He is blond...
He is a singer...
He is a guitarist...
He is a huge talent...
Get 54 facts about grunge darling Jerry Cantrell.
(Photo: Scott Dachroeden)
1. His full name is Jerry Fulton Cantrell Jr and he was born in Tacoma, Washington on March 18, 1966.
2. His father was a veteran of the Vietnam War and Jerry only met him for the first time when he was three years old after he returned from the war. His mother was an administrative assistant at a school and Jerry was the youngest of three.
3. His parents divorced when he was seven years old, following the trauma from the war that his father experienced. His father is the main subject in the song Rooster and his mother Gloria is also mentioned in the song.
4. Rooster was a nickname of Cantrell's father when he was a child in light of his "Swiss" personality and the curly hair he had and later stuck to it as part of his service in Vietnam. Rooster is also a nickname for the soldiers who carried the M60 machine gun as well as the unit in which Cantrell's father served in Vietnam.
5. In high school he was a choir singer and competed in national singing competitions, after a year he became the president of the choir and the quartet of brothers sang the national anthem at all the school's basketball games.
6. The drama teacher and the music teacher are the two people who pushed him the most in the musical direction and when Alice in Chains' debut album reached gold status he sent both of his teachers a gold album.
7. The first instrument Jerry played was the clarinet.
8. When he was 12 years old his stepfather who was a guitar player taught Jerry some chords and was surprised by the boy's playing ability. As a result, his mother bought him his first guitar.
9. Jerry started playing seriously and electric guitar only at the age of 17.
10. The first guitar Jerry bought himself was a Fender Stratocaster made in Korea.
11. When he was 21 years old he lost his grandmother and his mother to cancer, the loss put Jerry into depression from which he came out a different person, very different from what he was before. The song Sunshine from the band's first album was written about the death of his mother.
12. Jerry grew up on country music and to this day he admires how the music moves and talks about feelings, he sees himself as half Redneck and half Yankee.
13. Later in his life the artists that influenced him were: Jimi Hendrix, Tony Iommi, Angus Young, Jimmy Page, Heart, Rush, Fleetwood Mac, and many others.
14. One of his first jobs was at a music store called Arnold and Morgan Music Company, where he purchased what he says was his first real 1984 G&L Rampage guitar.
15. His first band was Sinister with Vinnie Chas from Pretty Boy Floyd which later changed its name to Raze.
16. In 1986 Jerry formed a band called Diamond Lie with which he performed in Tacoma and Seattle. To get a recording contract, they recorded a demo of four songs.
17. A year later Jerry met Layne Staley at a party in Seattle where he was the singer of Alice N' Chains, at that time Jerry was homeless because his family kicked him out and Layne invited him to live at The Music Bank studio.
So it all started...
18. Jerry got from Line the phone of a girl named Melinda Starr who was a friend of the drummer Sean Kinney, Jerry also needed a bass player and wanted to get Mike Starr with whom he played before, as fate would have it, he was Melinda's brother who picked up the phone and Mike immediately showed up.
19. The three were looking for a singer and really wanted Layne with them in the band. Layne refused because he was interested in starting his own car. So what did the three do? They held auditions for very, very bad singers precisely in Layne's presence, until at the audition of a stripper who wanted to be a singer, Layne broke down and agreed to join the band.
20. After quite several names like "Mothra", "Fuck", "Diamond Lie" and more, the friends decided on the name "Alice In Chains", based on the name of the band the line had.
(Photo: Annamaria Disanto)
21. The band's first demo "The Treehouse Tapes" was completed in 1988. He found his way to Kelly Curtis and Susan Silver who managed the bands "Mother Love Bone" and "Soundgarden". The two took the demo to Columbia Records and they signed the band to a contract in September 1989.
22. Jerry is the lead guitarist, lead writer, and additional singer in the band. He gave the band the heavy metal touches that are so familiar, and his amazing harmony with Layne on vocals.
23. The band's debut album "Facelift" was released in August 1990, Jerry dedicated the album to his mother Gloria, and his fellow singer Andrew Wood from the band "Mother Love Bone". The singles released from the album are: "We Die Young", "Man in the Box", "Sea of Sorrow" and "Bleed the Freak". This is the first album from the grunge scene to be certified gold and it was also nominated for a Grammy.
24. In February 1992, the band released their first EP "SAP" which consists entirely of acoustic songs. Ann Wilson from the band Heart and another duo called "Alice Mudgarden" are guests on the album.
25. There are stories that in the early 1990s Jerry was still homeless and wandered between the homes of Pearl Jam manager Kelly Curtis, where he shared a room with Eddie Vedder and Chris Cornell's home where he shared his home with his then-wife Susan Silver.
26. In September 1992, Alice's second album called "Dirt" was released. This is the most successful album of the band that created crazy hits like "Would?", "Rooster", "Them Bones" and more...and it was also nominated for a Grammy Award.
27. The band's second EP, also all acoustic called "Jar Of Flies" was released in January 1994 and became the first EP in Alice's history to go straight to number one on the Billboard charts.
28. In July 1994, the band broke up temporarily for six months and returned in November 1995, when the third album bearing the band's name was released. The album directly reached first place in the chart and from it came the singles: "Grind", "Heaven Beside You" and "Again". This album marked the beginning of the end when this time the band did not go on tour to promote the album and did not perform for two and a half years until Unplugged appeared...
