Brett Buchanan

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Bio: Brett hosted the BWR podcast from 2004 to 2009, and then opened GrungeReport.net in May 2009. The site changed its name to AlternativeNation.net in June 2013. Brett also owns Concertfy.com. Reach out to Brett at; brett (at) alternativenation.net

Late Alice In Chains frontman Layne Staley had agreed to perform vocals on a track for Taproot’s 2002 album Welcome just a week or so before his death after hearing demos. Layne was actually set to record his vocals in Seattle at Robert Lang Studios in April 2002 with Alice In Chains producer Toby Wright, but Layne tragically passed away before he could record his vocals. According to David de Sola’s new book Alice In Chains: The Untold Story, the track that Staley was set to record vocals on was tentatively titled “Spacey.”

The track was later performed live as an instrumental, with the YouTube description from the band saying: “This is a song we wrote when we were working on Welcome. It’s called Kevin Spacey, which is just a working title that we kept. Stephen never got around to putting vocals on it, but it made for a pretty cool instrumental song and we played it live a few times. It’s possible this may end up on a future release…”

You can watch live video below of the song that made Layne Staley decide to return to music!

Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl recently told Q Magazine that he wants to form a band with his children.

“My bucket list is so short these days, I call it my ‘f**kit’ list. You know who I look forward to jamming with the most? My kids. I can only hope that I have my own little Haim to jam with someday. Though I’m probably the last person they’d want to be their drummer!” he grinned to Q magazine, referring to the sister trio band made up of Este, Danielle and Alana.

Grohl also discussed his throne he is using at Foo Fighters shows.

“Knowing that I wouldn’t be up and racing around a stage for a while, I figured the only way to keep going was to sit with my leg elevated,” he reasoned. “But nobody wants to see a dude on a f**king stool screaming his balls off every night, so I drew this hilariously amateur picture of a chair with lights, lasers and guitar necks shooting out of it and sent it to my lighting designer, Dan Hadley.”

On Comedy Central’s @midnight last night, the show mocked former Stone Temple Pilots frontman Scott Weiland. When host Chris Hardwick displayed a photo of a monkey throwing up on the screen, comedian Brendon Walsh responded to the photo with, “What’s Scott Weiland been up to?”

Screen Shot 2015-07-29 at 7.34.13 PM

Scott Weiland and the Wildabouts recently canceled their European tour, outside of one date. See the statement below.

“We regret to announce at this time that Scott Weiland & The Wildabouts will not be able to perform the upcoming UK and European dates tour dates scheduled for September/October 2015 with the exception of the show in London at The Garage on Sept 03rd which will stay in place. Scott and the band, along with management want the fans to know that this decision was not made lightly, but as it stood, the tour dates had far too many administration and production issues to overcome, and ultimately the fan experience would have been far below what Scott feels his loyal fans deserve. Again, we apologize to our fans and appreciate their understanding in this matter.”

Slipknot frontman Corey Taylor recently told Loudwire that he recorded nine or ten songs with Velvet Revolver.

“I think it was ten [songs that I recorded with Velvet Revolver]… I think it was… It’s either nine or ten,” Taylor said (see video below). “There was a handful that we wrote, and then there was a handful that I kind of rearranged a little bit based on music that they already had. So it wasn’t music that we kind of wrote together. I mean, there were, like, three… I think there was three songs that we wrote together, which were actually pretty sweet. And then the rest of it was me writing to music that they already had that I thought was pretty cool.”

He continued: “Yeah, the world will probably never hear ‘em, which is fine, because, I mean, I would want another crack at kind of working on some of that stuff anyway. But that will never happen, so it’s…. You know, it’s all good.”

Last week we had an exclusive feature on late Alice In Chains frontman Layne Staley considering joining Audioslave in 2001, with Layne’s friend Morgen Gallagher telling the story. In this new Alternative Nation feature, Gallagher discusses living with Layne, and shares a story about Layne Staley’s romantic life in his later years.

“I met Layne in the summer of 1986 at a house party in Issaquah, and we hit it off immediately. I think it was around august that I ended up moving in with him and Mike Mitchelll, the then the bass player for Layne’s band Sleze. Layne had the closet, Mike had the dining room, and I had the couch/living room. It was a falling apart house in the University District of Seattle on 7th, which they had divided it into student apartments. Me and Layne would get drunk and race big wheels on the I5 express way off ramp back to our house.

