How Layne Staley & Kurt Cobain Got Insane Drugs Together Will Shock You


In former Hole drummer Patty Schemel’s great new book Hit So Hard, she details she and other Grunge legends struggles with drug addiction. She tells a story about the lengths late Alice In Chains singer Layne Staley went to get drugs for himself, Kurt Cobain, and others in Rio de Janeiro in 1993.

“I hadn’t guessed that Layne Staley would arrange to have Maria, one of our dealers in Seattle, fly down strapped with lots of heroin and paraphernalia. I don’t know how she did it – maybe she had friends or relatives in Brazil, maybe she told them them the needles were for her diabetes.

After that first night in Sao Paulo, Kurt, Courtney and I, Alice in Chains, and all the girls from L7 would hang out in one of the hotel suites, getting fixed up by Maria.

At one point Kurt announced that he wanted to do a speedball (a mix of coke and heroin). ‘Oh no, you don’t!’ Courtney wasn’t fond of the idea of him mixing his drugs, having dealt with the consequence of having to revive him in the past. I defied her, though, and left Kurt a bottle cap full of cocaine hidden in the bathroom.”

David de Sola’s 2015 book Alice in Chains: The Untold Story, describes Cobain and Staley striking a deal while the bands were on tour in Rio de Janeiro.

To their shock and dismay, the two addicts discovered there was almost an excess of cocaine to be had in Brazil but no smack. Cobain agreed to pay for the product if Staley shouldered the cost of having it flown in.

That night, Alice In Chains bassist Mike Starr, who had just been tossed from the band, claimed he actually died and came back as he bounced from shooting up with one famed musician to the other.

“Layne shot me up first a couple of times. Then Kurt shot me, and then Layne shot me after that and I died, for like 11 minutes.”

If any readers are struggling with alcohol and/or drug addiction, you can reach out to your local Alcoholics Anonymous, or Narcotics Anonymous.