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Alice in Chains rocker dead at 44

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Garrell Hughes
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« on: March 09, 2011, 11:09:16 pm »

Alice in Chains rocker dead at 44

Bassist Mike Starr, who struggled with addiction, had appeared on "Celebrity Rehab."

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Garrell Hughes
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« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2011, 11:10:52 pm »

Ex-Alice in Chains Bassist Mike Starr Dead at 44
Posted Tue Mar 8, 2011 3:34pm PST by Caryn Ganz in Amplifier





Former Alice in Chains bassist Mike Starr, who played on the band's first two influential albums and was one of the last people to see singer Layne Staley alive, has been found dead in a Salt Lake City, Utah home, TMZ reports. Starr, who was 44, was arrested earlier this month in Salt Lake City and found to be in possession of six Xanax pills and six Opana painkillers. According to a police report, Starr asked an officer if he'd heard of Alice in Chains, and said he was in Utah with a friend to put together a new band. "It's a terrible shock and tragedy," the rocker's father told the website today.

Starr played on the Seattle band's 1990 album Facelift and cowrote "It Ain't Like That" and "Confusion." He also performed on 1992's Sap EP and Dirt LP, which featured the band's breakout tracks "Down in a Hole," "Rooster," and "Would?" which also appeared on the soundtrack to the film Singles (the band also briefly performed onstage in the movie, too). Starr exited the band in 1993 and later admitted he'd been booted because his drug problem was out of control.

The musician, who appeared on VH1's Celebrity Rehab and Sober House in 2010, displayed erratic behavior while battling a vicious heroin addiction on TV. He wore headphones most of the time, and said, "My singer dies, and the only way I can hear him is through this... It takes me back to when Layne was alive." In a pivotal episode of Rehab, Starr spoke with Staley's mother and apologized for not doing more to help her drug-addled son. "I wish I would have called 911, he told me if I did, he'd never talk to me again," Starr said. "I was too high. I got mad at him, I said, 'I'll just leave' and his last words were 'not like this.' And I just left. I can't believe that. I'm so ashamed." Staley was found dead of a lethal mix of heroin and **** in his Seattle apartment in 2002.

When Starr first appeared on Rehab, his onetime bandmate Jerry Cantrell criticized the show for sensationalizing drug recovery: "[Mike is] a friend of ours, and we wish him the best. But that show's not really cool." Starr seemed to have kicked his dangerous addiction, and appeared on an episode of the following season's Rehab to demonstrate his progress. He was six months sober at the time of the taping.
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Garrell Hughes
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« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2011, 11:13:39 pm »

Alice in Chains - Singles 1992


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Christiana Hanaman
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« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2011, 06:20:09 pm »


Alice In Chains Bassist Mike Starr Dies At 44
Starr battled drug addiction for years and recently appeared on VH1's 'Celebrity Rehab' and 'Sober House'




Mike Starr of Alice in Chains at 'Sea of Sorrow' video shoot in Hollywood, 1991.
Marty Temme/WireImage

By Andy Greene
March 9, 2011 11:00 AM ET

Mike Starr, the original bassist in Alice In Chains who recently appeared on VH1's Celebrity Rehab, died March 8th in Salt Lake City of unknown causes. He was 44. Starr played with the grunge band on their first two studio LP's – including their hit singles "Rooster" and "Man In The Box" – before leaving the band in 1993. He struggled with drugs during much of the past two decades, and last month was arrested in Salt Lake City after being caught with unauthorized prescription drugs.

Photos: Alice in Chains in the Nineties

Alice In Chains came together in Seattle in 1987, right as the local music scene was taking off with groups like Mudhoney and Mother Love Bone. Sensing the changing times, Columbia Records signed the band in 1989 and the next year they released their debut Facelift. The group opened up for Iggy Pop, Van Halen, Extreme and Poison as their song "Man In The Box" climbed the charts – but Starr battled with drug addiction during much of his tenure in the band.

In 1993 he left the group. "It was just a difference in priorities," lead singer Layne Staley told Rolling Stone in 1994.  "We wanted to continue intense touring and press. Mike was ready to go home." Starr later claimed that he was fired due to his drug addiction. The next year he served 90 days in jail after being caught stealing luggage from a Houston airport.

Photo Gallery: Alice In Chains, Slipknot, Motley Crue Rattle The Heartland

Three years after Starr left, Alice In Chains dissolved as Staley faced his own drug problems. He died of an overdose in 2002, and Starr later claimed to be the last person to see him alive. "I wish I hadn't been high on benzodiazepine [that night]," Starr said on Celebrity Rehab.  "I wouldn't have just walked out the door."

Starr's appearance on the VH1 reality show rankled his former bandmates. "Addiction is no joke, and we know that firsthand," Alice guitarist Jerry Cantrell said in 2010.  "We lost a good friend of ours to that. Mike deserves a better life.”

Dr. Drew Tweeted about Starr's death yesterday. "Devastating to hear of Mike Starr succumbing to his illness," he wrote. "So very sad. Our prayers are with his family."

http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/alice-in-chains-bassist-mike-starr-dies-at-44-20110309
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