Fans Gathered To Say Goodbye to Layne Staley, Some Outraged At Lack of Media Coverage. 

04-28-02 antiGUY

Hundreds of Alice In Chains fans gathered together Friday Night at the Seattle Center's International Fountain to say goodbye to Layne Staley, the group�s frontman whose body was discovered a week ago in his Seattle area home. 

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported that this second public tribute to Layne Staley, since news of his death reached the public, was organized by fans. Staley�s parents and sister attended the tribute. 

"Layne was a hell of a guy," Staley�s father, Jim Elmer, told the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. "I've watched him outside of concerts sign hundreds and hundreds of autographs. I'd say, 'C'mon, let's go already,' but he'd stay for the longest time. He didn't want to turn anybody down."

Elmer admitted that the family knew of Layne�s struggle with heroin and told the reporter, "Believe me, we ached along with him every day."

During the tribute fans lit candles and slowly walked circles around the fountain�s silver dome as they called out their anguish over the loss of the fallen singer and sang parts of his songs.  

Staley�s body was found in his Seattle University District condominium on April 19th after his family asked police to check on him since they had not heard from him in some time. It was determined that Staley had died two weeks previously. The cause of death has yet to be officially determined but authorities believe it was heroin related. 

Fans Outraged at Media Coverage or lack thereof. 

Fans are upset at various media outlets especially Viacom�s MTV and VH1 cable channels over the lack of tributary coverage of Layne Staley, which has only been exacerbated with the cable music channels widespread coverage of Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes of the R&B group TLC who was killed in a car accident last week. 

Alice in Chains fans are outraged that MTV and VH1 have devoted a lot of airtime to Lopes, including special on-air tribute coverage, and have not done the same for Staley.  Some fans have united on the Internet against MTV�s lack of Layne Staley coverage. Some fans are calling for fellow fans to flood the TRL email and request lines with votes for Alice In Chains videos. One fan started an online petition addressed to MTV Executives that simply says �MTV Executives: We the undersigned agree to boycott MTV until a proper tribute is paid to one deceased Layne Staley. � (click here for the petition

One outraged fan (Rick C. �rockmania�) emailed us in hopes that antiMUSIC would address the fans frustrations at Viacom and the executives at VH1 and MTV. In his email Rick had the following to say, �In the past week 2 musicians (Layne Staley of Alice In Chains, and Lisa �Left Eye� Lopes of TLC). Both of them were influential in their genre and both of them had successful music careers. But as you may have noticed MTV and Vh1 seemed to ignore the death of Layne Staley like if it wasn�t important to them, They didn�t even bother to show AIC videos or Unplugged special, instead they gave us their usual �trendy teen reality garbage�. A week later Lisa Lopes of TLC passed away, now unlike AIC, TLC was part of �today�s music� and their videos were regularly played on TRL and Top 40 radio. As you may have noticed MTV held a tribute for Lopes. They even took the time to interrupt their regular programming to do so. Since most MTV viewers these days have no idea who Layne Staley or Alice in Chains was prior to his death, they thought he was �unimportant� to MTV and they wouldn�t get ratings, but since TLC was part of �today�s sound� they would boost their ratings. I have nothing against Lisa �Left Eye� Lopes or TLC. It is not their fault MTV and VH1 is ignoring Layne�s death. It�s those greedy bastards at Viacom who is to blame and I hope they regret it.   -  Rick C. �rockmania��

Personal Note from antiMUSIC editor in doubt, antiGUY on this issue. 

I too am saddened that Layne Staley has not received equal coverage. Some speculate that the reason for this was his drug abuse and executives at MTV and VH1 did not want to glamorize heroin addiction. If that is the case, then it is unfortunate because if anything the tragic loss of Layne would be educational to young people about the peril of drugs. I don�t think this is the reasoning behind the lack of coverage because MTV did massive coverage of Kurt Cobain, who also had a well-known problem with heroin, when he died. Whatever their reasons, I believe that it was an error in judgment on their part. 

Layne Staley�s impact on rock music is immeasurable. He was one of the most influential rock artists of this generation. If you want to hear his influence, all you have to do is turn on any modern rock radio station and you will hear it loud and clear in the music of many of today�s most popular rock groups, many of whom are heavily indebted to Layne and Alice in Chains. This is something that many of today�s chart topping bands isn�t ashamed to admit. For example, Nickelback frontman Chad Kroger told our very own Debbie Seagle the following in an interview, �There�s this huge backlash right now of a lot of bands stemming from Pearl Jam, Stone Temple Pilots, Sound Garden, Nirvana, Alice in Chains.  Those five.  I mean, if you look at what�s on the radio these days, it�s like, a lot of bands sound very similar, and we are one of those bands that sound a lot alike.  And its not until you actually get the record or come see us live and go, okay, now they�re a little bit different.  In the same breath, we�re not reinventing the wheel.  We�re just a rock and roll band.�    

Regardless of MTV and the mainstream music media�s lack of coverage, Layne is receiving tribute from those who count the most, the fans and his fellow musicians. While it is unfortunate that Layne has only received a fraction of the attention in the media that Lisa �Left Eye� Lopes has, that doesn�t diminish the fact that fans around the world are now mourning his death, celebrating his artistry and paying tribute to Layne in their hearts. They don�t need MTV for that. 

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