I lived there with Layne about 3 or 4 months I think. They were getting ready to shoot a movie “Father Rock,” it was being done by a local director Thadius Bird (I think). Layne and Mike were getting on each others nerves more and more, so Layne asked me to join the band and take Mike’s place in the movie. So we moved out of Mike’s place and into Maryanne Confiff’s even smaller studio apartment for about 6 months, then finally into the Music Bank for about 2 or 3 months. I was then fired and Jonny Bacolas took my space.”

Gallagher did not see Staley as frequently after Alice In Chains hit it big, and the times he saw him were even rarer after Layne’s on again off again girlfriend Demri Parrot passed away in 1996. “He was busy then became very reclusive after Demri died and his addiction kicked into overdrive.” While Staley did become more reclusive, he did still see him a few times in the late 90’s when Layne began dating a mutual friend.

“I think 3 or 4 times, not a lot, but he started dating another friend, so our paths crossed a couple of times.” Gallagher added that Staley and the unnamed girlfriend wanted to keep it quiet.

The last time Gallagher saw Staley was in January 2001 at a Super Bowl party, when Staley said he was considering auditioning for the band that would later become Audioslave, featuring former members of Rage Against The Machine.

That was the last time Gallagher saw his old friend, who tragically passed away in April 2002. “He was a good friend, and a talented motherfucker. I miss him. He was taken way too soon.”

Dave Grohl discussed rumors of Foo Fighters playing Glastonbury next year in a new interview with Q Magazine.

“All of those stories about me talking to Michael Eavis are complete bullshit. I’ve never spoken to, met, or even contacted him in my life. I sent one email to Emily and her husband, apologising for missing the event, and she invited me to come back someday, even just to camp out and watch the show for the weekend. I read all of those articles saying we confirmed for next year and just laughed. Total fucking bullshit. Of course, I’d love to come back and play Glastonbury! But don’t believe everything that you read, kids…”

Grohl also said Led Zeppelin is helping him heal his broken leg, which is what caused Foo Fighters to cancel their Glastonbury performance and several other high profile European concerts.

“It’s funny, ever since I started playing the drums my right calf muscle has been twice the size of my left from stomping the hell out of my kick drum pedal,” he told Q. “Now it looks like a sad little chicken wing.” To help bulk up, Grohl says he’s been “air drumming along to Led Zeppelin three times a day.”

A photo of Billy Corgan on a ride at Disneyland from July 8th went viral a few days ago with many sites mocking The Smashing Pumpkins legend, and while we post a lot of stupid stuff on Alternative Nation, this one was dumb enough that even we decided against covering it. This changed though when Alternative Nation was checking out a July 13th Billy Corgan VIP Q&A where he discussed the Disneyland visit (prior to the photo actually going viral) and a fan criticizing his behavior. So rather than the hipster snark seen on other sites re-posting the photo, here is Corgan’s account of his Disneyland visit and fan criticism:

“I literally had somebody say to me the other day, I think it was at Disneyland: ‘Hey, you don’t seem that into this.’ I was like, ‘I’m at fucking Disneyland. I just want to hang out at Disneyland. I’m not here to do a meet and greet, I’m here to be at Disneyland.’ You know what I’m saying? But it’s almost like, ‘Well you’re here, and I’m here, and because I’m on my vacation, your vacation, you’re part of my vacation.’ It’s like, I’m not working, and I wasn’t being unpleasant, I wasn’t being rude. I was taking pictures with people, I took a picture with every person that asked. But then it gets into, what’s in your head? Like, you’re not smiling enough, or you don’t seem to be enjoying – and I’m like, what the fuck do you want from me?

That’s when it gets like, are you paying me? On whose dime are we on here? Because we have so much celebrity culture that is servile, ‘I’ll say whatever you want. I’ll make sure I take just the right selfie so I look better than I really look.’ I don’t want any part in that, that’s not interesting. So if that means one person has to walk away and go, ‘He’s doesn’t seem like he’s in a good mood,’ and they never go to a show again, I mean, they’re not really a fan, so that’s just the way it goes.”

Corgan also tweeted about the visit earlier this month.

Scott Weiland and the Wildabouts have canceled their European tour, outside of one date. See the statement below.

“We regret to announce at this time that Scott Weiland & The Wildabouts will not be able to perform the upcoming UK and European dates tour dates scheduled for September/October 2015 with the exception of the show in London at The Garage on Sept 03rd which will stay in place. Scott and the band, along with management want the fans to know that this decision was not made lightly, but as it stood, the tour dates had far too many administration and production issues to overcome, and ultimately the fan experience would have been far below what Scott feels his loyal fans deserve. Again, we apologize to our fans and appreciate their understanding in this matter.”

