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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, 11:10:52 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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