I still listen to Alice in Chains, just to hear Layne Staley’s voice (Part 2 of 2)
Layne Staley did not want anyone to end up like him. For all the suffering he would endure for years before his death there was still no vengeance in his heart for the individuals who had introduced him to heroin, an illegal and dangerous substance that would end his life slowly and painfully in the worst possible way.
Now, for anyone who knows somebody who is getting into drugs, do not only stop them immediately but tell them what the struggles, hardships and horrifying effects of long term heroin use did to the mind, and body of Layne Staley so that they do not dare to even to think about trying heroin or any drugs for that matter. That is one reason why I am writing this article. I want to raise awareness about it. Heroin ended the life of one of the greatest vocalists that had ever lived at such a young age of 34. By the time the late 90’s came along, Layne Staley had lost all–his movie star good looks, his perfect vocal skills, his career as the lead vocalist of Alice in Chains, his health, and ultimately, his life.
For someone who was loved by millions from the world over, he would end up dying alone. Layne Staley was 6’1″ in height and yet he weighed only a shocking 86 pounds when his body–surrounded by numerous drugs, syringes and other drug equipments–was discovered according to the coroner’s report after careful examination of his blood work.
The detailed description of how Layne Staley’s lifeless body looked was gruesome. His body was covered with sores, his skin color had turned gray. He had zero fat in his body, his arms and legs had shrunken because of atrophy. He had lost all the hair on his head, his eyes were so sunken into their sockets; he was toothless and he was skin and bones. Additional info has also been made public over the recent years. Police report that his bathroom and kitchen sink were littered with used syringes. Heroin stains could be found from his bathroom leading all the way to his kitchen sink. Feces and blood stains were found all over his condo. His curtains were closed so that no light from the outside could get into his condo. When the police, along his mom and accountant, kicked the door open to his condo, they found him seated upright on his sofa in front of a flickering television. Layne Staley’s lifeless body was found sitting on a sea of used syringes. Likewise, he had a syringe stuck in his right lower leg and in his left hand was a fully loaded syringe. There is also speculation that someone or a group of people were administering heroin to Layne Staley because he had puncture marks in parts of his body that he alone would not be able to reach.
The circumstances of Layne Staley’s tragic and haunting passing is beyond shocking. I still remember like it was only yesterday when he was announced dead on the news. Everyone I knew ended up crying and I was one of them. Of all the artists who have succumbed to drug abuse, Layne Staley’s was by far the worst in terms of how his life had ended. It has given me nightmares in the past and haunts me to this day. And yet I know I must write about it because there is a sense of responsibility I feel in doing so. An article such as this is not only to remind everyone about how magnificent and one of a kind Layne Staley was as an artist. It should also serve as a warning to those who are contemplating on venturing into the drug scene.
It was public knowledge that Layne Staley suffered from his severe drug addiction so I find it and heartless and inexcusable that he was made the butt of jokes by other musicians and artists at music awards and on radio and TV shows. From 1997 to 2002 which were Layne Staley’s final years, there was all the time in the world to save Layne Staley. I do not understand why no one really tried to. I understand that he became reclusive and was very rarely ever seen outside of his condominium but I am sure there are ways to forcibly take him to a hospital or rehab facility in order to save him from dying.
Layne Staley loved playing video games, collecting action figures and was into art such as painting, sketching and sculpting. He was also an avid book reader. He kept himself busy with these hobbies and preoccupied while he had locked himself in his condo if he was not doing drugs. The few pictures that have surfaced of Layne Staley during his reclusive years showed me a person who was already standing at death’s door. There is no other way to say that. If you are brave enough search for those said pictures and go judge for yourself.
Even if he would not be able to sing anymore, as true fans we just wanted him to live a healthy life. That is how much he mattered to us. I grew up to the 90’s rock music and let me say that of all the voices I have heard it was Layne Staley’s that has stuck in my mind and heart ever since and I will never hear someone like him ever again. I dedicate every article I have written about Layne Staley to his memory and this will be the sixth one. Great artists never get old. They are timeless. Their music will live on forever long after we are all gone.
Through the songs that Layne Staley wrote, performed, and sang in Alice in Chains, his “spirit” lives on. Because of that I still listen to the old and new songs of Alice in Chains just to hear Layne Staley’s voice.
In closing, we must continue to pray for Layne Staley and every other artist that we know of who have lost their lives to drug addiction. Fate may have not been kind to them ultimately but we can help rectify that by including them in our prayers. They will be so happy to know they are not forgotten. Then and only then will they know that they did not die in vain. They are not alone. They will always be remembered.
God bless them.
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