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Offbeat  (tags: Arts Entertainment, Music, Onitaury, Rock And Roll, Alice In Chains, Mike Star, culture, sadness )

- 2964 days ago -
Former Alice In Chains bassist Mike Starr was found dead in Salt Lake City...


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kat yazzie (400)
Thursday March 10, 2011, 6:52 am
Ex-Alice In Chains Bassist Mike Starr Found Dead
'Celebrity Rehab' alum was 44 years old.
By Ryan J. Downey

Former Alice in Chains bassist Mike Starr was found dead Tuesday afternoon (March 8).

TMZ reports that police found Starr's body in a Salt Lake City, Utah, house at 1:42 p.m. He was 44 years old.

A co-founding member of the pioneering Seattle grunge band, Starr appeared on VH1's "Celebrity Rehab" in 2009. He was arrested last month for felony possession of a controlled substance. Salt Lake City police said he had several painkillers on him when he was arrested. Alice in Chains have written heart-wrenching and evocative songs about drug addiction.

Former singer Layne Staley died in spring 2002 after overdosing on a mixture of heroin and cocaine, commonly known as a "speedball." The group mounted a successful comeback with 2009's Black Gives Way to Blue, which featured new vocalist William DuVall alongside guitarist Jerry Cantrell, drummer Sean Kinney and bassist Mike Inez.

Mike Starr was born April 4, 1966, in Honolulu. He rose to prominence in the Seattle scene as bassist for Diamond Lie, which featured Cantrell and Kinney. Once Staley entered the fold, they changed their name to Alice in Chains and signed a major-label deal. Starr appears on the group's debut album, Facelift, which produced the monster hit "Man in the Box." He's also on the band's follow-up EP release, Sap, and their second album, Dirt, which was released in September 1992.

Dirt is a hard rock classic, with "Rooster" remaining a radio staple. "Would?" was featured in the movie "Singles," which was set in the Seattle scene. "Down in a Hole" has been covered by Ryan Adams, Fuel and Demon Hunter. Songs like "Junkhead" dealt with heroin use head-on. The band Godsmack, whose sound owes much to Alice in Chains, took their name from track nine. Cantrell wrote the majority of the songs with some heavy contributions from Staley. Starr is credited as a co-writer on one track, "Rain When I Die."

Starr left Alice in Chains while touring behind Dirt in 1993. Years later, he would reveal on "Celebrity Rehab" that his reason for leaving was his growing addiction to drugs. He briefly joined former Black Sabbath singer Ray Gillen in Sun Red Sun. Their self-titled debut was released in 1995, two years after Gillen died from AIDS-related complications.

Heroin addiction sent Starr to "Celebrity Rehab," which was followed by a stint in the spin-off show "Sober House." He showed up on one episode of the following season of "Celebrity Rehab," celebrating more than six months of sobriety. He was arrested for possession by Salt Lake City police on February 18, 2011.

Travis Meeks of the band Days of the New was reportedly driving the van Starr was riding in when he was arrested last month. The singer/guitarist found platinum success with his band's first album in 1997 and a sound that drew comparisons to Alice in Chains. Meeks put together several different versions of the band in subsequent years, and his own drug problems landed him on the A&E show "Intervention" in 2005.

"Hey, officer, have you ever heard of Alice in Chains? I used to be the bass guitarist for them," Starr said to police, according to a local news report. "We are down here in Utah, me and Travis, putting together a new band."

According to a Ticketmaster listing, "Days of the New featuring Travis Meeks and Mike Starr" was scheduled to appear March 19 in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Mike's dad told TMZ his son's death is "a terrible shock and tragedy."


kat yazzie (400)
Thursday March 10, 2011, 6:53 am


Sheryl G (359)
Thursday March 10, 2011, 7:19 am
Only 44 what a shame. Addiction is a terrible thing, it will take down the most gifted and talented. What we all have lost in the world of the many famous and not famous to various addictions, we will never know. I feel badly for his family and friends he leaves behind.

Richard Smith (81)
Thursday March 10, 2011, 7:34 am
sad to hear.
Artists unfortunately are often the nerve-endings of society and FEEL everything.
We don't always like what they create, but they DO hold a mirror up to society by their work.
Publicity and Celebrity status only adds to the messiness of an artist who is recognized.

DRUGs and maintaining euphoric states are the parasites of both FAME and FAMINE.
Most traditional native cultures i know discourage FAME and CELEBRITY status
and teach the benefits of CALM and COMMUNITY surpassing personal Euphoria.
The highest tree in the forest more often gets the lightning bolt.

Alice C (1797)
Thursday March 10, 2011, 8:02 am
Very sad ~ Drug addiction is a terrible illness ~ shared

Krasimira B (175)
Thursday March 10, 2011, 8:06 am
Noted with interest. Never heard about Alice in Chains...

Jae A (316)
Thursday March 10, 2011, 8:11 am
Sad ..another talent gone due to hard core drugs/meds. addiction/abuse. I think Richard Smith said it all so perfectly.

Caitlin M (104)
Thursday March 10, 2011, 9:35 am
I agree with Jae that Richard Zane said it all so well. I didn't know Alice in Chains but I did see Mike on Celebrity Rehab and witnessed some of his terrible struggle with drugs. It is so sad that he lost that struggle. Rest in peace, dear boy.

