Published On March 8, 2012 | By Brett Buchanan | Alice In Chains, Headline

Mike Starr, Alice In Chains’ original bassist, died one year ago today. I still remember that day, a buddy texted me and I thought he was messing with me, and I checked online and was just in shock. Anybody who has been going on this site for the last few years knows Mike was a big topic on here and everybody on here was pulling for him.  His battle to get clean was well documented on Celebrity Rehab and Sober House and I covered him every step of the way. His talk with Nancy on Celebrity Rehab was just gut wrenching, and after all of that pain it was great to see Mike get his life together in 2010. He had started playing music again, sounding as good as he ever had. Mike then relapsed sometime in late 2010/early 2011 and was arrested about a month before he died. Mike had been through arrests and relapses before so I thought he would keep going especially since he had made it into his 40′s, so when he died it hit me hard. Like Nancy had said to Mike, I really wanted to see him make it to honor Layne’s memory.

Mike wasn’t a perfect guy, he had his flaws but from what I could tell on Celebrity Rehab/Sober House/his interviews over the last few years, the guy had an incredibly big heart. It just really sucks that half of the original members of Alice In Chains are gone. It would be nice to be able to go see the real Alice In Chains play together today, but life isn’t perfect. Rest in peace Mike and Layne, I’ll NEVER stop cranking Dirt and I don’t think anyone ever will. Your contributions to music will never be forgotten.

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Bio: Brett hosted the BWR podcast from 2004 to 2009, interviewing pro wrestling, MMA, and entertainment stars like Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, Rob Van Dam, Christian, Danny Bonaduce, and DDP. Brett opened in May 2009. The site changed its name to in June 2013. Brett also owns Reach out to Brett at; brett (at)


  1. GrungeAttack says:

    Rest in Peace, Mike. I mean it when I say that I really wanted to see you make it, watching you go through rehab and seeing you open up to Nancy (who by the way, I give my best wishes along with Mike’s family). Your loss was tragic and your legacy is alive with many AiC fans. The road you took wasn’t easy, but what’s important is that you fought to get off of it. Rest easy, brother.

  2. sisto says:

    mike eri un grande rip.

  3. Kris says:

    Brett – you nailed it! That is exactly how so many of us felt that day and continue to feel. So many of us were pulling for Mike to overcome his addictions and get well. He really seemed like he was on the right track. But then news got out that he has been arrested and concerns started to mount.

    He wasn’t perfect and had his demons but seemed like such a nice, fun guy. I SO wanted him to succeed! He was an incredible bass player and put out some damn good music.

    R.I.P. Mike. At least you are peace now along with Layne. We miss you!

  4. Ben says:

    Wow it a year already! I can’t believe it, It still feels like a fresh wound that just happened. Its still shocking to me that he’s gone, but he’s now with Layne jammimg out :) and like Brett it also hit me hard the thought of this kind hearted musician no longer walking on the same earth as me is incredibly sad. :/

  5. Mom in the Box says:

    RIP Mike. You and Layne are missed and will never be forgotten. Not a day goes by that I don’t listen to AIC.

  6. Jeanne says:

    RIP Mike. I remember logging onto Twitter and seeing the TT RIP MIKE STARR…thought maybe it was the other Mike Starr (actor), so I logged onto Grunge Report to check, and sure enough, you had already reported it was true. Very sad day, much like the day I found out Layne died, I will never forget what I was doing.

    Had hoped he could get clean and overcome his demons, thought talking to Nancy might have reinforced his desires to stay straight, but then I heard about his arrest, and knew something was up. Can’t believe it after one year, but I hope he is with Layne now, and they are rocking out wherever they are.

