Photographer Danny Clinch Remembers Alice In Chains’ Unplugged Performance

Edited by Brett Buchanan

As a longtime fan of Alice In Chains, I have often wondered what photographers had to say about working with the band, so recently I decided to reach out to one of them. One prominent photographer was there for the best MTV Unplugged show that’s ever been done, which of course was Alice in Chains’ 1996 Unplugged concert in New York. That photographer and filmmaker is known for working with the most talented musicians and bands, and his name is Danny Clinch. Needless to say, getting a response from him so quickly was unreal and exhilarating. Here’s what he had to say, in our very brief exchange.

What was it like to photograph Alice in Chains at the MTV Unplugged show?

It was real cool to work with Alice in Chains, especially before the legendary MTV taping. I was able to be there for the sound check as well as the show. I love sound check, as you can hear the band work out the songs and discuss how they would play the songs in an unplugged setting.


Do you have any more photographs of Alice in Chains from the MTV Unplugged concert?

Columbia Records has most of them. I only have a few that I hung on to for some reason; maybe they were outtakes.

Did you photograph Alice in Chains any other time in your career?                                    

The “Unplugged” concert was my only shoot with them.

Danny went on to say that if his memory serves him correctly, James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich, both original founding members of Metallica, were among the audience.

Through his lens eye, Danny was able to capture the most vivid images; some looking like watercolor paintings. Alternative Nation thanks Danny Clinch for taking a few moments out of his very busy schedule to talk to us; maybe we’ll see some of those outtakes appear soon.

You can find Danny on Instagram, Twitter and his website:

Instagram: Dannybones64
Twitter: Danny_Clinch


  • dakotablue

    Errr, where’s the story here?

    • Cindy Slade

      Sorry! To each his own!

  • Kytana Martell


  • Felonious Punk

    Hey Slade! Seeing as you were able to get a response from him so fast, is there any chance you can ask him for a few details on the photo he shot for the back of the 1996 Afghan Whigs album ‘Black Love’? It’s one of my favorite album photos of all time and I’d be most appreciative!

    • Cindy Slade

      Hello there, if you go to you can find his email address quite visibly. I think I’ve taken up too much of his time myself already.

      • Felonious Punk

        I actually tried to email him there a couple of times about it, but never got a response. I thought maybe you had some kind of ulterior method to getting his attention.

        Guess I’ll go try and email him again…and again…and again…

        • rdiazzz

          A friend of mine was there. He was an important Mtv Vj back on tje day. He was able to introducig a video camera at the rehersals and when the show end he ”took a souvenir”, a part of the stage that he still conserve at his home.
          For obvious reasons i can’t upload the footage but i can share the story if you or anyone else have a real interest.

  • Trev Ving Reams

    It’s far from the best unplugged imo. Pearl Jam’s show in March 1992 is how it should be done.

    • Corndog

      Bet your ass:)

      My only issue with it is that it was too damn short!

      • Cindy Slade

        I’m sorry about that, but Danny Clinch’s time was/in very limited. I honestly didn’t reach out to him for an article point of view. It just turned into one. He was gracious, kind & wonderful!

        • Corndog

          No, I meant Pearl Jam unplugged was too short:)

    • Felonious Punk

      Nirvana and STP

    • kris08

      AIC and Nirvana were the best Unplugged shows IMO. I’d give AIC a slight edge simply because of the raw emotion exhibited by Layne. LOVED IT and just the mere mention of this performance brings back great memories of a time when music was at its best.

      • Raj

        I would give Nirvana the edge, they did a lot of cover songs instead of doing Teen Spirit, Lithium, Breed, In Bloom, or Heart-Shaped Box unplugged. Kurt displayed a lot of raw emotion, go back and watch Where Did You Sleep Last Night.

      • UnixDesigner78

        Agree. AIC will always win out for me as they are my favorite of the “Big 4”. A few years ago, they did a sort of update to the ’96 Unplugged in Brooklyn with an acoustic show at a casino out west (Reno? Or was it in Wyoming? Not sure anymore…) where they played “Right Turn” live for the first time. Will DuVall killed it on vocals, singing Layne’s part and Cornell’s, and Jerry nailed the arrangement overall, as he and Will can switch rhythm and lead guitar to fill out the sound and make it richer.

        It was a total treat, only made better by the guest appearance of Jerry’s dad. I hope they continue to do shows like that every so often. I miss Layne a lot; at the same time, Will is a sweet man with a lot of talent. I’m so glad he and Jerry met and began working together in the tough period between the last outputs with Layne and his passing far too young. Jerry works best when he has other people sharing his vision. Boggy Depot was pretty good, but Alice is something else!

  • MrsCarlton

    Well that job probably didn’t suck.