Layne Staley: Angry Chair

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Layne Staley: Angry Chair is a biography by Adriana Rubio about Layne Staley, the lead vocalist of the rock band Alice in Chains, published in January 2003. As it is known, the book "Layne Staley: Angry Chair — A Look Inside the Heart and Soul of an Incredible Musician" written by Adriana Rubio (Argentinean journalist and a fan of Alice in Chains), features 50 pages of photos of Staley's art work, sketches, diary entries, and childhood pictures. It also contains an alleged last interview of Staley that Rubio claimed that she conducted less than three months before he died from an overdose of heroin and cocaine, in April 2002. Rubio did extensive interviews with Staley's mother, Nancy Layne McCallum, and his sister, Liz (née Elmer) Coats, to write the book. It is named after one of Alice in Chains' famous songs "Angry Chair".[1]

Staley's friends and family have publicly expressed their frustration over the book, claiming that it is full of lies and that Rubio never interviewed Staley.[2]

Controversy[edit]

The content of Rubio's book, including what she described as Layne's final interview was called into question in David De Sola's 2015 book Alice In Chains: The Untold Story.[3][2] In the book, he questions not only the content of the interview, which portrays Staley as using his lyrics in casual conversation, it dispels the claim that she held the interview at all.[2] While Rubio's book received massive coverage during the time of its release, De Sola's counter claims were not quoted by any of the websites that cited Rubio's content as gospel truth.[2]

Staley's family also disputes Rubio's work, stating they do not believe she talked to him in 2002.[4][2] One of Staley's sisters, Liz Coats, has been quoted as saying:

"I personally have never read Adriana's book. I did meet with her and speak with her at length. I also talked with Layne when I was contacted by her, and let him know of her intentions to write a book about him. He let me know that he wanted no part of it. He said that he did not trust journalists, and that they had never been honest in his experience. He also said for me to tell her, and I quote, "Tell her if she wants to write a book about someone, she should write it about herself." Anyone who knew Layne would know that would be something he would say. When I heard that Adriana claimed to have spoken to Layne, I knew the book would be full of lies, and I chose not to read it. The fact that she came out with that after his death made me sick. I regret that I ever spoke with her. In all of his wisdom, he was right again, and I unfortunately had to learn the hard way. She was not to be trusted.

You might wonder why I ever spoke with her in the first place. Imagine watching your big brother, this incredible man, trapped in his addiction, a personal hell on earth, for years and years. When I was first contacted by Adriana, I was so grateful that this woman from another country was so impressed by him, and wanted to tell his story, and honor him this way. I wanted Layne to know, or hear again, how much he was admired and loved, as he was such an extraordinary person. I even had the hope that a book written honoring him, might be one of the things that might change his course. You grasp at straws after you’ve watched someone you love go through such strife for so long.

I'm glad so many people realize what a joke this book was. I hate the thought of people believing her lies, but I know the truth, and that's why I will never read the book. No point."[2]

Staley's last known interview was for the radio Rockline on July 19, 1999, with the other members of Alice in Chains promoting the release of the compilation album Nothing Safe: Best of the Box.[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1470138/20030225/alice_in_chains.jhtml
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Statement from Liz Coats - David DeSola". January 2, 2012. Retrieved 2017-05-18.
  3. ^ David de Sola (16 December 2011). "Setting the Alice in Chains Record Straight". Retrieved 18 July 2017.
  4. ^ "Layne Staley's Sister Says She Doubts Adriana Rubio Interviewed Layne In 2002". Alternative Nation. 13 January 2012. Retrieved 24 June 2017.
  5. ^ "ALICE IN CHAINS: Final National Radio Appearance With Whole Band To Re-Air Next Week". 2 September 2005. Retrieved 7 July 2017.