Layne Staley


1987-2002 Alice In Chains - guitars, vocals  
1994-2000 Mad Season - vocals, guitar (94-97)  

Personal information

Born on: 22.08.1967
Died on: 05.04.2002

Early life:

Layne Staley was born to Phil Staley and Nancy McCallum (née Layne) in Kirkland, Washington, e 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 name while in high school and was known for some time as Layne Elmer.

In early 2002, shortly before his death, he would describe the experience of witnessing his parents' divorce: "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. In that same interview he also said that he was convinced that if he became a celebrity his dad would return.


Staley began playing drums at age 12; he played in several glam bands in his early teens, but by this point, Staley had aspirations of becoming a singer.Following the demise of his band Sleeze in 1986, Staley formed Alice N' Chainz, a band which he said "dressed in drag and played speed metal.
The new band performed around the Seattle area playing Slayer and Armored Saint covers. Staley met guitarist Jerry Cantrell while working at Music Bank rehearsal studios, where the two struggling musicians became roommates, and lived in a rehearsal space they shared. Alice N' Chainz soon disbanded and he joined a funk band who at the time also required a guitarist. Staley asked Cantrell to join as a sideman. Cantrell agreed on condition that Staley join Cantrell's band Diamond Lie, which at the time included drummer Sean Kinney and bassist Mike Starr. Eventually the funk project broke up and in 1987 Staley joined Cantrell on a full time basis. Diamond Lie played in clubs around the Pacific Northwest, often stretching 15 minutes of material into a 45-minute set. The band eventually took the name of Alice in Chains.

In October 1996, Staley's ex-fiancée, Demri Lara Parrott, died from secondary complications caused by drug use (bacterial endocarditis)
Drugs worked for me for years," Staley told Rolling Stone in 1996, "and now they're turning against me, now I'm walking through hell"

Layne Staley ranked #27 on Hit Parader magazine's list of "Heavy Metal's All-Time Top 100 Vocalists" (published in the November 2006 issue)

Layne Staley (Alice in Chains Vocalist) was an inspiration for the title of Metallica's 2008 album, Death Magnetic. Lead guitarist Kirk Hammett brought a photograph of Staley to the studio where Metallica was recording. "That picture was there for a long time," said Hammett, "I think it pervaded James' psyche
Staind featured a song called "Layne" in memory to the singer on the 2003 album, 14 Shades of Grey. Eddie Vedder, lead singer of Pearl Jam, also recorded a song eulogizing Staley, titled "4/20/02" (the day Vedder heard the news and subsequently wrote the song, Zakk Wylde also wrote a song about Staley called "Layne" on Black Label Society's 2004 album, Hangover Music Vol. VI


On April 19, 2002, an unidentified person placed a call with 911 to say "She hadn't heard from… [Staley] in about two weeks.
Staley was found dead in his home after his mother and stepfather went to his condo with the police.
As reported by Rick Anderson of the Seattle Weekly, his body was surrounded by various drug possessions and paraphernalia: "When police kicked in the door to Layne Staley's University District apartment on April 20, there, on a couch, lit by a flickering TV, next to several spray-paint cans on the floor, not far from a small stash of cocaine, near two crack pipes on the coffee table, reposed the remains of the rock musician." The article also stated that the 6'1" Staley weighed just 86 pounds when his body was discovered.
The autopsy report later concluded that Staley died after injecting a mixture of heroin and cocaine known as a "speedball". The King County Coroner's Office estimated Staley to have died on April 5, 2002, approximately eight years after fellow grunge musician Kurt Cobain also died (Cobain was found three days later, on April 8, 1994). Staley's body was not discovered for two weeks.
"Rest In Peace Layne Staley"