During a recent VIP fan Q&A for The Smashing Pumpkins’ In Plainsong tour, Billy Corgan discussed Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder and Bruce Springsteen taking part in the Vote for Change tour in 2004. The tour was held in swing states and was designed to encourage people to register and vote. Though the tour and the organization were officially non-partisan, many of the performers urged people to vote against then President George W. Bush and for John Kerry in the 2004 Presidential election campaign.

“Springsteen was on it, Eddie Vedder was on it, does anyone remember what I’m talking about? It was about 2004.”

“I saw something in the Chicago-Sun Times, where they had printed letters in response to the review of the show.”

He added, “Jim [DeRogatis] wrote a review of the show, and in the [review] he printed some of the things that they were saying. I was very surprised by the letters that I was reading that they printed. They obviously got so much mail, or e-mail, that they decided to do a two page spread of people’s letters. There was a lot of stuff, and a lot of the comments were, and I’m paraphrasing, were: ‘Artists should just entertain, and shut the fuck up.’ I’m a 60’s baby right, I grew up Neil Young ‘Four Dead In Ohio,’ ‘For What It’s Worth,’ songs that defined, and still define, a particular era.”

“So when I ran into Jim, I said I was really surprised by that, that there was so much antipathy towards the artists for speaking up for something that they believe in. He said it was the most mail he had ever received on anything he had ever done. I said, ‘What was the ratio of for and against?’ Because generally speaking, Chicago tends to lean liberal, Democratic president, mayors. Pretty obvious with the culture there, blue state. He said 3 to 1, 75% of what he got was ‘shut the fuck up, just be entertainers.’ At the time I was like, wow, that’s really weird. So when I look now, 10 or 11 years later, you can see it’s a general thing now: ‘Shut the fuck up.’ The defining point I’m trying to make is: what is an artist for?”

Corgan recently told Fox News that he is a libertarian. Corgan then talked about the idea of artists being viewed as more of an entertainer due to the desires of the crowd. “But you have to look at the general culture which drives the bigger conversation, which is most of the people that walk through these doors, they’re greatest hits. To them, [The Smashing Pumpkins] is no more important, or no less important, than 7 or 8 other 90’s bands. And you’d be surprised at the bands that you think you’re on the same level as. I’m not talking about the big ones, I’m talking about ones where you go: ‘Really?’ Because to them, it’s the soundtrack of their life stuff.”


The Tewksbury Town Crier reports that Dave Grohl, who broke his leg last month, signed a fan’s cast at a recent Foo Fighters concert at Fenway Park. 12-year old Henry Pestana recently broke his wrist in a skateboarding accident, and when he and his family attended the Fenway concert, they brought a sign asking Grohl to sign the cast.

“I thought it was awesome,” said Jenn Pestana, Henry’s mother. “Everyone was very interested in the show, but they were also dedicated to making Henry’s dream come true.”

Pestana was brought to near the front of the stage where Grohl signed his cast, and let him keep the sharpie he signed it with. Henry is also a musician himself.

“It was motivational for me to see that even though he broke his leg, he can still put on a show and have fun,” Henry said.

See a photo below from the Tewksbury Town Crier.

davesignscast

Seattle-based Charles Peterson, who was one of the first photographers to work with Nirvana, recently told Daily Record that Kurt Cobain wanted to move to a Scottish castle prior to his April 1994 suicide: “I remember late one evening I was working with Kurt for a magazine in Manhattan.”

“He was just sitting, talking about life with me, then out of the blue he said, ‘I want to buy a castle in Scotland’. Kurt really did want to make his home there.”

“It was maybe a pipe-dream but he wanted to make it a reality. He was serious when he said it. He was enamoured with Scotland and the music scene in Glasgow especially.”

Cobain was a fan of Glasgow band The Vaselines, with Nirvana even covering “Son of a Gun” on Incesticide.

A fan named Jon posted on PledgeMusic’s discussion board yesterday that he received confirmation from Speco that the 500 dollar signed megaphone Scott Weiland sent him for his Blaster PledgeMusic campaign was manufactured in March 2015.

“I received confirmation from Speco this morning that date of manufacture of my megaphone was March 2015, eliminating any doubt that mine was not used in any capacity and obviously purchased after the PledgeMusic campaign was kicked off.

However, I have been in contact with Scott’s new manager, Tom Vitorino, who has been extemely honest about this whole fiasco and is dedicated to making things right for all of us involved with the megaphones. To anyone else who is unsatisfied with what they received, respond to Tom’s email and see for yourselves that this now appears to be in good hands and headed in the right direction.”

