Drug tragedies still happen in the music business, which kind of blows my mind.
Elvis gets a pass; after all, he was the first rock star. There was no precedent for that kind of isolating fame, replete with sycophants and over-prescribing doctors. The J trinity — Jim, Jimi, and Janis — get a pass because Elvis’s inevitable demise hadn’t occurred yet when they accidentally punched their own tickets. (Yes, Morrison was officially a heart attack st age 27, but come on.)
By the ’90s there was really no excusing this shit, yet Mother Love Bone’s Andrew Wood, Kurt Cobain, and Layne Staley formed another tragic trinity — let’s call it the Grunge trinity — and dozens more barely escaped with their drug-addled lives.
It’s not fair to point out that drug tragedies still happen in the music business — they still happen everywhere. Perhaps the reason that we focus on them in the music industry is because those deaths not only are high profile but so goddamned cliche. Rock stars often are considered iconoclastic role models, and dying for the rock star stereotype is anything but iconoclastic.
So here’s my suggestion: When you become a rock star, learn to knit. Die peacefully in your sleep at an advanced age, surrounded by baby ducks. That says rule breaker.
Anyway, Alice in Chains third and last album with the original lineup: Read all about it on Diffuser.