Andrew Wood (singer)

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Andrew Wood
Motherlovebone.jpg
Andrew Wood (front) with Mother Love Bone in 1989.
Background information
Birth name Andrew Patrick Wood
Also known as Landrew the Love Child, "Man Of Golden Words"
Born (1966-01-08)January 8, 1966
Columbus, Mississippi
Died March 19, 1990(1990-03-19) (aged 24)
Seattle, Washington
Genres Alternative rock, grunge, glam rock, hard rock
Occupation(s) Musician, singer-songwriter
Instruments Vocals, piano, bass guitar, guitar
Years active 1980–1990
Labels C/Z, Loosegroove, Mercury, PolyGram, Stardog
Associated acts Malfunkshun, Mother Love Bone

Andrew Patrick Wood[1] (January 8, 1966 – March 19, 1990) was an American musician best known as the lead singer for alternative rock bands Malfunkshun[2] and Mother Love Bone.[3] Wood was also known for his androgynous aesthetical persona.

Wood formed Malfunkshun, in 1980,[1] with his brother Kevin and Regan Hagar.[2] The band used alter ego personas onstage, with Wood using the name Landrew the Love Child.[1] Though the band only had two songs released, "With Yo' Heart (Not Yo' Hands)" and "Stars-n-You", on the Deep Six compilation album,[2][4][5] they are often cited as being among the "founding fathers" of the Seattle's grunge movement.[2] It was during his time in Malfunkshun that Wood started relying heavily on drugs, entering rehab in 1985.[2]

By 1988, Malfunkshun had disbanded[2] and Wood began jamming with former Green River[5] members Stone Gossard and Jeff Ament,[3] performing briefly as the cover band Lords of the Wasteland.[2] They soon began writing original material and formed Mother Love Bone the same year, adding guitarist Bruce Fairweather[3] and former 10 Minute Warning[6] and Skin Yard[7] drummer Greg Gilmore to the lineup.[3] The following year, the band signed a deal with PolyGram,[3] issuing a six-song EP, Shine,[3] before going on to tour, supporting The Dogs D'Amour.[1] Towards the end of the year,[1] the band recorded their debut album, Apple, which was scheduled for release in 1990.[3]

Due to his struggle with drug addiction,[1] Wood checked himself into rehab in 1989,[1][3] hoping to get clean for the release of Mother Love Bone's debut album.[3] On March 16, 1990,[1] Wood was found in a comatose state by his girlfriend, Xana La Fuente, having overdosed on heroin.[1][8] Wood was taken to the hospital and placed on life support, however, he died three days later.[1]

Biography[edit]

Early life[edit]

Wood was born in Columbus, Mississippi, and raised on Bainbridge Island, Washington.[1] He was the youngest of three children; brothers Kevin and Brian.[9] Wood and his brothers were exposed to various music by their parents, who also supported their children when they were learning how to play instruments.[9] Wood became a fan of acts such as Elton John, Queen, Aerosmith, and Kiss.[1]

Career[edit]

Malfunkshun (1980–1988)[edit]

Main article: Malfunkshun

In 1980, at the age of 14, Wood formed Malfunkshun with his brother Kevin, recording their first demo tape in April 1980.[9] Drummer Regan Hagar joined soon after with the band, playing shows in Seattle, Washington.[9] Each member adopted onstage alter egos, with Andrew becoming Landrew the Love Child, Kevin becoming Kevinstein, and Hagar becoming Thundarr.[2] Unlike most grunge groups in Seattle, Malfunkshun were influenced by glam rock with Wood described as "a hippie, glammed-out rock & roll god, equal parts Marc Bolan and Jim Morrison,"[2] with his look and vocal style influenced by frontmen such as Freddie Mercury, Paul Stanley, and Marc Bolan.[3] By 1985, Wood had started to rely heavily on drugs, to help with his "rock star" persona,[2] and entered rehab the same year.[2]

Malfunkshun recorded a number of demos in 1986, two of which, "With Yo' Heart (Not Yo' Hands)" and "Stars-n-You", were included on the "legendary"[5] Deep Six compilation album released by C/Z Records the same year.[9] The band continued to play shows in Seattle, opening for Soundgarden, The U-Men, and Skin Yard.[2] However, in 1988, Malfunkshun disbanded.[2]