The megaphones were advertised under the name ‘The Original Signed Tour Megaphone’ as: “We have 25 of these in the warehouse. Some have been used on STP and Velvet Revolver tours. Some during the recordings of STP and Velvet Revolver albums. You will receive on of these megaphones, but we may not be able to tell you exactly when and where it was used.” The campaign was launched in January 2015, with Blaster being released on March 31st.

Jon also complimented Tom Vitorino, Scott Weiland’s new manager, who sent out an e-mail to fans last week telling them that he was focused on resolving the problems fans have had with the campaign. Jon told a fellow PledgeMusic fan, “Get in touch with Tom Vitorino as you should have received an email as I think all megaphone pledgers did. He is extremely honest and went above and beyond to rectify the situation. Yes, mistakes were made, but Scott’s new team is on top of it to make things right. If only they were involved from the get go, I’m certain that this never would have happened based on my interactions with Tom.” Lucas Keller/Milk and Honey previously managed Weiland.

Mark posted on PledgeMusic, “I’ve sent him 2 emails with no responses. All I heard so far is that they are sending o it COA’s. If they were just made in March what kind of COA can be used?? A COA only for the signature. Nothing about being stage used.”

Michael said, “So the reality of it all then is ‘They Lied’ and maybe with Scotts blessing. I’m sure as shit Scott new he didn’t have 25, no wait 27….. USED megaphones in some capacity lying around his studio. Any ways. Anyone who has talked to the new management care to enlighten us with your conversations to find out what we all will equally receive. Thanks. I’m in Canada, and still nothing yet.”

Alternative Nation spoke to Vitorino last week who assured us that he is focused on working towards solutions with fans, and wants to make it right.

Guitarist DJ Ashba has quit Guns N’ Roses. Ron ‘Bumblefoot’ Thal, who also reportedly left the band last year, has reacted on Facebook: “Wishing ‘em all the best in the next chapter… Six years of amazing unforgettable experiences to cherish #‎GNR”

You can read DJ Ashba’s letter to fans below.

“Six years ago, I received a call that changed my life forever. The call was from a dear friend of mine (Katie McNeil-Diamond) who was working with Guns N’ Roses. It was an offer to audition for Axl Rose and earn a role in arguably the biggest rock band of my time. While I thought it was a complete long shot, I decided to go ahead and give it a try. Much to my shock and surprise, I got the gig. And so began the most incredible journey I could have possibly imagined. I was blessed with the opportunity to not only work with one of the most talented bands, but also to share the stage with a living legend and a truly gifted human being, Axl Rose. The amount of confidence and trust that Axl placed in me was genuinely heartwarming and truly career-defining. In the years that followed, I traveled the world many times over and played these incredible songs night after night to the most enthusiastic and loving crowds. As you can imagine, the friendships that were forged during that time were deep and long lasting. But the most beautiful surprise of all was YOU… the fans. You welcomed me into your lives with open arms and showed me love and support that I could only have dreamed of. From the very first time I stepped on stage and started playing ‘Welcome To The Jungle’ and felt the crowd erupt, I knew my life would never be the same. I’m not gonna lie…I was terrified!! But you were so accepting. You immediately turned my fear into pride. For that, I am truly grateful.

“So now it is with a very heavy heart and yet great pride that I announce that I’ve decided to close this chapter of my life and encapsulate the wonderful times that I’ve shared with Guns N’ Roses into fond memories. I have reached a point in my life where I feel its time to dedicate myself to my band Sixx A.M., my adoring wife and family, and to the many new adventures that the future holds for me.”

“I have always been driven by my passion for creating music and Sixx A.M. has always been a place where I can express myself honestly and share that passion with my two brothers and bandmates, Nikki Sixx and James Michael. As you know I have also been blessed with the love and support of my incredible wife, Naty, who has been at my side for much of this amazing journey.

“As I sit here writing this letter, I want to take a moment to thank Axl from the bottom of my heart for not only the most incredible experience of my life, but for truly believing in me. You are a true friend and a champion of mine and I am forever grateful. And even as I move on to pursue other endeavors, I will always remain one of your biggest fans. I also would like to thank each and every one of you fans for your love and support throughout the years. Without you, I am nothing. Please know that I do not take one minute of this amazing life for granted.

“I hope that you all join me as I forge ahead. Let’s conquer the world together!”

