On This Date 10 Years Ago Layne Staley Passed Away

Today is a sad day not just because of the news of the passing of Jim Marshall but also because of the reminder that this is the 10th anniversary of the passing of Alice in Chains vocalist, Layne Staley. Often criminally overshadowed by the early passing of Kurt Cobain, Layne’s passing was in my mind even more tragic. All it took was one bad choice to indulge in drugs of the heinous type to ruin the life of one of the most talented front man in rock music. Fortunately after years of healing Alice in Chains was able to reform and continue on but the legacy of Layne Staley can never be forgotten.

I can’t think of a better way to celebrate the life and talent of Layne then put up the full MTV Unplugged concert from 1996.This show would not only be the last televised show the band would perform for many years to come but also signaled the swan song of the Seattle ‘grunge’ movement. The opening song ‘Nutshell’ is a sad melancholic portent of what was really happening with Layne at the time and indeed the whole show is hard to watch now knowing what we know due to the sickness Layne was experiencing at the time of this. But it’s also a time capsule of what made Alice in Chains such a great band at the time with the vocals of Layne and the harmonizing with Jerry Cantrell. So without further ado here is the video for Alice in Chains Unplugged if you want to go back and reminisce.

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3 responses to “On This Date 10 Years Ago Layne Staley Passed Away

  1. I always thought AIC was “almost” part of the grunge scene. Yeah they were from Seattle and all, but they were metal. Staley had a great voice. Sad loss.

  2. I too never thought they really fit into the grunge scene. What I recall is that they weren’t categorized as that until Nirvana came along as I remember them being on metal shows when I was 11. If I’m not mistaken they were also the opening band on the Megadeth/Slayer/Anthrax “Clash of the Titans” tour before the whole grunge fad hit. They also blatantly ripped off King’s X for most of their (non-acoustic) albums, and King’s X are definitely not grunge.

  3. I don’t even want to get started on the term grunge. That’s why I put the term in between apostrophes. But yeah basically this performance signaled the end of the whole Seattle scene that drove metal as we knew it in the 80’s back into the underground.

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