Band: Alice N' Chains
Layne Staley died aged thirty-four on 5th April 2002 at his home in Seattle, Washington, U.S.A. The autopsy and toxicology report on Layne Staley's body was released on 6th May 2002 which stated that he died from a mixture of heroin and cocaine, known as "speedball".
On 19th April 2002, Layne Staley's accountants contacted his former manager, Susan Silver, and informed her that no money had been withdrawn from the singer's bank account in two weeks. Susan then contacted Layne's mother, Nancy McCallum, who alerted the police. The police with McCallum and her ex-husband, Jim Elmer, went to Layne's home, where he was found dead. Layne's body was partially decomposed when was found and medical examiners had to identify his body by comparing dental records.
From mid-1996 onwards, Layne Staley was out of the public spotlight, never to perform live again. Layne Staley struggled for much of his adult life with depression and drug addiction.
The autopsy and toxicology report on Layne Staley's body was released in May 2002, and revealed that he died from a mixture of heroin and cocaine, known as speedball. The death certificate reads Layne Staley's death resulted from "an acute intoxication due to the combined effects of opiate and cocaine."
Layne Staley was born Layne Rutherford Staley in Kirkland, Washington, U.S.A. on 22nd August 1967. Layne did not like his middle name "Rutherford" and would get angry every time someone called him by this name. He legally changed his middle name to "Thomas" during his teens.
When Layne Staley was two years old, his favorite song was "Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head" by B. J. Thomas, he would sing it even though he did not know the words. He joined a rhythm band in Bellevue when he was two or three years old, and was the youngest in the group. At nine years old, Layne Staley wrote in his Dr. Seuss book, "All About Me", that he wanted to be a singer.
Layne Staley was seven years old when his parents divorced, after which he was raised by his mother and stepfather, Jim Elmer. He took his stepfather's surname while enrolled in Meadowdale High School in Lynnwood, and was known for some time as Layne Elmer.
Layne Staley was raised as a Christian Scientist, but was critical of religion in his adult life and stated in a 1999 interview that the song "Get Born Again" is about religious hypocrisy.
Layne Staley began playing drums at age twelve; he played in several glam bands in his early teens, but by this point, he had aspirations of becoming a singer. In 1984, Layne Staley joined a group of Shorewood High students in a band called Sleze.
In 1985, Layne Staley and his band Sleze made a cameo in Father Rock, a low-budget movie from Seattle's Public Access Channel.
In 1986, Sleze morphed into Alice N' Chains, a band which Layne Staley said dressed in drag and played speed metal. The new band performed around the Seattle area playing Slayer and Armored Saint covers.
In the early 1990s, Layne Staley enrolled in several rehab programs, but he failed to stay clean for long. During the Dirt tour, Alice in Chains manager, Susan Silver, hired bodyguards to keep Layne Staley away from people who might try to pass him drugs, but he ended up relapsing onto alcohol and drugs anyway. Kurt Cobain's death in April 1994 scared Layne Staley into temporary sobriety, but soon he was back into his addiction. In the end there was little else anyone could do", said Pearl Jam manager Kelly Curtis. Alice in Chains' managers turned down lucrative touring possibilities and kept the band off the road, hoping that would help Layne Staley. Pearl Jam lead guitarist, Mike McCready, also tried to help Layne Staley by inviting him to his side project Mad Season. McCready had hoped that playing with sober musicians would encourage Layne .
In October 1996, Layne Staley's former fiancée, Demri Lara Parrott, died of a drug overdose. Layne was reported to have been placed on a 24-hour suicide watch according to NME, which quoted a friend saying Layne was taking Demri's death 'extremely badly' and had fallen into a deep depression. Mark Lanegan told Rolling Stone in 2002 that Layne never recovered from Demri's death.
In February 1997, Layne Staley and the other members of Alice in Chains attended the Grammy Awards after the song "Again" was nominated for Best Hard Rock Performance.
<<go to top>>