Producer Dave Jerden discussed his life and career recently on The Double Stop Podcast. From his early days to working with Frank Zappa, Herbie Hancock, Mick Jagger and the Rolling Stones. He also discusses the creation of the Alice In Chains sound, his work with Anthrax, and the lost album by Violets Demise with Rowan Robertson and Oni Logan. He shares why he stopped making records for many years, and what brought him back.

Jerden said the following regarding Alice In Chains, “When I got presented with Alice In Chains, there was a tape going around with thirty songs by this new band called Alice In Chains that had just got signed to Sony. And Nick Turzo had already given it to Tom Werman and other people, and they had all passed on it. Rick Ruben passed on it – everybody passed on it but me. The tape was all over the place – there was punk, glam, pop – it was hard to tell where they were coming from. But there was one song on it, and I can remember the name of the song now, that I helped develop with Jerry this whole Alice in Chains sound. Nick and I sent them back into the studio twice to work up demos based on that sound.”

A fan asked Billy Corgan during a Smashing Pumpkins VIP Q&A session on July 13th in Morrison, Colorado if he believed that Courtney Love killed Kurt Cobain.  Other fans laughed when he asked the question.

Fan: So, I recently saw Soaked in Bleach, and the other one, the HBO one. I feel like there’s an unnecessary rivalry Manson, because I like all kinds of music. I talk to some friends and they’re like, ‘Oh, I hate so and so.’ Do you think Courtney killed Kurt? (Fans laugh)

Billy Corgan: Are you legitimately asking me this question here?

Fan: If you care to answer it.

Billy Corgan: No, I don’t care to answer it because I think it’s-

Fan: Anything in that realm you care to elaborate on?

Billy Corgan: But what does that have to do with me?

Fan: Um, I don’t know, just because this is similar, some people-

Billy Corgan: You started out by talking about inter band rivalry, and then we got to conspiracy theory.

Fan: Yeah, because my brain does that sometimes. And um, do you consider yourself Grunge?

Billy Corgan: Nope, never did. I use the term loosely because it defines an era, like psychedelic.

Fan: Contemporaries, but not-

Billy Corgan: That was a Seattle word we got pasted with.

Fan: Oh, so you feel like that was put on you.

Billy Corgan: Go back and read the press. Does anyone looking back really think we were a Grunge band? (Fans say no) Does our work hold up as beyond Grunge? Thank you, it is self-evident.

Dave Grohl was recently interviewed by Radio 92.9, and he discussed the possibility of his throne flying at Foo Fighters concerts, the future of the band, his underwear, and whiskey.

He showed off his underwear and whiskey first to the DJ in his dressing room. “You are about four feet away from my underwear. You want to check out what’s in my drawers here? My drawers are in my drawers. I’ve got some Calvins, dry mouth spray, I’ve got some socks. [There’s] four bottles of whiskey. You know what we had recently, when we were in Quebec, we had this maple syrup flavored whiskey.”

He also discussed an epic idea he had for his throne he has been using for his broken leg, “You know at one point, that chair, we thought about putting these cables on that chair, and like flying around the stadium on one of those spider cam things. I was like, ‘You know what, I already have one fucking broken leg. Maybe I’ll just stay put.'”

Grohl also hinted at Foo Fighters taking a break at the end of 2015, “The hardest part about touring is being away from home. At this point, we have families, we have kids. We have lives outside of the band, a tiny bit, and we’d like to try and keep them. So it’s just a matter of trying to balance our lives with the band, which we’ve been pretty good at for 20 years. We know when to say stop, we know when to say go. It’s just up to the five of us, like okay, are you guys up for it? This year is maybe one of the biggest years of touring we’ve ever done. Right now we go up to I think November, after that, we might take a little bit of a break, no pun intended.”

Alice In Chains singer guitarist and singer Jerry Cantrell discussed recording with Deftones during a recent radio interview with KOMP 92.3, as transcribed by Alternative Nation.

“I still haven’t heard that tune yet, I can’t wait to hear what [Chino Moreno] does to it. It’s going to be cool.”

“Well it definitely sounds like them, as well it should. They’re good friends, a band I’ve always liked. We got to go on tour together and play some shows together, so it’s pretty cool to have him give me a call, and say he kind of heard me playing on something, and I really liked it. The part that I put down is like a solo and kind of some color work, but he hadn’t written lyrics to it yet. So what I did with the band sounds great (laughs), so it’s up to Chino. It can only go down or up, it’s up to him. I’m going to bet it’s going to be a pretty cool tune, I’m sure he’ll put something amazing down.”

He also discussed singing live.

