Alice in Chains bassist Mike Starr, who died on Tuesday (March 8) in Utah has prompted a storm of speculation about his former bandmate, Layne Staley.
Staley, the band’s frontman, died on April 5, 2002, after injecting a mixture of heroin and cocaine. According to Seattle Weekly, the 6’1″ rocker weighed just 86 pounds at the time of his death and had apparently been dead for almost two weeks before he was discovered in his Seattle apartment.
On the third season of “Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew,” Starr spent most of his therapy sessions talking about his feelings of helplessness and despondency in the wake of Staley’s death. He believed he was the last person to see Staley alive, having visited for his birthday on April 4. According to interviews Starr gave VH1, Staley appeared “sick”, so Starr tried to talk him into going to the hospital. An argument ensued, with Starr eventually storming out of the apartment.
He expressed his regret at not calling 911 to Staley’s mother, Nancy McCallum, in a “Celebrity Rehab”-moderated meeting. McCallum assured Starr that the family did not blame him for Staley’s death, saying, “Layne would forgive you. He’d say, ‘Hey, I did this. Not you.'”
Alice in Chains rode the grunge wave of the early ’90s to fame along with fellow Seattle-based bands like Nirvana, Soundgarden and Mudhoney. The band’s biggest hit was 1992’s “Man in the Box”: