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Remember The Music: Layne Thomas Staley (1967-2002)

Layne's Work

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Layne's Work
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Cause & Effect...A Little About Me--Alot owed to Layne.
Links in the Chain...
Drop Me A Line...
The Roar of A Lion...

Lyrical Analyzation

In this page, I will be showcasing some of the lyrics from a few of the various albums, and through my best efforts try to put together a more educational view of them.  For all you hardcore Alice fans out there, such as myself, feel free to correct me if you feel that anything is out of place or invalid, or is just extremely out there.  One thing to note: I am not Adriana Rubio.  My thoughts are on what Layne felt at the time he wrote the peices, and not what may have been about the past, the future, or any other such nonsense as the author felt compelled to portray. Take a look, and feel free to let me know how you feel.  I maintain an open door policy with all opinions expressed on anything in this manner that I try to attempt.

"Chemical Addiction"

I was only 15, standout on the Ave.

You're chasing a bad dream, a luxury I never had.

Living my life in the box, or sleepin in the trash.

Taking girls for the things I need, like booze, drugs, and ass.

Get stoned, daily survival in the war zone.

Yeah, our teens meant everything, alright.

Half rack, smoking out till it's all black.

Death trap, watch me going blind, oh.

I don't care what you say, or what you do...

Chemical addiction is getting rid of you.

So high, colors turn to sound

Goodbye, let us in and we'll lay you in the ground

Chosen on the floor, take another drag

Bought a bunch of valiums from some skinny broadway hag.

I don't know much about heroin, but I, I wanna try

Just about everything once before I die.

Get stoned, daily survival in the war zone.

Yeah, our teens meant everything, alright.

Half rack, smoking out till it's all black

Death trap, watch me going blind, ah

I don't care what you say,

Or what you do,

Chemical addictioni is getting rid of you.

So high, colors turn to sound

Goodbye, let us in and we'll lay you to the ground.

Now Jerry, do me like this...

Get stoned, daily survival in the war zone.

Yeah, our teens meant everything, alright.

Half rack, smoking out till it's all black;

Death trap, watch me going blind...oh.

 

 This is one of the first tracks off of the album "Heroin", which was unreleased by any major record company, but was probably distributed sometime in '87 or '88 while the band was just beginning to make a name for itself. Here we see the formation of Layne's most definate anti-drug message. From the very beginning, it seems, Layne knew the consequences of his mistakes, and set out on a musical quest to enlighten others out there who neither knew, nor cared, nor understood.

 

"I Can't Remember"

Turn around, you say

'Scuse the 'tude, but I haven't eaten today

And my eyes are turning grey

--What's your name?--

I...can't remember

Bring me down, you try

Feel the pain and keep it all in till you die

Without eyes, you cannot cry

--Who's to blame?--

I...can't...

Remember identity,

The vision's in my mind from screamin' at me

And Mama, Mama oooohhh...my angry brains of infancy

Knocked down but I have enough hate to breathe

Down your throat and steal your energy

Took everything but my will to be

Now the loss of your god won't make me bleed...

I am alive.

  This particular song, taken from 1989's "Facelift" may be the first (other than "Real Thing") to fully depict Layne grappling head-on with addiction through his music, and the first to reveal his eloquent gift for expressing tumultous emotion with pen, paper, and vocals. His choice of words is very deliberate and well-thought out; the better to paint a well-intended picture of intense confusion, frustration, rage, and pain.  

 

  This next song is one of my absolute favorites. I would describe it as one of Layne's more definitive works, as it quite prominently defines Layne's intense regret at having made "a big mistake."

"Would?"

Know me, broken by my master...

Teach thee on child of love hereafter

Into the flood again

Same old trip it was back then

So I made a big mistake

Try to see it once my way

Drifting body, it's sole desertion

Flying? Not yet, quite the notion.

Into the flood again,

Same old trip it was back then...

So I made a big mistake...try to see it once my way.

Am I wrong?

Have I run to far to get home?

Am I gone?

Left you here alone?

(Repeat)

If I Would, Could You?

 

  I think this is one of the most definitve Alice In Chains peices I have ever heard.  Think about it.  There's a question he asks in this peice. And that is this: If I could quit...If I could give up this addiction and become a whole, happy, healthy person again...could you? WOULD you? This makes sense considering the song is about Andrew Wood, of Mother Love Bone who passed away of an overdose. Also, this song is credited to Jerry Cantrell. I put this up because many people have corrected me on it, so its only fair to give him the credit he deserves. Thanks, guys.  

Enter supporting content here

To Jesus Christ: Thank you.
 
For Nancy, Layne, Phil, Jim, Liz, Jaime, Oscar, and Demri.  With all my undying love.
 
For my mom & dads: I love you very much.

  

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For more information on Alice In Chains, go to www.aliceinchains.com.

Thanks to everyone for keeping Layne's memory alive, and for stopping by to check this site out. It means alot.