“You got to take a night off. You got to treat it like what it is, it is a physical part of your body. So it’s like a muscle: you can grind it, you can tear it, you can injure it. Luckily we’ve been pretty good, he and I have both been in some pretty rough shape a couple of times, and still been able to pull it off. We mostly keep it pretty good, you’ve got to give credit, especially to William. He’s got a pretty strenuous kind of pre-gig and post-gig warm up and warm down. Mine’s not so involved, but I do the same thing, just to kind of stretch it out.

We were running songs the other day, doing like Man in the Box, Down in a Hole, and a couple other ones that are real burners. Songs that are really hard even for him to maintain. We did 3 or 4 of them back to back, he was like, ‘I need to take a break for a minute, I’m a little out of shape.’ (Laughs) I didn’t think about it, but I put 4 of the hardest songs back to back, and we were running sets. He was like, ‘I need to catch my breath here (laughs).'”

BLIND MELON: THEIR FIRST AUSTRALIAN TOUR, OCTOBER 2015

In recent years, the tale of Blind Melon has taken a dramatic turn from an abrupt and tragic end, to a rebirth and reconnection with their legions of dedicated fans. No matter how you slice it, the group was responsible for some of the most memorable and pure sounding rock music of the ‘90s, and with their reformation with singer Travis Warren, Blind Melon have picked up with their fans exactly where they left off. Originally formed in 1990 in Los Angeles by five transplants from other states – singer Shannon Hoon, guitarist Christopher Thorn, guitarist Rogers Stevens, bassist Brad Smith, and drummer Glen Graham. With a buzz created around the band shortly thereafter due to Hoon’s appearance on Guns N’ Roses’ 1991 release, ‘Use Your Illusion’ (and specifically, the hit single/video, “Don’t Cry”), a recording contract soon followed with Capitol Records. The group’s now classic self-titled debut followed in 1992.The album saw the group fit in perfectly with the then burgeoning alt rock/grunge movement, due to their stripped down, rootsy sound, as evidenced by such standouts as “Tones of Home” and “Change.” But it was the song “No Rain” that became a smash on radio and MTV a year later (peaking at #8 on the Australian charts and #4 in the Triple J Hottest 100), and Blind Melon became one of rock’s feelgood ‘overnight success stories’, thanks in plus to the iconic “No Rain” video and the bee-girl it featured. As the album scaled the charts, plum opening gigs piled up over the next year – Guns N’ Roses, Neil Young, Lenny Kravitz, and the Rolling Stones, as well as an unforgettable appearance at Woodstock ’94. Despite high expectations, the group’s sophomore release, 1995’s ‘Soup,’ was panned by critics upon release. Over the years however, the album has rightfully become recognized as one of the decade’s most underrated rock gems, spawning such standouts as “Galaxie,” “Toes Across the Floor,” and “Mouthful of Cavities.” Barely two months after the album’s release, Hoon died while on tour from a drug overdose, at the age of 28. The four surviving members regrouped and issued an outtakes collection, 1996’s ‘Nico’ (named after Hoon’s then baby daughter, and spawning such further Melon classics as “Soup” and “Soul One”), as well as the Grammy nominated home video, ‘Letters from a Porcupine.’ An attempt to find a replacement for Hoon was abandoned, and in 1999, the group officially went their separate ways. During the intervening years, interest in Blind Melon continued to grow further, due to the emergence of the jam band scene which many feel the group helped create while such compilations as 2002’s ‘Classic Masters’ and 2005’s ‘Tones of Home: The Best of,’ as well as 2005’s ‘Live at the Palace’ CD and ‘Live at the Metro’ DVD, racked up impressive sales. Add to it an ever-growing Blind Melon online community of fans, and it was clear that there was still an unmistakable demand for the band. It was precisely around this time that Smith and Thorn were asked to produce a few tracks for Texas based singer/songwriter Travis T. Warren who also happened to be a diehard Blind Melon fan. Working with Warren on his demo, Smith jokingly said to Thorn that Warren “could sing Blind Melon songs in his sleep.”

The idea was born. The four remaining members who hadn’t been in the same room in years came together with Warren. Soon after, it had become apparent that they had finally located Blind Melon’s new singer. Blind Melon was back in business.
After a short hiatus, Blind Melon has again returned to the stage playing cities all over the globe including North America, South America, Europe, Asia and more. Their legacy continues to grow with a new crop of fans and a Shannon Hoon documentary in the works by acclaimed photographer Danny Clinch.

