A Rockapaedia Obituary

Mike Starr

Bands: Alice In Chains

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    Mike Starr died aged forty-four on 8th March, 2011 in Salt Lake City, Utah, photo of Mike StarrU.S.A. of a suspected drug overdose. Police were called to a home in Salt Lake City where they found Mike Starr's body and saw no indications of foul play but suspected Mike died of a drug overdose.
    Mike Starr was featured in the third season of the VH1 reality television series Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew in 2010, which documented his treatment for methadone addiction beginning in August 2009 at the Pasadena Recovery Center. His subsequent stint staying in a sober living environment was then documented on the spinoff Sober House. He and fellow recovering addicts Mackenzie Phillips and Tom Sizemore appeared in the eighth episode of Celebrity Rehab's fourth season to provide testimonials about their recovery to that season's patients. During this appearance, Mike Starr marked six months and seven days of sobriety.
    Mike Starr was born Michael Christopher Starr on 4th April, 1966 in Honolulu, Hawaii. In 1983, Mike Starr formed the heavy metal band Sato. Their song "Leather Warriors" appeared on Northwest Metalfest, a compilation album featuring various metal acts released in 1984 by Seattle label Ground Zero Records. Mike Starr briefly joined another band, Gypsy Rose, which included early Alice N' Chains producer Tim Branom on lead vocals and his future bandmate Jerry Cantrell on guitar. Mike Starr and Cantrell left Gypsy Rose and started working in other bands. Jerry Cantrell wanted to form a new band and his roommate, Layne Staley, gave him the phone number of Melinda Starr, the girlfriend of drummer Sean Kinney, so that Jerry Cantrell could talk to him. Sean Kinney and his girlfriend went to the Music Bank and listened to Jerry Cantrell's demos. Jerry Cantrell mentioned that they needed a bass player to jam with them and he had someone in mind: Mike Starr, with whom Jerry Cantrell had played in the band Gypsy Rose in Burien. Sean Kinney pointed at his girlfriend and said: "that's weird cause that's his sister". Sean Kinney called Mike Starr and a few days later he jammed with him and Jerry Cantrell at the Music Bank, but they did not have a singer. Then the trio began staging what Jerry Cantrell and Sean Kinney later said were fake auditions in order to coax Layne Staley into joining their band. Eventually, Layne Staley quit the other bands he was performing with at that time and joined their band on a full-time basis.
    This band gained attention in the Seattle area playing under several different monikers before they eventually settled on the name "Alice in Chains". The band was later signed to a record deal with Columbia Records and enjoyed extensive success via record sales and radio play in the grunge rock movement of the early 1990s. Mike Starr was with the group for the Facelift and Dirt albums and the Sap EP.
Mike Starr parted ways with Alice in Chains just as the band was achieving its greatest commercial success in 1993. According to the band's lead vocalist Layne Staley in a February 1994 Rolling Stone article, Mike Starr's departure from Alice in Chains stemmed from just a difference in priorities as they wanted to continue intense touring and press and Mike Starr was ready to go home. Mike, however, contradicted this account on an episode of Celebrity Rehab, claiming that he was kicked out of the band due to his escalating drug use.
    Mike Starr later was hired to play bass for the band Sun Red Sun, which featured Ray Gillen and Bobby Rondinelli, both former members of Black Sabbath. The project was cut short by Gillen's death in 1993. After the disbandment of Sun Red Sun, Mike Starr stopped playing music professionally until 2010, as his drug use spiralled out of control.
    In 2010, Mike Starr recorded a cover of Sonic Youth's "Kool Thing" with singer Leiana. The song premiered on radio during Mike Starr's last interview, which was for Dr. Drew Pinsky's image of Mike Starrshow Loveline aired on February 16, 2010. That same year, Mike Starr was reportedly putting together a new band which had secured a spot opening for the band Days of the New. The project disbanded upon Mike Starr's sudden death a year later.

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song:'Would' by Alice In Chains