Let's tell you some facts about who was part of "Alice in Chains'" first two albums and also related to Layne Staley's death.
(Photo: Jeff Kravitz)
1. He was born on April 4, 1966, as Michael Christopher Starr.
2. His first band was "Sato", a heavy metal band he formed in 1983.
3. A year later he joined for a very short time the band "Gypsy Rose" which included members Tim Branom (who would later be the producer of Alice In Chains) and also Jerry Cantrell.
4. We have already mentioned in other posts that when Jerry Cantrell decided to form a band with drummer Sean Kinney, he thought of Mike as a bassist. Mike also happened to be the brother of Sean's girlfriend whom Jerry met in "Gypsy Rose".
(Photo: Marty Temme)
5. In 1989 after a number of demos and local gigs, the band "Alice In Chains" signed a record deal with the big label Columbia Records.
6. A year later they released their first EP "We Die Young" and in August 1990 they released their debut album "Facelift".
7. In February 1992 they released their second but first of two acoustic EPs called "SAP".
8. In September 1992 they released the album "Dirt", the band's last album with Mike and the album which was the peak of the band's flourishing and success.
9. Immediately after the release of the album "Dirt", the band went on an intensive tour to promote the album. There is a version that claims that Mike left the band immediately after the start of the tour since he was not interested in continuing to perform so intensely and life on the road did not suit him.
The second version claims that because he was so deeply into drugs, the band fired him because he could not perform well.
10. Mike said that during this tour Layne Staley saved his life. At one of the shows in Brazil with "Nirvana", Layne, Mike, and Kurt Cobain injected heroin into each other. Layne injected Mike but injected him too many times and Mike collapsed, losing consciousness and pulse. Layne immediately tried to save Mike and gave him CPR, Mike awoke at the sight of Layne crying hysterically.
11. In 1993 after leaving Alice, Mike joined the "Sun Red Sun" band with Ray Gillen who was a singer and writer from the "Badlands" band and also as part of "Black Sabbath" and drummer Bobby Rondinelli from the "Rainbow" band, "Blue Oyster Cult" and more... the band survived less than a year due to Ray death and released a single album bearing the band's name.
12. Mike had a not-so-short history with law enforcement and was arrested several times for the offense: of drunk driving, violence, drug possession, disorderly conduct, and other offenses. He was even arrested once at the airport for stealing someone else's suitcase after seeing his own damage.
13. In 2010 Mike participated in the VH1 TV series called Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew who documents celebrities during the rehab process. He participated in a spinoff series called Sober House documenting the same celebrities after rehab.
14. In one of the series' interviews with Layne's mother, Mike revealed for the first time his connection to Layne's death. He said that the day before Layne's death the two met and spent time together to celebrate Mike's birthday but Layne was very ill and refused to call the emergency center. The two confronted because Layne was unwilling to get help and Mike stormed Layne's house. After Mike left, Layne called Mike and asked him to come back and not leave that way. Mike did not return nor did he call the emergency center.
15. In the interview he expressed regret and pain that he did not call the emergency center to save his friend and this is mainly because he too was high on drugs that evening and afraid to hurt friends and he will never forgive himself for not saving his good friend Layne. Turns out Mike was the last person to see Layne.
16. On March 8, 2011, Mike was found lifeless in his home in Salt Lake City, the cause of death determined was an overdose.
17. In 2013 Sean added the caption LSMS to his drum set, these are the acronyms for Layne and Mike's names.