2015 is a year of great significance to Blind Melon: the twenty-fifth anniversary of formation, the twentieth anniversary of the highly-acclaimed SOUP album, and pertinently the twentieth anniversary of the death of original singer Shannon Hoon (the date of which co-insides with the first ever Australian show – October 21).

BLUE PALM TOURING is proud to present BLIND MELON in their first ever Australian shows:

WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 21:

WOOLLY MAMMOTH BRISBANE

FRIDAY OCTOBER 23:

MAX WATT’S SYDNEY

SUNDAY OCTOBER 25:

MAX WATT’S MELBOURNE

Tickets available at
www.thevenuecollective.com.au
Or
1 300 724 867
On-sale July 27th

Longtime Kurt Cobain murder conspiracy theorist Richard Lee has sent Alternative Nation a lengthy press release and several documents pertaining to his lawsuit for full disclosure of extant documents in Seattle Department files on the death of Nirvana band leader Kurt Cobain.

Lee said, “I initiated this lawsuit more than a year ago, and in responding to a request by Mary Perry of the Seattle City Attorney’s office for a phone chat, I soon learned that she was asserting that Kurt Cobain’s widow and daughter were ‘parties’ to the city’s effort to suppress release of the photos and documents. Immediately looking into this, I found the attorney named for Cobain’s daughter stating outright that she did not represent her in any such matter, and Cobain’s widow’s named attorney neglecting to respond. So this very belated entry into the foray by these persons is somewhat surprising, and an indication of the weakness of the city’s position in general. In other words, without support from someone formerly or currently named Cobain, the city’s case would be largely one arguing for extreme secrecy on the basis of their own interpretation of good taste.”

There were more quotes from Lee and several legal documents in the e-mail, but since this is such a terrible thing to be writing about and leaves me feeling dirty as I even write this, I thought I would stick to Lee’s initial statement with his point of view, and Courtney Love and Frances Bean Cobain’s legal declarations (sent through their lawyers) where they list the reasons why they condemn the idea of releasing photos of Kurt Cobain’s body.  The artwork that Frances refers to, according to Lee, is art work done by Sandow Birk.

Declaration of Frances Bean Cobain

“I, Frances Bean Cobain, declare under penalty of perjury under the laws of the State of Washington as follows:

1. I am Kurt Cobain’s daughter. I am over 18 years of age and I am competent to testify. I have personal knowledge of the matters below and could and would testify to them.

2. I understand that Richard Lee has filed a lawsuit against the City of Seattle and the Seattle Police Department to try and force them to release never-before-released graphic photographs law enforcement personnel took at the scene of my father’s death, so that Mr. Lee can publicize them.

3. I once saw mock photos depicting my father’s body. That experience irreparably scarred me. I cried for days afterward. Those horrible images still haunt me. I cannot imagine how terrible it would be knowing that the photographs that Mr. Lee seeks were public, and that I or any of my loved ones, including my father’s mother and sisters, might inadvertently see them. Release and publication of the photographs would shock me and exacerbate the post traumatic stress that I have suffered since childhood.

4. Releasing the photographs would physically endanger me and my mother. My mother and I both receive a constant stream of death threats from very disturbed individuals who are obsessed with my father. Once, a stalker broke into my home while I was on vacation, and laid in wait for three days. This person’s twisted explanation was that he was meant to be with me because my father’s soul had entered my body.

5. Releasing these photographs into the public domain would encourage more disturbed stalkers and fanatical threats. It would make me feel even more unsafe in public and make me more fearful for myself and my family’s safety. I would have to delete all of my social media to prevent receiving the photographs.

6. I was less than two years old when my father died. I have worked hard to know him from stories from friends and family, photographs, and from his art, as the living person who was my parent. I do not want that image to be stained by the knowledge that these horrible photographs are public and that I might be exposed to them. I have had to cope with many personal issues because of my father’s death. Coping even with the possibility that those photographs could be made public is very difficult.

7. I am not the only person who would be irreparably scarred by public disclosure of the photographs. Although disclosure and publication of the pictures would harm all of the family and friends who loved my father, his parents (my grandmother and grandfather) and his sisters and brothers (by aunts and uncle), would be especially vulnerable to emotional pain and trauma from knowledge that the pictures were public.

8. The tragedy of my father’s death is a personal and private matter for me, his other family members, and his friends. Further sensationalizing it through the release of these pictures would cause us indescribable pain.

Signed at Los Angeles, California on July 20, 2015.”

Courtney Love’s response was the following:

Declaration of Courtney Love Cobain

“1. My name is Courtney Love Cobain.  I have personal knowledge of the facts contained within this declaration, and am competent to testify thereto.