  7. Scotty Olson says:

    For those of you that are in a band, I’m sure you can imagine the impact that Mike’s passing had on the AIC camp. Bands are a brotherhood and when you have a tragedy of that magnitude, it’s impact is significant.
    Mike will always be in the hearts and minds of many and that’s a legacy I’m proud to say he deserves. I’m sure his family (and of course AIC) appreciate all your thoughtful remembrance.
    Here’s to you Mike,

  8. Robert says:

    RIP Mike and when I read that he died that I was devastation that another talented musician lost their to the disease of addiction. Now the orignal half of AIC is gone. Mike has found his peace and now rocking with Layne.

  9. SherryC says:

    Could not have said any of this better myself…. RIP Mike. You may be gone but you are never forgotten.

  10. grungeaddict says:

    My buddy Txt me hwilst i was at work to tell me mike starr had been found dead, (were both HUGE Aic fans) and when i read those words i thought to myself . .Fuck man no…not after youve come this far, its one of those situations when you look at it and his life its not that shocking but you cant help but be shocked by it because the music and everything and his contributions mean so much to you, i was roothing him through that addiction tho whole way and was really hoping hed pull through but that struggle is a very hard one and i guess it wasnt meant to be, i remember you posting that song of him jamming after his death and it sounded great, i also remember seeing him play with steel panther as they covered man in the box and he nailed it,was sharp and locked into the groove, as a bass player myself mike is a major influence on me and hell forever be missed, RIP mike man . .i hope you and layne are in a better place and FINALLY free from your struggle and torment.

  11. dakotablue says:

    A lot of people are posting about how Mike and Layne are rocking out together again. But this leaves a bitter taste in my mouth, because I would so much rather have both of them still walking on the Earth and making more fantastic music for us. Free from pain, though, I have to agree with that.
    Mike, you are missed and your tough battle against drugs should be an inspiration to everyone. I know Layne was proud of how hard you fought, too. RIP Mikey, Star of the bass!

  12. elle says:

    RIP Mike, you are missed.

  13. Max says:

    Wait, Mike Starr died and Superunknown came out the same day? :(

  14. bmeade says:

    Berry, that was a great tribute. I remembeed watching Celebrity Rehab just to root for Mike Starr. I never watch that show, but Mike was so real. There were times I was just amazed at the patience and grace he showed towards the other patients when they were going off on him. He was the real deal. RIP Mike.

  15. bmeade says:

    Brett* damn autospellchecking…

  16. james wegner says:

    gimme that base line – song would, dark as hell

  17. Kevin says:

    Be well!

  18. Jeanne says:

    Wow did I just see THE Scotty Olson come in here and comment? Wow, did not know like celebrities checked this site out, very cool. Loved ya on Unplugged w/ AIC Scotty!

  19. steph says:

    Hard to believe it has been a year already. I am still and forever will be heartbroken. Thanks for the music, Mikey.

  20. franko says:

    If Mike had sought legitimate help for his addiction instead of going to a publicity-grubbing quack like Dr. Drew, this story may have had a different ending. Sad, it is.

  21. nevernamed says:

    It was a sad day for sure. Mike had a heart of gold, and really, was a solid guy that just desperately needed some help. I’m glad his pain is over, and I hope him and Layne did get reunited.

  22. Kris says:

    @ franko: I know a lot of people don’t care for Dr. Drew but the fact of the matter is that Mike was at his healthiest/cleanest under Drew’s care. By all accounts, Mike was sober for a good year/year and of his life (in ’09 and ’10) and Dr. Drew did something right for that to happen.

    That’s what was so shocking – we all thought Mike had cleaned up and then it seems like he relapsed.

  23. GrungeAttack says:

    franko the ending was his own choice not anybody else. Legitimate help is no guarantee when someone wants drugs. This blame everybody else is the reason why people go back to drugs, they have a built in excuse. It’s not my fault it’s the world man!

  24. Aliceinchainhead says:

    MIKE STARR > BIGGIES DEATH lol both on same days

  25. Lisa says:

    I love u mike Starr if we were 2gether I be near u 247 we would support each other as I understand what he was going through

  26. devine says:

    Listen I love Mike so much and I wish that he Could be here right now.

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