Last week we had an exclusive feature on late Alice In Chains frontman Layne Staley considering joining Audioslave in 2001, with Layne’s friend Morgen Gallagher telling the story. In this new Alternative Nation feature, Gallagher discusses living with Layne, and shares a story about Layne Staley’s romantic life in his later years.
“I met Layne in the summer of 1986 at a house party in Issaquah, and we hit it off immediately. I think it was around august that I ended up moving in with him and Mike Mitchelll, the then the bass player for Layne’s band Sleze. Layne had the closet, Mike had the dining room, and I had the couch/living room. It was a falling apart house in the University District of Seattle on 7th, which they had divided it into student apartments. Me and Layne would get drunk and race big wheels on the I5 express way off ramp back to our house.
I lived there with Layne about 3 or 4 months I think. They were getting ready to shoot a movie “Father Rock,” it was being done by a local director Thadius Bird (I think). Layne and Mike were getting on each others nerves more and more, so Layne asked me to join the band and take Mike’s place in the movie. So we moved out of Mike’s place and into Maryanne Confiff’s even smaller studio apartment for about 6 months, then finally into the Music Bank for about 2 or 3 months. I was then fired and Jonny Bacolas took my space.”
Gallagher did not see Staley as frequently after Alice In Chains hit it big, and the times he saw him were even rarer after Layne’s on again off again girlfriend Demri Parrot passed away in 1996. “He was busy then became very reclusive after Demri died and his addiction kicked into overdrive.” While Staley did become more reclusive, he did still see him a few times in the late 90’s when Layne began dating a mutual friend.
“I think 3 or 4 times, not a lot, but he started dating another friend, so our paths crossed a couple of times.” Gallagher added that Staley and the unnamed girlfriend wanted to keep it quiet.
The last time Gallagher saw Staley was in January 2001 at a Super Bowl party, when Staley said he was considering auditioning for the band that would later become Audioslave, featuring former members of Rage Against The Machine.
That was the last time Gallagher saw his old friend, who tragically passed away in April 2002. “He was a good friend, and a talented motherfucker. I miss him. He was taken way too soon.”