Former Alice in Chains bassist Mike Starr dies
Posted Wed Mar 09, 2011 12:17 AM
TMZ reports that police found Starr's body in a Salt Lake City, Utah, house at 1:42 p.m. He was 44 years old.
A co-founding member of the pioneering Seattle grunge band, Starr appeared on VH1's "Celebrity Rehab" in 2009. He was arrested last month for felony possession of a controlled substance. Salt Lake City police said he had several painkillers on him when he was arrested. Alice in Chains have written heart-wrenching and evocative songs about drug addiction.
Former singer Layne Staley died in spring 2002 after overdosing on a mixture of heroin and cocaine, commonly known as a "speedball." The group mounted a successful comeback with 2009's Black Gives Way to Blue, which featured new vocalist William DuVall alongside guitarist Jerry Cantrell, drummer Sean Kinney and bassist Mike Inez.
Mike Starr was born April 4, 1966, in Honolulu. He rose to prominence in the Seattle scene as bassist for Diamond Lie, which featured Cantrell and Kinney. Once Staley entered the fold, they changed their name to Alice in Chains and signed a major-label deal. Starr appears on the group's debut album, Facelift, which produced the monster hit "Man in the Box." He's also on the band's follow-up EP release, Sap, and their second album, Dirt, which was released in September 1992.
Dirt is a hard rock classic, with "Rooster" remaining a radio staple. "Would?" was featured in the movie "Singles," which was set in the Seattle scene. "Down in a Hole" has been covered by Ryan Adams, Fuel and Demon Hunter. Songs like "Junkhead" dealt with heroin use head-on. The band Godsmack, whose sound owes much to Alice in Chains, took their name from track nine. Cantrell wrote the majority of the songs with some heavy contributions from Staley. Starr is credited as a co-writer on one track, "Rain When I Die."
Starr left Alice in Chains while touring behind Dirt in 1993. Years later, he would reveal on "Celebrity Rehab" that his reason for leaving was his growing addiction to drugs. He briefly joined former Black Sabbath singer Ray Gillen in Sun Red Sun. Their self-titled debut was released in 1995, two years after Gillen died from AIDS-related complications.
Heroin addiction sent Starr to "Celebrity Rehab," which was followed by a stint in the spin-off show "Sober House." He showed up on one episode of the following season of "Celebrity Rehab," celebrating more than six months of sobriety. He was arrested for possession by Salt Lake City police on February 18, 2011.
Travis Meeks of the band Days of the New was reportedly driving the van Starr was riding in when he was arrested last month. The singer/guitarist found platinum success with his band's first album in 1997 and a sound that drew comparisons to Alice in Chains. Meeks put together several different versions of the band in subsequent years, and his own drug problems landed him on the A&E show "Intervention" in 2005.
"Hey, officer, have you ever heard of Alice in Chains? I used to be the bass guitarist for them," Starr said to police, according to a local news report. "We are down here in Utah, me and Travis, putting together a new band."
According to a Ticketmaster listing, "Days of the New featuring Travis Meeks and Mike Starr" was scheduled to appear March 19 in St. Petersburg, Florida.
Posted Wed Mar 09, 2011 05:47 PM
Posted Thu Mar 10, 2011 12:28 PM
Posted Thu Mar 10, 2011 02:57 PM
Posted Fri Mar 11, 2011 07:48 AM
Nirvana had that 'raw' sound to it though. Cobain was an excellent composer (not guitar player). Of course, having Dave on drums helped a lot too. Just would have liked to see how they turned out.
I'm a metal guy, so Alice in Chains do it for me better than Nirvana.
Posted Fri Mar 11, 2011 08:08 PM
Thank god for Jerry Cantrell..without him the band would of never made it after Laynes death. Thanks to him it still has the same quality and sound.. it will never be the same however and usually if I can avoid it I wont listen to Live feeds of concerts where the new singer sings the songs Layne sang, so be it, I will never see a AIC concert, I can live with that, I just regret not going to see them in concert in the 90's.
anything happens to Jerry I am giving up music I swear.
Posted Fri Mar 11, 2011 08:18 PM
I dont even like looking at him anymore. to me its a disappointment. I wont be surprised if I hear he has overdosed but I will be saddened by it. not the deep emotional feeling and even somewhat depression I had over Layne but nevertheless.
Layne was just a total shock to me. I didnt really have a idea back then how deep he was into the drugs.
Posted Mon Mar 14, 2011 04:20 AM
That's how it goes, live fast, die young, experiment too much and it hits you back.
Mentioning drug abuse - people are not aware that part of what they admire was also caused by the experiences they got through drugs - very much so... If they lived a mediocre, sheltered "shiny happy life" or never experienced the exaggerated ups and downs sliding from the euphoria of drug induced states to the banality and vanity of the society they were in and psychological downs after heroin abuse, they would not have written many songs they did and they wouldn't possess the intensity they did. But the price was high - ending life too quickly is the result. If you shine too bright you burn out to quick, simple.
edit: I notice a pattern in most similar cases - like for Alice in Chains - the healthy creative foundation - the guitarist Jerry Cantrell lives on, has many projects, etc. - I think all great rock bands have this duality in them - a dark, soulful, fabric of reality tearing self-destructing force in one or a few members and a stable, creative, musical, organized counterpart in other members... The too soon dead ones remain bigger legends, though... Kurt Cobain, Sid Vicious, Syd Barret, John Bonham, Jim Morrison, Keith Moon, etc. and many others... Where are their bands after their deaths? Ok, Pink Floyd pulled off a few more stunts, but the initial power and authenticity of psychedelia was gone.
What status the dead members achieved and how did the rest of the members age? The intensity was gone in most cases. Obviously you need a combination of stable and unstable for the explosive creative mixture - sane and insane - down to earth and up in the sky...
This post has been edited by MrVortex: Mon Mar 14, 2011 04:39 AM
Posted Mon Mar 14, 2011 11:58 AM
Welp, off the top of my head, regarding your 'edit' section, besides Pink Floyd, the only band I know of that stayed on course after the death of a member was AC/DC. Brian Johnson replacing Bon Scott was like nothing even happened. Back in Black - second best selling album of all time, number 1 by an actual band.
You COULD say Metallica too, Newsted replaced Burton, and eventually Metallica's 'Black' sold over 20 million. WHY it sold over 20 million...I have yet to figure out, but still.
Hmmm, maybe you need to have "Black" in the title?
Posted Wed Mar 16, 2011 07:03 PM
AC/DC it dont really matter there..I dont have a favorite..any AC/DC song is my favorite by them
another band that didnt lose a band member by death..but changed around and still did well is Van Halen.
its David Lee Roth..no..its Sammy Hagar..waiiiiiit..David Lee Roth..
ahh hell who knows whos gonna be vocals there. I know they had another vocalist but dont think he went over so well.
I dunno how well they actually did in sales or anything with which vocalist but my personal favorite was Sammy Hagar.
Of course I imagine drugs is again the culprit here..Eddie has/had some drug abuse issues.
This post has been edited by Jewelz: Wed Mar 16, 2011 07:05 PM
Posted Thu Mar 17, 2011 11:35 AM