Today is April 5, 2021. 19 years ago today, Layne Staley died. Though, it wouldn’t be for another 2 weeks until his body was found in his home. It’s still a very sad thought in my mind. I even remember being a senior in high school when I heard about it, and I was devastated. Thankfully though, we still have all the great music Layne created and was a part of. In remembrance of what a talent Layne was, let’s celebrate him by doing something a tad bittersweet. What you have here is the very last concert (I’m not counting the unplugged show) Alice In Chains played with Layne in 1996. This show in particular was when Alice was asked to open up for KISS. Also, this is a fun note, the picture at the top is me in front of Layne’s house (his was the very top floor). Enjoy this show!!
Alice In Chains: Live at Kemper Arena, Kansas City July 3, 1996:
2020 sure has been a rough year. It’s like we are living in a really crazy episode of The Twilight Zone mixed with Idiocracy. Yesterday, it was announced that Riley Gale the singer of the band Power Trip had passed away (no cause of death has been mentioned as of yet). It’s incredibly sad and unsettling. Over the past few months, I had really started to get into his band Power Trip. The bands album, Nightmare Logic has been in constant rotation while I work from home. They had a real knack for making great thrash metal with the right amount of groove to it. And from all the live videos I’ve watched, they put on one hell of a show. Riley was on his way to being one of the best frontmen as well. His presence on stage and energy was undeniable. It’s truly a shame that he has passed. It kind of hits home a bit since he was so close to my age, which is a major bummer. Hopefully, if he was in any sort of pain, he can find peace now. I know I’ll be blasting his bands albums for a couple days!
This is not a review, rather this is a recap of this magical show. Back in March of this year, Cave In bassist Caleb Scofield was tragically killed in a car accident. Since his passing, his peers have come together to raise funds for his family as well as celebrate Caleb’s legacy. This past evening at The Wiltern, the second tribute show to celebrate Caleb happened and it was something special.
On March 28 the music world lost one of the most talented musicians. Caleb Scofield, the bassist for the underrated band Cave In as well as Old Man Gloom and his own project Zozobra, tragically passed away at age 39, in a devastating car accident in New Hampshire, when his truck burst into flames after crashing at high speed into a toll plaza. According to the report, police stated the truck was traveling north on the F.E. Everett Turnpike shortly after 1PM when he attempted to change lanes before entering the toll plaza and ended up crashing into the barrier.
Caleb was a tremendous player and will be greatly missed. His work in Cave In especially influenced and inspired countless bass players over the years. Personally, I borrowed many things from Caleb including his bass tone and that guttural scream of his. I’m glad I was able to see Cave In and Old Man Gloom. This is a great loss for those of us that are fans as well as his family and friends. There is a donation page up to help offset the funeral costs and for his wife and 2 kids. Condolences to his family and friends.
This piece has taken me a while to write. Not because I was extremely influenced or inspired by Chester but rather, because I’ve never looked at Linkin Park other than a great marketed band. Throughout the past couple days since the news broke of Chester’s suicide, I took some time to really delve into Linkin Park and see if there was something I missed. That’s not what this piece is about though. Chester was a guy who put himself out there and that alone stands for something. There are so many people out there that shit on him and the band but, those are the people that never put themselves out there and tried.
Chester was a guy like many of us out there that has struggled with depression, addiction and other demons. Sure he was a celebrity but, that doesn’t change the fact that he was a person just like the rest of us. He suffered for many years with many ups and downs. He laid it all out there with his words and voice. Listening to their songs, you can really hear it in his performance. His desperation and suffering really showed through as the band continued on their journey. Not everyone is going to like the next thing a band does but, sometimes that doesn’t really matter. It’s about where you are in life and how you can continue to better yourself. Recently, Chester took a lot of the criticism of his bands new album One More Light very personally. The comments sections on the internet were full of disgusting negativity about the direction of the album. Chester directly addressed a lot of these critiques and it really got to him. Chester and Chris Cornell were also very good friends, so I’m sure he was struggling to come to terms with Chris’s death as well. It doesn’t matter how deep you try to bury the feelings you don’t want to feel, they tend to always come back and pick at you little by little in some way.
I’ve been deeply affected by other deaths in my life and this one has slowly crept in there. My wife was a big Linkin Park fan way back when, and I’ve seen her take this pretty hard. It’s never easy to lose someone that you are connected to on a specific wavelength. The power of music really does help save lives.