29. He plays the role of himself as well as the role of Nona Weisbaum in the "mockumentary" that became a cult "The Nona Tapes" released in December 1995 and intended to promote the band's third album "Alice In Chains".
30. Jerry participated in a short scene in the movie "Jerry Maguire", in which he played a salesman in a printing shop helping Tom Cruise to print flyers, this was in 1996. The movie was directed by Cameron Crowe who also directed the movie "Singles".
31. In April 1996, Alice held one of the biggest and most talked about performances in the program MTV Unplugged. Jerry came to the show sick from stomach poisoning and Layne seemed completely consumed by drugs and alcohol.
32. That year, the band held its last four shows with Layne, who died six years later in April 2002. From that year, the band was inactive and disbanded completely.
33. That same year Jerry recorded his first song as an independent artist, "Leave Me Alone" which was recorded as part of the soundtrack to the movie "The Cable Guy" starring Jim Carrey. Jerry recorded the song while singing, playing the bass and guitar, and Sheen on the drums.
(Photo: Sandy Caspers)
34. During that time, the band released three compilation albums: "Nothing Safe: Best of the Box, Music Bank" "Greatest Hits" and one live concert album called LIVE.
35. Jerry said that he didn't think of starting a solo career, he liked being part of the band, but when the situation looked bad and the future was unknown, he gathered courage and set out on his own.
36. In April 1998, Jerry released his debut album Boggy Depot, to promote the album he went on tour with his two friends from Alice and even opened for Metallica and Van Halen.
37. In 2000, Jerry met William DuVall and occasionally joined as a guest artist in his band's shows.
38. In May 2001, Jerry broke his pinky while playing football with the guitarist he was performing with, he had to undergo several surgeries and was implanted with a titanium plate and four screws.
39. In June 2002 Jerry released his second solo album "Degradation Trip". The album featured artists such as drummer Mike Bordin from Faith No More, bassist Robert Trujillo from the band "Metallica" and guitarist Chris DeGarmo from the band "Queensrÿche" which originates from Seattle.
40. The album was released two months after Layne's death and was dedicated to his memory. In November, the album was released in a revised version with 11 additional songs (really a double album), when the adjustment to a double album was made in view of Layne's death and the writing of additional songs.
41. William Duvall and his band were a warm-up act for Jerry's tour to promote the album, with William coming up to sing occasionally as an additional singer on Alice's songs, hence the connection in the future was inevitable...
42. As of 2003, Jerry is drug and alcohol-free.
43. Jerry worked in 2005 on a new album with drummer Stephen Perkins and bassist Chris Chaney, both from the band "Jane's Addiction". The album was planned to be released in 2006 but the reunion of "Alice In Chains" as described below prevented its release.
44. In February 2005, the three remaining members of Alice returned to perform together for the first time in almost 10 years. It was at a fundraising event for the victims of the tsunami.
45. The three went on tour with many varied guest singers to celebrate their love of music and remember the days that used to be.
46. In 2006 William Duvall joined the band officially and became the additional singer the band. It made them want to keep writing and recording new music.
(Photo: Johnny Buzerio)
47. In September 2009, the reformed band released their fourth album "Black Gives Way to Blue", on this album Jerry took the lead on vocals and William served as co-pilot.
48. The album's theme song in which Elton John plays the piano was written as a tribute to Layne. Before writing the song, Jerry said that he was suffering from a mysterious illness of migraines and exhaustion when the doctors were unable to discover the disease, Jerry believes that it is a psychological illness caused by the pain of breaking up with Layne. The album was nominated for two Grammy Awards and included the singles: "A Looking in View", "Check My Brain", "Your Decision" and "Lesson Learned".
49. By the way, this album was released exactly 17 years after the "Dirt" album!
50. In 2012, he received the Stevie Ray Vaughan Award for support and help to other artists, on behalf of MusiCares, a non-profit organization designed to help musicians in times of financial, personal, and medical crisis.
51. In May 2013, the band released their fifth album "The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here", with Jerry continuing his role as the album's lead singer. This album was also nominated for Grammy Awards and included the singles: "Hollow", "Stone" and "Voices".
52. In August 2018, the band released their sixth album "Rainier Fog" which they recorded at Studio X, where the band's third and last album with Layne was recorded. The album includes the singles: "The One You Know", "So Far "Under", "Never Fade" and the theme song of the album.
53. In February 2017, Jerry released a solo song called "A Job To Do" as part of the soundtrack of the movie "John Wick: Chapter 2".
54. Jerry's third album "Brighten" was released in October 2021, almost 20 years since his second solo album and double. While most of the albums released in 2021 are the product of the corona epidemic, this album was created even before the outbreak of the epidemic in March 2019.
55. Jerry collaborated with a huge variety of artists in which he served as a guitarist as well as a singer, among the most prominent are: Danzig's Blackacidevil album, on the "Garage Inc" album. of "Metallica", on the album "Jupiter's Darling" by "Heart", on the cover album "Under Cover" by Ozzy Osbourne, and many others...
56. In addition to the soundtracks we mentioned, Jerry has several other songs in other movies such as: "She Was My Girl" in the movie Spider-Man" (2002), and "Ashes to Ashes in the movie The Punisher" (2004)".
Cantrell is a huge talent and has a capacity for emotion that is found in few and special guitarists, you are invited to listen to the album on Spotify, Apple Music