facelift was a hit, and featured the now-classic "Man in the Box." Their newfound fame led to a cameo in the movie _Singles(1992)_ and their follow up album, Dirt, going multi-platinum. After changing bassists to Mike Inez, the group, led by Staley, released two EPs, Sap and Jar of Flies, and an eponymous LP. They toured little, however, as rumors of Staley's struggle with heroin addiction ran wild. Staley and the band appeared on _Alice in Chains: MTV Unplugged (1996) (V)_ in 1996. This would be their final television appearance. The band played just four more shows together, opening for KISS on June 28, 30, July 2 and 3, 1996. After the death of his girlfriend and former fiancé, Demri Parott, in October 1996, Staley was said to have basically given up in his battle with drug addiction. This, however, did not stop him from working with Mad Season and recording vocals for "Another Brick in the Wall" for the soundtrack to The Faculty (1998). Unable to get Staley into the studio to record, Jerry Cantrell released Boggy Depot in March 1997. Aside from recording the songs "Died" and "Get Born Again" in October 1998, Layne Staley remained elusive, with only sporadic 'reported' sightings of him around Seattle surfacing from time-to-time.

On 20 April 2002, Seattle Police were summoned to the home of Layne Staley after friends and family members were unable to contact him. Inside, Staley's decomposing body was found lifeless, the victim of an apparent drug overdose. Layne Staley was 34 years old.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: -

Trade Mark (2)

Frequently wore sunglasses
Raw edged vocals

Trivia (26)

