I used to be young once. Not that now i'm old, but i used to be different. Especially for what concertns music. My love for it is still absolute, pyure and burning like a supernova. But i might have gotten more mature and complex towards it.
When i was a kid, i LOVED any band that tickled my heart with no middle gorund. When a band or a specific musician grabbed my attention in the right way, i made a pact with them. An unbreakable bond. They would provide my happiness and the means of my survival in a cold, pointless world, where my parents did not love me and clearly sauid soi and i seemed to be going nowhere very quickly and burn out in slow motion.
I missed the wagon for the grievers of Freddie Mercury's death. As much as i love Queen i discovered them too late. And Nirvana too. When Kurt killed himself leaving a lonely daughter , and insane wife and a world of breoken hearted fans, i qwasnt poaying attention. Maybve too caught up into my own thousand little dramas smelling of booze, meds and neglect. I was too busy following my own obsessions for a better life that was still far from my grasp, to notice that a hero had just opted the way out of this world and left it way more grey and dire.
But Layne Stanley. I knew him.
When i started following Alice In Chains, i was at the bottom of my own pit. They put out the magnificient piece of distorted dysfunction that is "Dirt". I got it a year later than it got out. 93. I was already drinking. not heavily but drinking. and the hangovers had that as a soundtrack.
And then there were the others. The unplugged, providing a silence filling for the sleepless nights with an aching stomach and the desire to just jump out of a window. Or The self titled one. The one with the cripple dog, as we called it. Dark. SOulful. Layne on it sounded like he was either running away from a gaping black hole or about to jump inside of it. And i got a car. I drove aimelssly, listening to their whole discography placed on an ugly nameless tape. And thought of never going back to wherever i left.
And tears., ANd fear. And loves gone and never got back. or celebrations. And sex. And happiness. Nothing was untouched by their music. And by his voice. Like romantic nights, cuddled in a cxar under a blanket with whatshername, the stars above us. The fields of grass that made the nothingness feel less scary. Each other and proimises of a love that would not get fulfilled.
And Layne singing. With Mad Season.
And the years passed anbd i got older. I got worse. I got lost. Laynbe did too. Heroin became his only way of life. He became a hermit and his health deteriorated. ANd one day he was found after three days he had died. It was 2002. I dont remember what i was doing. i remember my heart breaking at the news. For a moment. then i went back to the nothing i was being sucked into.
Today it will be ten years siunce his passing.
It still hurts. Rest Layne. And thank you for it all.