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Mike Starr and Layne Staley Together Again


Mike Starr and Layne Staley are together again. The two talented Alice in Chains rockers, who both suffered from drug addiction, are now free of the chains that trapped and eventually stole their lives.

“You can’t understand a user’s mind
But try, with your books and degrees
If you let yourself go and opened your mind
I’ll bet you’ll be doing like me
And it ain’t so bad.”

~ Alice in Chains
Junkhead: You Can’t Understand a User’s Mind

by Carson Abrir

Mike Starr Layne Staley Jerry Cantrell Sean Kinney Alice in Chains
Mike Starr, left, the bassist for Alice in Chains died yesterday in Salt Lake City. He was 44.

“It ain’t so bad,” except now Alice in Chains rockers Mike Starr and Layne Staley are both dead. Both men suffered from severe drug addiction.

“Not like this, don’t leave like this,” were the last words Mike Starr remembered hearing from Layne Staley as he left him alone, sick, and suffering the day before Starr’s 36th birthday. Mike Starr never seemed to forgive himself for not calling 911 to get help for his friend. Layne Staley was 34 when he died.

Now Mike Starr is dead too. According to police, his body was found yesterday afternoon in a Salt Lake City home. Three weeks ago, Salt Lake City police arrested the original Alice in Chains bassist for illegal drug possession.

Dr. Drew Pinsky, who famously tried to cure Mike Starr of his drug addiction at the Pasadena Recovery Center two years ago in a story featured on VH1’s Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew, responded via Twitter.

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“Devastating to hear of Mike Starr succumbing to his illness,” Dr. Drew Pinsky tweeted. “So very sad. Our prayers are with his family.”

Starr’s friends in Seattle say the talented musician’s death at the age of 44 has a lot to do with his family.

“My thoughts go out to his family, with the exception of his ‘father’ who used Mike for his royalty checks to get drugs (crack & heroin) and cheap hotels until the money ran out. Then he was back again by the time the next check showed up,” wrote Tom.

Another friend, Kim, also said Mike Starr’s dad contributed to his death. “Mike’s dad was an enabler and a user of Mike’s wealth. It saddens me terribly,” she wrote, adding, “These two were truly wonderful guys and I will miss them forever.”

Layne Staley
Layne Staley

Weeks before his death in 2002, Layne Staley talked about the impact on his life of his own father’s drug use.

“My world became a nightmare, there were just shadows around me. I got a call saying that my dad had died, but my family always knew he was around doing all kind of drugs. Since that call I always was wondering, ‘Where is my dad?’ I felt so sad for him and I missed him. He dropped out of my life for 15 years.”

Two artists with so much life in front of them are now gone forever.

In a statement, the band said, “Members of Alice in Chains are mourning the loss of their friend and ask that the media respect their privacy – and the privacy of the Starr family – during this difficult time. Their thoughts and prayers are with the Starr family.”

The anguish and pain they sought to cover up with drugs are no longer needed to comfort their lifeless bodies.

Friends and fans long inspired and entertained by the music of Alice in Chains hope Mike Starr and Layne Staley, now free of the chains of addiction that trapped and eventually stole both their lives, can now comfort each other.

Rest in Peace, Mike Starr.

One thought on “Mike Starr and Layne Staley Together Again
  1. After working in the field of addiction awhile, you start to understand that it is always about unspoken pain. people behave what they can not say- to self, others, and the source of the pain. Learning to share real feelings is one of the hardest things any of us will do. When you are an addict it feels impossible. Find someone to help, someone to listen. We often find the neutral person first. Then with a better understanding of self and increased empathy for others we learn to share it with those who are close. Do not suffer alone.

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