R.I.P. Mike Starr, former bassist of Alice In Chains (3/9/2011)

Bassist Mike Starr

The PiercingMetal Command Center was saddened to learn of the death of bassist Mike Starr today who was found dead in his Salt Lake City, Utah home at the age of 44.  The police DO NOT expect foul play as the cause but the results from the medical examiner will take a few months to determine. The musician appeared on the third season of “Celebrity Rehab” where he showcased his own personal struggle with addiction and while he seemed a bit frantic during this particular season, he did end up getting it together for the case of his own health. He and fellow show participant Tom Sizemore each appeared on the season four showing of this program and had been sober/clean for a number of months. Starr was arrested in February of 2011 with possession of several controlled substances so perhaps his own sobriety was not as long lived as his family and friends would have hoped. Let’s see what the medical experts report when they make that assessment.

Musically speaking, Starr was a founding member of the Alice In Chains band and appeared on their earliest and most seminal works such as “Facelift”  (1990), “Sap” (1992) and “Dirt” (1992).  Although he does NOT appear on the bands “Unplugged” album he can be heard on two tracks on the bands “Live” album.   I don’t think I need to speak more on how important the band was to the Seattle Sound and the Grunge Movement as a whole, but I will say that out of the crop of bands that appeared during this time, how Alice In Chains with Mike as a member were one of the best and most promising.

We express our deepest condolences to his family and fans as well as his former band mates.  If the cause gets cited as being from an overdose then I will feel all the more sad, because I hate when this kind of shit takes talented people away from us.   Some view the “Celebrity Rehab” show as sensationalizing the addiction recovery process, but I think at the end of the day it does good and showcases just how hard it is to overcome this kind of problem.

Photo used comes credited to “Iris Peace and Love”.

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