You don’t have to be a fan to feel the pain and anguish others are going through. I truly hope that those out there that are suffering and in need of help, can get it. Mental health isn’t a subject that should be brushed over. People need to really pay attention to what is happening. Take the time to show you care, and that you are there for those that you know are having a hard time.
A Place For My Head:
Faint (I’ve always thought this video was awesome):
Since Chris Cornell’s unexpected passing last week, there has been a slew of bands paying tribute to him during their shows. I personally am still in shock over it and have been listening to Chris’s bands non stop.
I’m in absolute shock over the news of Chris Cornell. It’s mind boggling to think that he is gone. Chris had such a profound impact on rock music with his voice, lyrics, and songwriting. I would even put Chris on the list of greatest singers ever. I remember the first time I heard Soundgarden way back when I was a little kid around 7 or 8 and “Outshined” came on. I was mesmerized by it. My mom was really into it and she’s the one that went out and bought Bad Motor Finger. From that point, I was hooked on Soundgarden. I spent many a night when I was young listening to music and studying the lyrics of my favorites. Chris Cornell had such a poetic touch to his words. My personal favorite Soundgarden album is Down On The Upside. There is something about that album that really hits home. I can’t tell you what, but, there is something really magical about that record.
When I heard that Chris had joined forces with the remaining members of Rage Against The Machine, I was beyond excited. Then I heard “Cochise” and was instantly sold. Audioslave became such a great vehicle for Chris to expand his already poetic sensibilities, and share a different side of himself. It wasn’t until the bands last album Revelations, that Audioslave truly found their sound but, Chris really went for it lyrically and vocally on that album. Check out the songs “Wide Awake” and “Moth” and you’ll hear what I mean.
I feel lucky to have seen Chris perform 4 times over the years. Twice with Audioslave, once solo, and once with Soundgarden when they toured with Nine Inch Nails a few years ago. Chris was always great live. His presence on stage was gripping and captivating. I’ve had this thought for a while that, if Robert Plant really didn’t want to be a part of doing shows with Led Zeppelin that, they should get Chris Cornell to fill the spot. If you think about it, you know that would be something great and amazing.
Here’s to all the great music and words Chris left us. His legacy is intact with great songs and performances. I feel for his children. I hope at some point they can come to terms with this loss.
Here are a few of my favorite songs Chris has been a part of.
Today is February 20, 2017, also what would have have been Kurt Cobain’s 50th birthday. I thought today would be a good day to pay tribute to him. Over the course of his short yet very influential career, Kurt’s music took on a different life. Listening back to Bleach, there was a healthy dose of pop sensibilities in that album. Kurt’s love of The Beatles, especially John Lennon really resonated with that album. By the time In Utero came out, his attitude towards what was happening in his life was a complete 180. The sharp and abrasive In Utero was logical and made the most sense in his mind. Rather than repeat the same things they did on Nevermind, Nirvana opted for raw and uncompromising songs and production. I still think to this day that In Utero is Nirvana’s best studio album. One of the most poignant things Nirvana did in their career was the MTV Unplugged. Hearing those songs stripped down to the core, brought out a different side of Kurt and the band. If Kurt were still alive, I could see him doing acoustic tours and albums. Today is a day to look back and remember the music that helped to connect a generation and inspire so many.
Happy Birthday Kurt!
Here are my 10 favorite Nirvana songs (In No Particular Order):
03) All Apologies:
04) The Man Who Sold The World (David Bowie Cover):
When I was a kid my first memory of Glenn Frey wasn’t with the Eagles. It was his contributions to the Miami Vice soundtrack. The songs “You Belong To The City,” and “Smugglers Blues,” are forever in my head. I can’t forget Glenn’s small role he had as a smuggler pilot on Miami Vice too. It wasn’t till I got older, did I fully realize that the Eagles were more than a Big Lebowski joke. I really sat down and listened to the albums, and boy what a great thing to do. To be able to hear the songs that Glenn and Don Henley wrote and created shows how unstoppable they were songwriters together. To be honest I don’t know why the Eagles get such a bad rep. Sure, the radio has overplayed a bunch of their songs, but you can’t deny the quality of the song. To have something that keeps going for 40 plus years is astounding. If you are looking for a way to get into them, I strongly suggest watching the documentary The History Of The Eagles. It’s one of the best music docs I’ve ever seen. And if you weren’t a fan or didn’t appreciate them, this might be the thing to change your mind.
Thank you Glenn for all the great songs and music through the years!!! You will be missed.