ORIGINAL ALICE IN CHAINS BASSIST MIKE STARR DEAD
Mike Starr, the original bass player for Alice in Chains, has been found dead, TMZ reports. He was just a month away from his 45th birthday.
Starr left Alice in Chains in 1993 after appearing on the albums Facelift and Dirt, as well as the Sap EP. Like the other members of the band, his struggles with drug addiction have been legendary — he even appeared on Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew in 2009 (a show his former AIC bandmates Jerry Cantrell and Sean Kinney have called “disgusting”). Apparently his efforts to kick his habit were to no avail, however, as in February he was arrested for possession. So while the cause of Starr’s death has yet to be announced, one could reasonably assume that this is another tragic loss of a talented artist to drugs.
Assuming that’s correct, Starr would, of course, be the second founding member of Alice in Chains to fall to substance abuse, after vocalist Layne Staley. Lamentable though is, there is something undeniable about the fact that the band’s actual addictions are part of what gave them their power during their heyday — the textures and lyrics of those albums feel authentic because they are authentic. Unfortunately, it seems as though Starr and Staley were never able to get away from all that.
Our thoughts are with Starr’s family and friends. Here’s “Rain When I Die” — a song he co-wrote, and which features one of his most famous bass lines — in his honor. I wish it didn’t suddenly seem eerily fitting.