In 1995, Alice In Chains had been feeling good on the success of their first #1 album on the charts, 1994’s Jar of Flies EP, the first EP to ever debut at #1. At the same time, they were in peril as a band, with issues stemming from Layne Staley’s addiction to heroin and other band turmoil. The band did not tour to support Jar of Flies as Layne was in rehab and they took part of 1995 off. The lost opportunities from this period, including a massive Metallica/Danzig/Suicidal Tendencies tour and a near-top-of-the bill split at Woodstock 1994 (which I am still mad about) almost killed the band. They broke up briefly too, according to Sean Kinney. Little did we know they were crafting a great album, Alice in Chains (Columbia), to wash all that pain and disappointment away for a brief moment in time.
Alice In Chains was on top of the world in 1993, or so they thought. Behind the success of 1992’s Rock chart-topping Dirt (Columbia) album, the band toured the world, played Lollapalooza, had songs on major movie soundtracks and more. But there were some issues arising in their camp that would shape their immediate future. The bands came off a raucous summer of touring in 1993 to find themselves evicted from their communal house in Seattle. The band had recently fired bassist Mike Starr (RIP)who co-founded the band. After recruiting bassist Mike Inez (Ozzy Osbourne) the band had toured some with him, and recorded a few of those soundtrack pieces with him, but nothing more/ The band moved into London Bridge Studios, where countless huge rock and metal albums were made, and AIC had created all of their albums at that point. The band was going to spend a few days just jamming with acoustic guitars and see what stuck. What they came up with was so much more. When they finished writing, they had the bones of their epic EP Jar of Flies (Columbia) in the can. Continue reading
Acclaimed guitarist for Lamb Of God, Mark Morton will release his debut solo album on March 1st, 2019th. Anesthetic will be a collaborative album bringing stars from across rock and metal such as his bandmate D. Randall Blythe, Alissa white-Gluz, Chuck Billy, Jacoby Shaddix, Myles Kennedy, Mark Lanegan, Jake Oni, and the late Chester Bennington among others. The project will release on Morton’s new label Wpp Records/Spinefarm Records. Blast the dope new single right now, ‘The Truth Is Dead’, feat. Randy Blythe + Alissa White-Gluz. Continue reading
Even if F. Scott Fitzgerald’s maxim that “There are no second acts in American lives” has anything approaching a ring of truth, then, clearly, no-one told Seattle’s Alice in Chains. It is now sixteen years since the untimely death of the band’s original lead singer Layne Staley, a troubled soul whose battles with drugs and depression were a significant element in their art, most notably on the widely praised and equally widely loved album Dirt. Continue reading
Opening the evening was Seattle band Walking Papers. Known more because of their regular members Duff McKagan and Barrett Martin, this is an act too good to miss. Even down a few guys and playing with some fill-in musicians, the band won over the anxious crowd with incredibly soulful rock music. No BS, no self-depreciation: just rock and proud to be rock. Amazing songs and performances, especially by frontman Jeff Angell, who is incredible. They have a recent EP out from 2018, and you should all go get it now.
Hundreds of mourners filled the chapel at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Los Angeles to celebrate the life and the memory of Lemmy. Motörhead manager Todd Singerman was the host with eulogies by many legendary musicians and celebrities such as drummer Mikkey Dee, Lemmy’s close friend Dave Grohl of The Foo Fighters, Lars Ulrich and Robert Trujillo of Metallica, Slash and Matt Sorum of Guns `N Roses fame, Rob Halford of Judas Priest, Mike Inez of Alice In Chains, Slim Jim Phantom of Headcat and The Stray Cats, Scott Ian of Anthrax, members of Skew Siskin, Whitefield Crane of Ugly Kid Joe, Triple H from the WWE, and countless others. Lemmy’s son Paul Inder, his partner Sheryl and many family, friends, roadcrew and other friends also spoke. Others in attendance, but didn’t speak were Ozzy and Sharone Osborne and Gene Simmons of KISS.
Hundreds of mourners filled the chapel at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Los Angeles to celebrate the life and the memory of Ian Frasier “Lemmy” Kilmister of Motörhead today. Their manager Todd Singerman was the de facto Master of Ceremonies which was fitting. A cadre of Lemmy’s family, loved ones, peers, friends and his loyal road crew reminisced and regaled all in attendance in person and online via the webcast on YouTube. Although an official number has not been released, at one point the number of viewers online topped 246,000. Lemmy’s urn was at the center of the deus, a stage adorned with red and white flowers, two huge Marshall stacks and his bass, and giant Iron Cross other tributes and a lectern as well. Many in attendance could be seen sporting Lemmy’s trademark hat. Many carried shots and drank liberally. As expected everyone spoke glowingly of Lemmy, relating their personal experiences with the man being enormously talented and famous, but remaining down to earth and even comically self-aware at times.
Lemmy’s son Paul Inder spoke first and lovingly about his father, ultimately praising him for never quitting on the band or his fans. Next was Mikkey Dee who represented Motörhead with Phil Campbell unable to attend. Dee confessed that prior to the last few years when Lemmy’s health started to fail, the two had never talked about intimate, personal topics as friends, just band stuff.
Some other memorable quotes and moments:
“It was an absolute honor playing, writing, and laughing with you.” Phil Campbell via a letter read by Whitfield Crane (Ugly Kid Joe)
“Lemmy was gravitational…” “We are mourning two deaths. Motörhead is no longer.” “Motörhead eats sunsets for breakfast”. Mike Inez of Alice In Chains
“A true rock and roll maverick.” “Faith, Family, Friends, and Fans. God Bless you Lemmy.” Rob Halford of Judas Priest
“He gave me the gift of his sound.” “He was a true gentleman'” – Triple H
“It was you who taught us how to rock You taught us how to be fucking real.” Scott Ian of Anthrax
“What a great example of Rock And Roll. We love you Lemmy!” – Slash
“Many people say Lemmy is God. I believe that.” Matt Sorum
“I never saw him rude to a fan or inappropriate with women.” – Slim Jim Phantom of The Stray Cats and The HeadCat.
“We must always celebrate, respect and enjoy our elders.” – Robert Trujillo of Metallica
“Lemmy was always so fucking hospitable, like the greatest host ever.” – Lars Ulrich of Metallica
“I have always cited Lemmy and Motörhead as the primary source of inspiration for Metallica, and I always will.” Lars Ulrich of Metallica
“Lemmy had the biggest heart, because he was so kind.” – Dave Grohl
“Precious Lord, take my hand
Lead me on, let me stand
I’m tired, I’m weak, I’m lone
Through the storm, through the night
Lead me on to the light
Take my hand precious Lord, lead me home
When my way grows drear precious Lord linger near
When my light is almost gone
Hear my cry, hear my call
Hold my hand lest I fall
Take my hand precious Lord, lead me home
When the darkness appears and the night draws near
And the day is past and gone
At the river I stand
Guide my feet, hold my hand
Take my hand precious Lord, lead me home”
Dave Grohl reading an excerpt of the Little Richard song ‘Precious Lord, Lead Me Home’