I picked up the latest Guitar Legends magazine because I'm a huge dork. I really enjoyed the one a couple months ago on Nirvana. This one was on Pearl Jam, so needless to say it peeked my interest. While reading I learned a lot about Pearl Jam and Chris Cornell and learned about this band I had never known existed before, Mad Season.
By "band" I mean: They put out one album.
Mad Season consists Mike McCready (Pearl Jam's guitarist), Layne Staley (Alice in Chain's singer), the drummer from the Screaming Trees and some guy that Mike McCready met in drug rehab on bass. I downloaded the album and was so impressed I almost went out and bought it. Phenominal.
Then I went to listen to my old Alice in Chains CDs. Much to my surprise, the only cases that still had CDs in them were Dirt and Unplugged. And Unplugged skips something awful!!! The other cases are all empty. That's no good for business. So I downloaded the Alice in the Chains discography. Phenominal.
So I listened to Alice in Chains all yesterday evening. It was glorious. I got to work this morning, and after successfully avoiding work for a few hours, I decided to continue avoid doing work. Much like I'm doing right now.
Can you still call it "work" if you're not "working"?
So I found Alice in Chains' official website, which is cleverly titled aliceinchains.com
. To my surprise, one of the first banners says, "Alice in Chains on tour"............
Alice in Chains on tour? I'm no biologist, but isn't that highly unlikely?
For those of you who don't know, Layne Staley, Alice in Chain's lead singer, died on April 5th, 2002. He died the same day as Kurt Cobain, just eight years after. He died much the same as how he lived his life: A mixture of heroin and cocaine.
But back to the issue at hand - Alice in Chains is touring. I have an issue with bands that lose a key member and begin a "How am I going to afford to pay the prostitutes without this band" World Tour. The INXS's. The Gun n' Roses'. It's not like we're talking about an expendable bassist or a replacable drummer here. We're talking about the lead singer. It would have been similar to the Beatles reuniting after Lennon was shot. I'm not comparing was Alice in Chains did to what the Beatles did. I'm just saying it would be similar.
It would be like Dave Groll and Krist Novoselic taking Pat Smears on tour to sing and calling it Nirvana.
Look at Led Zeppelin. Led Zeppelin broke up in 1980 after their drummer, John Bonham, drank himself retarded and choked on his own vomit. Their drummer!!! John Bonham was a really good drummer, but they could have got a lot of people to play for them. It's not like it was the voice of the band. Last time I checked Robert Plant was still putting out solo albums and trashing hotel rooms.
To their credit, Alice in Chains were approached by the producers of Rock Star for their second season, but declined the offer. They got some guy named William DuVall to be Layne Staley II. Apparently he toured with Jerry Cantrell when he did his solo thing.
So, starting September 22nd, Alice in Chains is beginning it's North American tour. On their website, they said, "It's kind of a tribute to Layne and our fans, the people who love these songs. It's not some 'I'm broke and I need the money' situation. We love playing together."
Yeah... I'm sure they're not in it for the money. Since Layne Staley's death, Alice in Chains has released as many compilation albums as they had full length studio albums. The most recent release, "Alice in Chains: Greatest Hits" (released 2001), has ten songs. All ten songs appear on the 1999 compilation, Nothing Safe, which has 15 songs.
Not only that, but they have yet another compilation album, The Essential Alice in Chains, being released September 5th, 2006. Don't worry - this 28 song, two disc album contains the same ten songs as Greatest Hits, Nothing Safe and their box set, Music Bank. At least Music Bank had some previously unreleased material on it.
Did I mention there was a live album too? A band shouldn't release more albums after it's dead than when it was alive. We're not talking about Tupac here.
The endless line of compilation albums makes it seem like they're only in it for the money. Alice in Chains was an incredible band, but it's over. Give it up. No one wants to see Alice in Chains without Layne Staley. You should have invested your money better.
Anyways... Anyone want to go see Alice in Chains play Kool Haus in Toronto with me November 5th?