He was the lead vocalist for alternative rock band Alice in Chains. The band became famous for being part of the Grunge movement in Seattle in the early 90's.
His long-time girlfriend (and former fiance) Demri Parrott died of a drug overdose in October 1996. Their relationship had ended years before her death.
It's believed he died on April 5, 2002. The autopsy report from the May 7, 2002, from the King County Medical Examiner's Office confirms that Staley died after injecting a "speedball", a mixture of heroin and cocaine. He had been dead for about two weeks when his body was discovered on April 19, and was surrounded by drug paraphernalia. His body was so decomposed when found that it was only identified as that of Layne Staley after a check of the dental records.
Wrote about his struggles with heroin addiction in such songs as "Angry Chair", "Junkhead", "God Smack", "Hate To Feel" and "Nutshell".
In high school, Layne sang in a glam-rock band called "Alice N Chains." Upon the formation of the rejuvenated Alice in 1987 with Jerry Cantrell, Sean Kinney and Mike Starr, the group re-spelled it's name to Alice in Chains and adopted a heavier, metal-influenced sound.
He had a death similar to that of Kenny MacLean and Kurt Cobain, in that nobody found him for days.
Was a close friend of former Screaming Trees singer Mark Lanegan, of Pearl Jam singer Eddie Vedder, and of late singers Andrew Wood from Mother Love Bone, Shannon Hoon from Blind Melon and Chris Cornell, from Soundgarden and Audioslave. Staley's Alice in Chains' bandmates Jerry Cantrell and Sean Kinney have both described him as their best friend.
Managed to live to see his newborn nephew Oscar, who was born months before his death. Layne's mother reportedly owns the most recent photo of Layne holding his nephew.
He was the lead singer for the grunge supergroup Mad Season, which featured members of Pearl Jam and Screaming Trees. Mad Season released their only album in 1995 called "Above", featuring the hit single "River of Deceit".
His last name is pronounced "stay-lee".
Despite a 10+ year collaboration as Alice in Chains, Layne was occasionally at odds with guitarist Jerry Cantrell. They disagreed on several things, including whether Alice in Chains should continue touring (which they had not done since 1996) and recording (other than two new songs in 1999, the band had not released an album since 1995). As a result, they stopped speaking to each other for a while. Despite the feud, Cantrell decided not to continue Alice in Chains without Staley after he died. A reunion tour began in 2005 with various guest vocalist. In 2009, the band released the album "Black Gives Way to Blue" featuring William DuVall on vocals.
Eddie Vedder wrote the song "4/20/02" in the night that he found out about Staley's death, on April 20, 2002. Vedder also paid tribute to him during a Pearl Jam concert in Chicago on August 22, 2016, the day of Staley's 49th birthday; "It's the birthday of a guy called Layne Staley tonight, and we're thinking of him tonight too. 49 years old", Vedder told the crowd before dedicating the song "Man of the Hour" to his late friend.
After his death, at least 100 people (friends and fans), many carrying candles and flowers, gathered at Seattle Center's International Fountain on April 20, 2002 to remember Staley, including Alice in Chains' bandmate Jerry Cantrell and friend Chris Cornell, who dyed his hair blonde in tribute to Staley. Cornell alongside Heart's Ann and Nancy Wilson, performed a rendition of The Rolling Stones' "Wild Horses" and The Lovemongers' song "Sand" at Staley's funeral on April 28, 2002.
Following his death, his friend and Alice in Chains guitarist, Jerry Cantrell, adopted Staley's cat, a female Siamese named Sadie. The cat appeared on Cantrell's episode of MTV Cribs, which was shot at Cantrell's ranch in Oklahoma in September 2002. Sadie died on the same night of Alice in Chains' concert in Seattle on October 8, 2010, aged 18. She lived with Cantrell's family in Oklahoma until her death.
Jerry Cantrell dedicated his solo album, "Degradation Trip", released two months after Staley's death (but recorded in 2000), to his memory.
Staley's Alice in Chains' bandmates and friends, Jerry Cantrell and Sean Kinney, have expressed their frustration over the Grammy Awards ignoring Staley during their annual tribute to the musicians who have passed away over the past year during their 2003 ceremony.
Staley had two tattoos. In 1988, Staley and Jerry Cantrell decided to get the "brothers tattoo". Cantrell got a screaming skull on his right shoulder, and Staley got a smiling skull with an Elvis hairdo and sunglasses on his left shoulder. Staley's skull tattoo is mentioned on the song "Sea of Sorrow", in the lines "You opened fire / Aim my smilin' skull at you" - the lyrics were written by Cantrell. Staley also tattooed on his back the Jesus with his eyes sewn shut from the music video of "Man In the Box".
Jerry Cantrell used to call him "Blanche". And Staley nicknamed Cantrell as "Satan Hoof". They revealed this during an interview with radio Rockline in 1998.
The first concert that he attended was Elton John's when he was a kid. In 2009, Elton John joined Alice in Chains (in their first album in 14 years and the first without Staley), to make a tribute to Staley playing piano in the song "Black Gives Way To Blue", the title track described by Jerry Cantrell as the band's goodbye to Staley.
His last interview was for radio program Rockline on July 19, 1999. The show was hosting Jerry Cantrell, Mike Inez, and (via telephone) Sean Kinney for a discussion on the release of Alice in Chains' compilation "Nothing Safe: Best of the Box", when, unexpectedly, Staley called in to participate in the discussion. He didn't give another interview after that and lived recluse until his death. The controversial biography "Layne Staley: Angry Chair" (2003), features an alleged interview that Argentinian fan, Adriana Rubio, claims to have conducted with Staley a few months before his death in 2002. Rubio interviewed Staley's mother, Nancy Layne McCallum, and his sister, Liz Coats, to write the book, she also had access to Staley's art work, sketches, diary entries and childhood pictures. Staley's sister, Liz Coats, stated that she talked with Layne to let him know of Rubio's intentions to write a book about him, and he said that he wasn't interested in it, he did not trust journalists, and that they had never been honest in his experience. He also told his sister to tell Rubio: "Tell her if she wants to write a book about someone, she should write it about herself." Coats along with other family members and friends, have stated that Rubio's book is full of lies and she never interviewed him, and his family felt betrayed after they saw the content of her book. Coats stated that she unfortunately had to learn the hard way that Rubio was not to be trusted, and what she claims to be Staley's last interview was actually fabricated by herself. Rubio's interview portrays Staley as using lyrics from Alice in Chains and Mad Season in casual conversation, besides using quotes from previous printed interviews. Public records prove that Staley never quoted his own lyrics or song titles during an interview. By 1996, Staley already had trouble remembering his own lyrics, as can be seen on the "MTV Unplugged" concert. Rubio also refuses to release the tape that she claims that contains her interview with Staley. The publisher who worked on Rubio's book, Craig Chilton, stated that he did not review any tapes or transcripts, and if Rubio had such things, he never saw them, he just cleaned the book up grammatically and spelling-wise.
In 2010, in an interview on VH1's Celebrity Rehab with Staley's mother, Nancy 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 on 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 and his last words were: "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 was the last known person to see Staley alive. The interview ended with Starr apologizing to McCallum for not calling 911. Starr kept this story a secret until his appearance on Celebrity Rehab in February 2010.
The music video for Alice in Chains' 2013 single, "Voices", features a picture of Staley next to a photo of Nirvana's frontman, Kurt Cobain, at the 2:20 mark.
In 2013, Alice in Chains drummer, Sean Kinney, added the initials "LSMS" on his drum kit, a tribute to Staley and the band's former bassist Mike Starr, who died in 2011.
Jerry Cantrell always pays tribute to Staley before performing the song "Nutshell" with Alice in Chains. Since 2011, Cantrell pays tribute to both Staley and Mike Starr before performing the song at concerts. For the show in São Paulo on September 26, 2013, the band had t-shirts of Brazil national football team with the names "Staley" and "Starr" on display at the stage.
Staley was born Layne Rutherford Staley. "Layne" was his mother's maiden name. Friends have told that Staley didn't like the name "Rutherford" and would get angry everytime someone called him by this name. A court document from his parents' divorce identified him as "Layne R. Staley". In a 2017 interview with Northwest Music Scene, Staley's mother revealed that he legally changed his middle name to "Thomas" during his teens because he was a fan of Tommy Lee from Mötley Crüe. He took his stepfather's name and was known in high school as "Layne Elmer".
His favorite bands were Black Sabbath (whom Layne cited as his first influence), Metallica, Exodus, Anthrax, Judas Priest, Saxon, Rainbow, Mercyful Fate, Twisted Sister, Van Halen, Ministry, The Lords of the New Church and Skinny Puppy.

