I was sent a link to a page of a December 2002 auction of Alice In Chains frontman Layne Staley’s property. I don’t know how long this has been online, or if the property was stolen, but it is new to me, so I thought I would share the description of the auction with Alternative Nation readers. The second paragraph sheds some new light on Layne’s battle against drug addiction.
“Alice In Chains”, a name that was invented by singer / songwriter Layne Staley for a parody heavy metal band that dressed in drag, grew out of the grunge capital of the world – Seattle, Washington in 1987. Arguably the band that put Seattle on the map, if not for another radical American “grunge pioneer”, Kurdt Kobain (now also deceased). Both artists died long before their time. Ironically laboratory results showed that Layne died from a drug over dose on the exact same day that Kurt committed suicide. This important compilation of fragments in Layne’s life comes from personal and tour garments as well as ephemera – a personal, deep and touching look into the life that once was. Included is his motorcycle helmet with sticker “Keep Kids Off God” and handwritten “God Awful”, pair of bates dress shoes, a brown used right cowboy boot, his Mexican leather cowboy hat, black Henry Grethel shirt, his Levy guitar strap (with skull art), Converse Chuck Taylor sneaker with Alice In Chains printed with fly and star art. All items are well worn. The ephemera part of this historical aggregation includes his personal Grammy invitation, his hand written resume (at age 26), a comical letter from his Mom, 13 misc. letters to Layne from girls and friends, candid photos of himself, Poison Bone, girls, band members and even Billy Idol. Legal letters, cell phone bills, union dues bills, e-mails, deposit stubs, bill of sales, his stock portfolio statement, 1995 tax return.
Also, a very serious personal hospital health form for drug addiction in 1994 that suggests AA meeting, meditation, and continued sobriety, 10 assorted comic books, fanzines, from Layne’s personal library. From one of his notebooks a four-page handwritten commitment to himself to do his “Twelve Steps”. Another is values and priorities in nine hand drawn sketches. Tons of music, clivvppings, unpublished art and photos, five concert handbills and an early poster, his own “Star Registry”, some very personal notes, letters and commitments from his girlfriend, Kemri. Four explicit letters from drug rehab; his girlfriend, & music life which describe meetings with Steven Tyler and Ringo, Janes’s Addicition Eric Avery and going through withdrawal…wow. Truly enthralling accumulation for another sadly missed rock artist.