Alice in Chains have been in my life since I was a kid. “Rooster,” “Down in a Hole,” and “Would?” were the number 1’s always on the radio. One of the only cd’s I owned by them before I became a dedicated fan was, “Nothing Safe: Best of the Box.” I’m not sure where I got it from, probably a CD guy I used to go to years ago, but it was in a drawer next to my rocking chair in the living room. In middle school, I got more into them…especially “Down in a Hole” because I was going through some teen-angsty stuff and I could relate to Layne’s words. At that time in my life, I wasn’t all about finding out who people were, so I had no idea who “Layne” or “Jerry” or “Mike” or “Sean” was.
I remember when Layne died though. I saw it on MSN, a sepia colored photo was featured announcing his death in a few paragraphs. And then sometime after that, I fell in love with those guys, especially Layne. I think I needed to be old enough to understand the stories behind their music.
Today, I can’t live in a room without Layne’s poster on the wall. I love him, and always will. He’s someone that has shaped who I am today. I am completely against drugs, I don’t drink, and I don’t smoke. I never plan to either. So many peers do these things all the time but they fail to realize that one day you can be gone forever from it’s damage. And if not that, you’ll be hanging on for life in an endless addiction that can tear apart yourself and your relationships with others.
It’s a damn shame that Layne is gone. Like so many others probably say, I wish I could have saved him. I think I was in denial about how bad it had gotten for a long time. Maybe I didn’t want to see it. But recently, I looked over some old videos of his and it was heartbreaking. It’s so easy to see when he was sober vs. when he was lost in an addiction nightmare. Layne was a one of a kind, beautiful, and talented person. Rest in Peace.