Layne Staley

By robannk
  • The Birth of a Legend

    The Birth of a Legend
    Layne Staley was born on August 12, 1967 in Kirkland, Washington.
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    Early Life

    Layne's parents divorce when he is 7. After the divorce, his mother and stepfather raised him. Layne said, "My world was a nightmare, there were just shadows around me." He said he got a call saying his dad died but his family knew he was still around doing all kinds of drugs. Layne thought that if he became a celebrity his dad would return. Layne began playing drums at age 12.
  • Sleze

    Sometime in 1985, Layne Staley, Johnny Bacolas, and James Bergstrom formed a glam rock band called Sleze. Layne said "we played speed metal and dressed in drag". In 1986, the band gained one new member named Nick Pollock. Sleze turned into "Alice N' Chains".
  • Struggling Musicians

    Struggling Musicians
    Layne met Jerry Cantrell in 1986. They were both struggling musicians trying to make a living. They later became roommates. Alice N' Chains disbanded and Layne joined a funk band. Layne asked Jerry to join the funk band. Jerry said only under one condition: if Layne also joined his band which included bassist Mike Starr and drummer Sean Kinney. Layne said yes.
  • Alice in Chains

    Alice in Chains
    Eventually, the funk band broke up some time in 1987. Layne was now in Jerry's band full-time. The band took the name "Alice in Chains".
  • Facelift

    On August 21, 1990, Alice in Chains released their first album, Facelift. Their second single from Facelift, "Man in the Box" became a huge hit and is still heard on the radio today. Facelift has been certified a "double platinum" album for selling 2 million copies in the US.
  • Sap

    AIC toured for 2 years in support of their album. After their touring, they released an acoustic album called "Sap".
  • Dirt

    On September 29, 1992, Alice in Chains released their most successful and critically acclaimed album, Dirt. Dirt was #6 on the Billboard 200 and was certified "quadruple platinum". AIC didn't tour for Dirt for that long due to Layne's drug addiction. While AIC was on tour, Mike Starr apparently left the band for "personal reasons", but many years later Mike says in an interview "I was kicked out because of my drug addiction". Mike was replaced by Mike Inez.
  • Jar of Flies

    Jar of Flies
    On January 25, 1994 Alice in Chains' second acoustic album, Jar of Flies is released. It was the first EP to ever make #1 on the Billboard 200. Because of Layne's terrible conditions, the band decided not to tour for Jar of Flies. Layne was put into a rehab clinic and also began to work on a side project with Michael McCready from Pearl Jam, and Barrett Martin from Screaming Trees.
  • Dying Rockstar

    Dying Rockstar
    At KISW-FM's "Rockstock" concert on May 27, 1994, just a month after Kurt Cobain's death, Layne made a surprise appearance. He looked very sick and wore a ski mask to cover his face. His condition was getting worse from heroin addiction. Mark Arm from the band Mudhoney was quoted saying "I remember seeing Layne in 1995. He turned up and was totally green, and my stomach turned at that point - watching somebody on a track that they couldn't get off."
  • Crocodile Cafe

    Crocodile Cafe
    Layne Staley's supergroup (a supergroup is a band with people in it that are already famous) schedules a concert a The Crocodile Cafe, a music club in Seattle. The concert turns out to be a big success. Their band, The Gacy Bunch changes their name to Mad Season.
  • Self-Pollution

    On January 8, 1995, Mad Season performed two songs on Pearl Jam's "Self-Pollution" radio broadcast.
  • Last Album

    Last Album
    On November 7, 1995, Alice in Chains' self-titled album was released.
  • Unplugged

    One of Alice in Chain's last shows was at MTV Unplugged in New York on April 10, 1996.
  • Last Show

    Last Show
    Layne had his last performance on July 3, 1996 in Kansas City, Missouri when Alice in Chains was touring with KISS.
  • Grammys

    Alice in Chains attend the Grammys after their song "Again" from their self-titled album was nominated for "Best Hard Rock Performance".
  • Class of '99

    Class of '99
    In November 1998 Layne recorded vocal tracks for another supergroup called Class of '99. It consisted of Tom Morello, Stephen Perkins, Martyn LeNoble, and Matt Serletic, all from different popular bands. Class of 99' did a cover of Pink Floyd's "Another Brick in the Wall" for the soundtrack of the 1998 movie "The Faculty".
  • Music Bank

    Music Bank
    Up until October 26, 1999 Layne Staley stayed out of the spotlight. On this day, the box set "Music Bank" was released, which featured many Alice in Chains songs and 2 brand new songs. Reports of Layne's deterorating condition surfaced around this time. The producer of AIC's album "Dirt" said, "Staley weighed 80 pounds and was white as a ghost."
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    Final Years

    No one really knows what Layne did with his life from 1999 to 2002. He rarely left his Seattle condominium. In Layne's last interview in 2002, he said "I know I'm near death, I did crack and heroin for years. I never wanted to end my life this way." Layne looked even worse than before, he had missing teeth, his skin was very pale, and he was extremely skinny.
  • Death

    On April 19, 2002, Layne's accountants contacted his mother and said that he hasn't drawn any money out of his account for 2 weeks. She called 911. Her and the police went to his condo and they kicked down the door. Sitting on a couch was the remains of Layne. He died from drug overdose. Mike was the last person to see Layne before he died.