Eddie Vedder on Layne Staley’s Drug Addiction and Death: ‘it could happen to anybody’

Layne Staley by Vinnie Zuffante/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
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When you top and think about it, Eddie Vedder is pretty much the only singer from the 90’s grunge wave that’s still with us.

From Chris Cornell, to Kurt Cobain, to Andy Wood, to Layne Staley, to Scott Weiland, almost every single one of our childhood grunge heroes has passed on.

And with the exception of Chris Cornell, every fallen grunge icon’s untimely end came at the hands of a substance abuse issue. Interestingly, Vedder is one of the few from that era that never struggled with drugs. Perhaps he saw enough destruction around him at the time to know better. Or maybe he just got lucky.

Reflecting on Layne’s passing in Grunge Is Dead: Vedder went deep on Layne’s addiction, almost as if he was trying to still reconcile the tragedy in his mind all these years later:

“Getting attached to a drug or a drug attaching itself to you- it seems like the insidious part about it is it could happen to anybody. And some people are maybe more vulnerable to it than others.

I don’t know if that came from Layne trying to exercise or desensitize himself from certain things that were going on. Again, you’d hope that the music was enough to do that, or writing songs and being able to isolate that stuff and put it in its place creates something out of it. It could be just trying something a few times, and it’s in you.

You picture Jim Morrison waking up and taking 10 or 15 tabs of acid that was breakfast and then he went from there you.

You just know that these are human beings behind this. That was how Lane was when he played music, and it was also a part of his music in a way it was what allowed his real personality to be kind and innocent.

There was a place where you could exercise some of the darker things that were going on. Apparently, there were more than we even knew.”