April the 5th a sad day for music in general and rock in particular. Many sad events have occurred on such date.
Last news is that Jim Marshall has just passed away, at his home in Milton Keynes. Sure his last name sounds familiar, as he was the responsible for Marshall amplification, and the popular and established brand. The most curious remark related to the Father of Loud, was that he focused on his research of guitar amplification in order to find a way that guitar sounded over his drums. And Hell if he did! His contribution to rock is priceless, and his loss is a sad one for everyone in bizz and rock fans in general.
18 years ago Kurt Cobain shot himself to death in Seattle. It took 3 days to find his dead body and a suicide note at his home in by an electrician.
I remember the day we heard the news, it was Saturday, so we celebrated our particular homage at the pub we used to hang out every weekend, Devizio. Never so many Nirvana songs were played that evening, and never did we headband nor dance so enraged. Although I’ve never been a diehard fan of the band, and didn’t particularly like Cobain much, his death was shocking. On the first anniversary of his death, a tribute mini festival was celebrated in Zaragoza, and my band The Brain Farmers, was invited to participate. We covered Frances Farmer Will Have Her Revenge on Seattle, and played our own tune dedicated to the singer named Asking Cobain. We played for approx 400 people, and the audience seemed quite enthusiastic. Really, it was a blast. The band was terrible.
Investigations concluded his act was just suicide, and I never believed Courtney Love was involved in his death as part of a conspiration as it’s sometimes been questioned, yet I can’t help wondering whether he had to end like this or it was a fatal mistake. Cobain seemed to be demanding attention all the time… I don’t know.
Although I was really impressed by Cobain’s death, I felt absolutely shocked and devastated 8 years after, when the sad news of Layne Staley’s death caused by overdose, hit me. To add more drama, the detail of the body dead for two weeks till it was found by someone was the proof that the lead singer of Alice in Chains’ was more isolated than suspected.
We all knew Staley was fucked up, and despite the rumors talking about the struggle to rehab, heroin was too powerful and influential over him, in all senses and for many years. You just have to pay attention to Dirt lyrics to understand what drugs meant to the band, and especially to the singer.
The amazing unplugged performance for MTV, confirming the decrepit and weak condition of the singer, breaking a very long inactive period, made all the fans to lose hope, and start having the strong feeling that Layne was not to last too long.
No matter you have negative thoughts of future. When those become real, you still feel like shit. We knew something bad was going to happen, yet when terrible news was spread, an infinite sadness invaded many of our hearts. It was a terrible loss.
I might sound to dramatic here, but let me make a point here, there’s no day I don’t have a thought related to Alice in Chains, and consequently to Staley.
This has been the song I’ve thought of, when I’ve been reminded of this sad 10th anniversary. It’s more Cantrell’s but I find it full of meaning.