Rosie Lopez (73)
Thursday March 10, 2011, 10:05 am
thanks for sharing

Phil m (47)
Thursday March 10, 2011, 10:08 am
very sad loss,,,RIP mate...

Mandi T (366)
Thursday March 10, 2011, 11:10 am
I watched him on Celeb rehab trying to clean up. Drew's thoughts were just this. I'm devastated to hear that Mike lost his battle:(
Rest in peace now Mike. Very very sad!
Tks Kat.

MmAway M (520)
Thursday March 10, 2011, 11:32 am
Thank you Kat...

Sadly, way to many people that have additions can't get over them and they self medicate themselves. Sometimes they don't mean to overdose, but mixing all of the drugs, drinks etc. takes over and the body just gives up.

Rest Well and may you now be in Peace Mike!

Alet Coetzee (59)
Thursday March 10, 2011, 12:17 pm
Thanks for sharing, thanks Kat

Lilo Prinz (23)
Thursday March 10, 2011, 1:33 pm
very sad news.....

Kathy Javens (104)
Thursday March 10, 2011, 2:01 pm
Noted. Very sad news. This is a prime example of what drugs and alcohol can do to you. I hope the young ones learn from this. A great talent lost. Addiction is a nightmare.

Debbie Hogan (115)
Thursday March 10, 2011, 2:38 pm
What a mighty sound he gave to that band...Taken too soon...So much talent cut short by living too hard and moving too fast...No matter how some of us may delude ourselves, we are none of us immortal...

Sleep well, Star.

Cindy C (125)
Thursday March 10, 2011, 2:59 pm
oh dear me aw

Penelope Ryan (178)
Thursday March 10, 2011, 4:31 pm
Such a terrible waste...he is just one more in a long line of rockers who cope by using drugs, of course it does not work.

Beth M (46)
Thursday March 10, 2011, 4:35 pm

Thursday March 10, 2011, 5:13 pm
you just can't find happiness in a pill or a powder...such a sad waste of life.

Linda B (71)
Thursday March 10, 2011, 5:31 pm
I watched him on Celeb Rehab, and Sober House. It appeared that he needed much more intensive treatment - of some kind. There was so much damage done to his brain, and other organs, I'm sure, that actually, I'm not sure what would have helped him mend.

In his last mugshot, from a month or so ago, he looked awful. It's a shame, because he seemed like a nice guy.

J. G (55)
Thursday March 10, 2011, 5:33 pm

Freya H (345)
Thursday March 10, 2011, 6:08 pm
Epic bummer!

Kim O (396)
Thursday March 10, 2011, 6:08 pm
Dammmmmitttttt!!!!!!! Alice in Chains has always been one of my fave bands. This is so upsetting!!!! I saw him on Celebrity Rehab and Sober House and had such high hopes that he could pull out of his swan dive. What a bloody stoooopid waste!!! Just shot my day all to hell. CRAP!!!!!!! Thanks Kit. :o( !!!!!!

Tracy G (3)
Thursday March 10, 2011, 9:24 pm
So sad for a beautiful talent. RIP, Mike.

Ancil S (175)
Thursday March 10, 2011, 10:31 pm
Gee.that so bums me out. I remember getting into Alice In Chains when the Face Lift album came out in '90. Man In The Box was a cool song and he really did the bass well.I'm gonna miss him.

Parvez Zuberi (7)
Friday March 11, 2011, 3:58 am
Very sad that young talent lost to drugs

janet f (29)
Friday March 11, 2011, 5:58 am
What a waste. Was it really worth the high to die at 44?

Rita B (2)
Friday March 11, 2011, 7:22 am

Kate A (10)
Friday March 11, 2011, 9:19 am
My sincere condolences to his family and friends. His death really bothered me because I watched him on TV, and I was so happy when he returned to the show clean. I was praying he'd beat it.

Vukan Simic (121)
Friday March 11, 2011, 11:23 am
Thanks Kat

Judith H (27)
Friday March 11, 2011, 3:42 pm

Shannon Hudgens (18)
Sunday March 13, 2011, 1:14 am
rest in peace

Sini K (113)
Monday March 14, 2011, 4:19 am
Noted, signed and thank you.

Bruce Eyster (62)
Monday March 14, 2011, 5:09 pm
Sadly noted with Thanks Kat .
The debate concerning drugs and the creative process is a long and complicated one , which is not always that clear cut .

Barbara Erdman (63)
Monday March 14, 2011, 9:42 pm
Sadly noted and thanx Kat :0

Phyllis P (232)
Friday April 1, 2011, 7:39 pm
I was very sorry to hear this. I know I am late noting, but did they ever find out why he died? I have not heard any more reports. Addiction is a terrible thing and drugs are no joke. Take it from someone who knows. RIP

Caitlin M (104)
Saturday February 11, 2012, 12:44 pm
Well, I'm almost a year late in seeing this particular post, Kat. I also watched Mike on Celebrity Rehab and Sober House and had such hope that he could survive his addiction. I wonder if all of us and all the thousands of others in this world telling him that we appreciate him would have made a difference. I think perhaps not because the ability to listen is just as important as the ability to express. He seems like such a sweet spirit. I was sad to hear of his passing and sad today at the reminder. Just wanted to add this note as a memorium to him.
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