Personal Quotes (15)

[Rolling Stone - February 8, 1996] People have a right to ask questions and dig deep when you're hurting people and things around you. But when I haven't talked to anybody in years, and every article I see is dope this, junkie that, whiskey this - that ain't my title. Like 'Hi, I'm Layne, nail biter,' you know? My bad habits aren't my title. My strengths and my talent are my title.
The only pressure this band will ever feel is living up to our own expectations.
[on the near-death experiences that he claimed forced him to re-evaluate his lifestyle two and a half years before this interview - Rolling Stone - February 8, 1996] I was lucky enough to get a glimpse of where I was going to go if I did follow through with it. That makes me sad for my friends who have taken their own lives, because I know that if your time is not finished here, and you end it yourself, then you gotta finish it somewhere else. There was a time when things seemed desperate, and I thought taking my life might be a way out. I made a couple of really weak attempts, mostly to see if I could do it, and I couldn't.
[on if he were writing his autobiography, what would he want people to know about him - Pandemonium, Vol#29 - April 1995: "Layne Staley Unchained"] I've always looked for the perfect life to step into. I've done all the work, taken all the paths to get where I wanted. But no matter where I go, I still come home to me. At home I'm just Layne, a guy who has interests that extend far beyond music. Music is the career I'm lucky enough to get paid for, but I have other desires and passions.
[Rolling Stone - February 8, 1996] There's no huge, deep message in any of the songs. It was just what was going on in my head right then. We had good times, and we had bad times. We recorded a few months of being human.
[Rolling Stone - February 8, 1996] I wrote about drugs, and I didn't think I was being unsafe or careless by writing about them. Here's how my thinking pattern went: When I tried drugs, they were fucking 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. I didn't want my fans to think heroin was cool. But then I've had fans come up to me and give me the thumbs up, telling me they're high. That's exactly what I didn't want to happen.
[Rolling Stone - February 8, 1996] 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, introverted person who could hardly get a hello out.
Why do people keep taking drugs? Don't they hear my music? Don't they understand the words?
[Rolling Stone - February 8, 1996] If you gotta feel pain here, you gotta feel it somewhere else. I believe that there's a wonderful place to go to after this life, and I don't believe there's eternal damnation for anyone. I'm not into religion, but I have a good grasp on my spirituality. I just believe that I'm not the greatest power on this earth. I didn't create myself, because I would have done a hell of a better job.
[Rolling Stone - February 8, 1996] I'm scared of death, especially death by my own hand. I'm scared of where I would go.
[Pandemonium, Vol#29 - April 1995: "Layne Staley Unchained"] Kurt [Cobain] and I weren't the closest of friends, but we ran into each other at shows and hung out a lot. I knew him well enough to be devastated by his death. I just don't understand it at all. The last time I saw him, he gave me a ride from QFC on Broadway to a friend's house, the whole way there, which was about a fifteen minute drive, he talked about his daughter. For such a quiet person, he was so excited about having a child, he really loved that little girl. About a month later I saw on the news, that he was dead.
[on how he met Jerry Cantrell - Interviewed by Don Kaye in 1996] I met Jerry at a party, just out of the blue. I didn't think he was the coolest guy in the world or anything. He had no family in the area, so he's kind of struggling, didn't have any money or a place to stay or anything. And me being completely drunk, just offered this total stranger a place to stay and clothes and food and musical instruments. I think two days later he moved his stuff up into the rehearsal room that I was working [out of]. And he's got himself a little 4-track, and kinda started out there, writing and jamming with some people. He was playing with some guys that I thought... you know, weren't up too pair with the music that he was writing. And I remember meeting Mike [Starr] and Sean [Kinney] prior to that.
[on if he supports the idea of legalizing drugs to get treatment closer to users - Pandemonium Vol#29, April 1995: "Layne Staley Unchained"] I don't think any drug that can cause brain damage, failing kidneys, hardening arteries, pain, and suffering should be made available. Drugs are not the way to the light. They won't lead to a fairy-tale life, they lead to suffering.
[on if he considers himself a role model - Pandemonium Vol#29, April 1995: "Layne Staley Unchained"] No. I hope not. I do have a lot to say about preventing people from making stupid decisions. I made a stupid decision and now I'm paying for it. My bed isn't made, I'm tired, I haven't slept well for two weeks. I haven't been laid in a month.
[Alice In Chains: Love, Sex, Pain And Suffering... - Interview conducted by Ian McFarlane in 1991] I think our lyrics reflect reality. Maybe not someone else's reality, but definitely ours, you know? I don't write about bullshit and neither does my guitar player, Jerry Cantrell. I have a fascination with how brainwashed people get with religion and how they'll give up their money, their time and their whole life for a cause that they're sure is right, but I'm sure is wrong. I think there's a lot of people who are scared of life and living and they want to make sure they get to Heaven or whatever. I try to stay away from it as much as I can. I was raised in the church until I was 16 and I've disagreed with their beliefs as long as I can remember, so when I had the choice I chose not to believe in anything apart from myself.

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