2. I am the widow of Kurt Cobain, who committed suicide in 1994.  Kurt’s death was the most traumatic experience of my life.  It left me physically distraught, and I continue to suffer emotionally from the loss of my husband to this day.

3. I understand that the Plaintiff seeks the public release of death-scene photos of Kurt that show his entire lifeless body, as well as the damage done by the shotgun blast to his head.  I have never seen these graphic and disturbing images, nor do I ever want to.  I cannot believe that there exists any genuine public interest which might be served by the public release of these images.  Certainly, public disclosure would reopen all my old wounds, and cause me and my family permanent – indeed, endless, and needless – pain and suffering, and would be a gross violation of our privacy interests.

4. Inevitably, these images will wind up on the Internet, where they would be permanently disseminated.  By virtue of the fact that Kurt is my late husband, they will also likely end up in search results about myself.  I would unavoidably come across them, and I would never be able to erase those haunting images from my mind.  I cannot even imagine the enormity of the trauma this would cause me, not to mention many others.

5. I am routinely called a murderer and receive death threats by conspiracy-theory obsessed individuals who believe I was somehow involved in my husband’s death, and the public release of these images would only exacerbate such activity and further endanger my safety.

6. It also sickens me that if released, third parties, like the Plaintiff, will wrongfully profit from exploiting these images.

7. Preventing unnecessary disclosure of private information related to Kurt has been my consistent position for over 20 years.  In 1995, I successfully attained injunctive relief in the matter Courtney Love Cobain v. Washington State Patrol, No. 95-2-27261-4 SEA, preventing the disclosure of private letters Kurt wrote me shortly before his death.

8. I understand that even if the current matter is dismissed on procedural grounds, the Plaintiff might attempt yet another lawsuit.  If that happens, I would again intervene like I did in the prior matter and seek injunctive relief.

I declare under penalty of perjury under the laws of the State of Washington that the foregoing is true and correct.

Executed July 20, 2015, in Los Angeles, California.”

The King County Superior Court will hear arguments for dismissal of Lee’s suit on technical grounds on Friday, July 31, at 11:00 a.m. in the courtroom of Judge Theresa Doyle, Seattle Courtroom Number W-842.

While late Alice In Chains frontman Layne Staley was largely reclusive during his later years, the legendary singer considered fronting the band that later became known as Audioslave in January 2001. Zack de la Rocha had quit Rage Against The Machine just a few months prior, and his bandmates were looking for a new singer. Alternative Nation reporter, and early Staley collaborator, Tim Branom has connected us with Layne’s friend Morgen Gallagher, who told Alternative Nation this exclusive story.

Gallagher had been friends with Staley since 1986, even living with him and Sleze bassist Mike Mitchell for a period in the 80’s. By early 2001, it had been a couple of years since he had seen his old friend, so he was very surprised when he ran into him at a party.

“I hadn’t seen him in a couple of years and wasn’t prepared for it. By this point he had quit [Alice In Chains], he had lost most of his teeth, and weighed barley 100 pounds. We talked for a little and when we parted ways, I cried.”

This wasn’t the last time Gallagher saw Staley. On January 28, 2001, he saw Layne again at a Super Bowl party. “So two weeks later [our mutual friend] was having a Super Bowl party. When I got there, Layne answered the door and he was back to the old Layne. He had just gotten pretty much the entire Nerf arsenal, so we went to war. We were running around like two little kids! Needless to say, we missed the game and kept pretty much everyone else from watching it as well.”

“That day we were talking and he said he had gotten a call from the old Rage Against The Machine members and they were putting together a new project, and they wanted him to audition. He said he was going back to treatment and then going to LA to do the audition in a couple of months. He never made it, so Chris Cornell went and got the job.”

Staley also appeared to have moved on from Alice In Chains, according to Gallagher when Alternative Nation asked if Staley opened up at all about his status with the band, “Not really, he was pretty evasive about it, but it seemed like he was pretty much done with the band at that point. He hadn’t played with them for a while, and he was talking about auditioning for new projects.”

Staley was scheduled to record vocals for the band Taproot in 2002, but died before he could attend a recording session with producer Toby Wright, according to Mark Yarm’s Everybody Loves Our Town: An Oral History of Grunge. Gallagher also told author David de Sola a shorter version of this Audioslave story, which is briefly mentioned in the upcoming Alice In Chains: The Untold Story book.

Alternative Nation will have up another article featuring insight from Gallagher on Layne Staley from when they lived together next week!