Although the band never released an album and were also turned down by Sub Pop for "not [being] grunge enough,"[9] Malfunkshun, along with Green River, are often cited as "founding fathers" of the Seattle's grunge movement.[2]

Mother Love Bone and Final years (1988–1990)[edit]

Main article: Mother Love Bone

Wood and Hagar began jamming with Stone Gossard and Jeff Ament of Green River, which disbanded in 1988,[3][10] performing, on occasion, as the cover band Lords of the Wasteland.[2] Former Green River guitarist Bruce Fairweather was added to the lineup, while former 10 Minute Warning and Skin Yard drummer Greg Gilmore replaced Hagar, forming Mother Love Bone the same year.[5]

The band soon signed a deal with PolyGram, and, through their own subsidiary label Stardog, issued a six-song EP, Shine, in 1989.[3] John Book, of Allmusic, stated that the EP "contributed to the buzz about the Seattle music scene."[11] The band spent the rest of the year touring, including shows supporting The Dogs D'Amour, and recording their debut album. With high expectations of the album, Wood checked himself into rehab due to his struggle with heroin addiction, hoping to get clean for the release of album, staying there for the remainder of the year.[1][3]

In 1990, the band continued to play shows in Seattle, waiting for the release of their album, Apple.[1]

Death[edit]

On March 16, 1990, Wood was found in a comatose state by his girlfriend, having overdosed on heroin.[1][8] Wood was taken to Harborview Hospital and placed on life support. Despite being responsive, Wood had suffered a hemorrhage aneurysm, losing all brain function. On March 19th physicians suggested that Wood be removed from life support.[1][9]

Apple was released posthumously later in the year, receiving positive reviews.[12] David Browne of The New York Times wrote that "Apple may be one of the first great hard-rock records of the 90s" and that "[Andrew] Wood could have been the first of the big-league Seattle rock stars."[13]

Legacy[edit]

In the year following his death, Wood's former roommate Chris Cornell[9] of Soundgarden wrote two songs, "Reach Down" and "Say Hello 2 Heaven", in tribute to his late friend.[14][15] Cornell then approached Gossard and Ament about releasing the songs as singles before collaborating on an album. Adding drummer Matt Cameron, future Pearl Jam lead guitarist Mike McCready, and future Pearl Jam lead singer Eddie Vedder, they formed Temple of the Dog in 1990 to pay tribute to Wood,[16][17] releasing one self-titled album in 1991.[16][17]

Fellow Seattle band Alice in Chains dedicated their debut album Facelift to Wood.[18] The song "Would?", included in their second album Dirt, was written about Wood and other singers who had died as a result of drugs.[1] In the liner notes of Alice in Chains' Music Bank box set collection, Jerry Cantrell said of the song:

In 1992, PolyGram reissued both Shine and Apple as the compilation album Mother Love Bone,[3] while the song "Chloe Dancer/Crown of Thorns" was included on the soundtrack to the film Singles.[3] The same year, Los Angeles band Faster Pussycat wrote the song "Mr. Lovedog", from the album Whipped!, in tribute to Wood.[20] Bradley Torreano of Allmusic stated that the song "offered a sad elegy to another charismatic figure in the metal world."[20]

Seattle rockers War Babies, which briefly featured Mother Love Bone's Jeff Ament on bass, dedicated the song "Blue Tomorrow"[1] off their eponymous 1992 debut album to Wood.[21]

In 1993, Seattle post-grunge band Candlebox released their self-titled debut featuring the single "Far Behind," which was written in memory of Wood.[22]

Wood's former band mate Stone Gossard compiled early Malfunkshun recordings[23] and released the compilation album Return to Olympus through his Loosegroove Records label[9][23] in 1995.[2]</ref name="Return to Olympus">

In 2005, director Scot Barbour completed production on the documentary Malfunkshun: The Andrew Wood Story. The film documents Wood's music career[24] as well as his family background.[24] The film premiered at the Seattle International Film Festival.[24] In October of the same year, the film was screened at the FAIF Film Festival in Hollywood, California.[25] The film was released in 2011 on DVD as part of a 2CD+DVD set entitled "Malfunkshun: The Andrew Wood Story" including the Return to Olympus album, a bonus CD including many interviews and demos, and the movie on the DVD disc.[26]

Discography[edit]

Title Release Label Band
Shine 1989 Stardog/Mercury Mother Love Bone
Apple 1990
Mother Love Bone 1992
Return to Olympus 1995 Loosegroove Malfunkshun

Other appearances[edit]

Year Album details Band Notes
1986 Deep Six Various Artists Compilation album;
two songs by Malfunkshun.

Videography[edit]

Year Video details US peak
chart position[27]
Band
1993 The Love Bone Earth Affair 13 Mother Love Bone

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q Prato, Greg. "Andrew Wood Biography". Allmusic. Retrieved November 13, 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p Tinelli, Paul. "Malfunkshun Biography". Allmusic. Retrieved November 13, 2010. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Prato, Greg. "Mother Love Bone Biography". Allmusic. Retrieved November 13, 2010. 
  4. ^ Deep Six (booklet). Various Artists. C/Z Records. 1986. 
  5. ^ a b c d Ramirez, Marc (April 26, 1992). "Bliss Out -- The Scene's A Moving Target". The Seattle Times. Retrieved November 13, 2010. 
  6. ^ Ankeny, Jason. "10 Minute Warning Biography". Allmusic. Retrieved November 13, 2010. 
  7. ^ Huey, Steve. "Skin Yard Biography". Allmusic. Retrieved November 13, 2010. 
  8. ^ a b Appelo, Tim (July 24, 1992). "Twin Tragedy". Entertainment Weekly. 
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Kevin Wood: Malfunkshun, Devilhead, Fireants, Hippie Glitz guitarist and brother to the late, great Andrew Wood". Full in Bloom Music. Retrieved November 13, 2010. 
  10. ^ Huey, Steve. "Green River Biography". Allmusic. Retrieved November 13, 2010. 
  11. ^ Book, John. "Shine Review". Allmusic. Retrieved November 13, 2010. 
  12. ^ "MOTHER LOVE BONE - APPLE Mother Love Bone Influential pre-grunge landmark re-emerges after years in limbo". Uncut. Retrieved November 13, 2010. 
  13. ^ Browne, David (November 18, 1990). "RECORDINGS VIEW; Seattle Rock: Out of the Woods And Into the Wild". The New York Times. 
  14. ^ Temple of the Dog (CD liner). Temple of the Dog. A&M Records. 1991. 
  15. ^ Turman, Katherine (October 1991). "Life Rules.". RIP. 
  16. ^ a b Thomas Erlewine, Stephen. "Temple of the Dog Biography". Allmusic. Retrieved November 13, 2010. 
  17. ^ a b Browne, David (May 3, 1991). "Temple of the Dog (1991)". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved May 3, 1991. 
  18. ^ Facelift (CD liner). Alice in Chains. Columbia Records. 1990. 
  19. ^ Music Bank (CD liner). Alice in Chains. Columbia Records. 1999. 
  20. ^ a b Torreano, Bradley. "Whipped! Review". Allmusic. Retrieved November 13, 2010. 
  21. ^ "Interview with War Babies Vocalist Brad Sinsel". FullInBloomMusic.com. April 18, 2008. 
  22. ^ Rekindled :: Candlebox's Kevin Martin talks to AAM All Access Magazine (July 24, 2008). Retrieved on 12-10-10.
  23. ^ a b Prato, Greg. "Return to Olympus Review". Allmusic. Retrieved November 13, 2010. 
  24. ^ a b c Scanlon, Tom (September 16, 2005). "Pre- and post-grunge: Andrew Wood, folk scene". The Seattle Times. Retrieved November 13, 2010. 
  25. ^ "Documentary to Remember Mother Love Bone's Wood". Spin. October 3, 2005. 
  26. ^ "Malfunkshun". Malfunkshun. Retrieved 2014-08-27. 
  27. ^ "Mother Love Bone: Top Music Videos". Billboard. Retrieved 2009-03-09. [dead link]

Further reading[edit]

  • Furek, Maxim W. (2008) The Death Proclamation of Generation X: A Self-Fulfilling Prophesy of Goth, Grunge and Heroin, i-Universe. ISBN 978-0-595-46319-0