The Day Seattle Died
by Cold

Album: Year Of The Spider (2003)
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  • "The Day Seattle Died" in this song is April 5, 2002, when Alice in Chains lead singer Layne Staley died of a drug overdose. Staley's descent began in the late '90s when his drug use got so bad the band couldn't operate. Around this time, AiC guitarist Jerry Cantrell embarked on a solo career, and after Cold released their first album, Cantrell toured with them.

    When they came to Seattle on Halloween 1998, Cold frontman Scooter Ward asked Cantrell if he could meet Staley, who was in pretty bad shape by then. Cantrell was able to coax Layne out of his house and make the introduction. According to Ward, Staley looked "like an 80-year-old man" - it was tough to see his idol that way. After Staley's death, Ward wrote this song for him.
  • Kurt Cobain, another titan of the Seattle music scene who died young, is also referenced in this song with the line, "We could all feel the shotgun hit the floor." Cobain killed himself with a shotgun, also on an April 5 (1994). When he wrote the song, Scooter Ward didn't know that Cobain and Staley had both died on an April 5.
  • Speaking with Songfacts, Scooter Ward recalled the night he met Layne Staley. "We were in Seattle, and all of a sudden, a little dude comes up and he's got an old fishing hat on and he's kind of dressed up like an old dude - he is dressed for Halloween. I guess he didn't want people to see him because he's Layne Staley walking into a club in Seattle, and that would draw a lot of attention, so he got a little costume.

    He came backstage with me, and it impacted me so deeply to see him in that condition, because he was one of my biggest idols of all time. We opened a bottle of Jack Daniel's and drank it, and I just talked to him about everything for a long time. But the condition that he was in at the time affected me deeply - to see him look years older than what I thought he was. I knew when he left that night, that was the end - that he was going to go. I'm so thankful I got to spend that time with him.

    So that affected me, and I was like, 'That's my hero, I'm going to write a song for him.' And then the Kurt thing came in too. He was just as influential, but Layne I just felt more of a connection to - he was way darker, and I've always gravitated towards that stuff. Layne Staley's mom actually reached out to us to thank us for the song, and it was really beautiful. So, it had some impact. People really feel that song."

Comments: 12

  • Zero from The Abyss, NjMy bad, Nirvana did use a good amount of open chords, like in "About a Girl" and "Come as You Are", to name two examples, but mostly power chords.
  • Zero from The Abyss, NjThe lyrics are not "shadowed voice in an open court", they're "Shattered voice on an open chord". Although, Nirvana rarely, if ever used open chords.
  • Wolf from Berlin, GermanyObviously the first verse pertains to Kurt and his signature shattered voice. His suicide note referred a lot about how he felt ostracized from everyone else, probably referred to by "Made up a world where you can't even be you." The shotgun was his mean of suicide. In the last weeks of his life, Layne locked himself in his apartment and did drugs day in and out. He often said how miserable he was while addicted to heroin. Angry Chair was a song he wrote himself, and kinda ties in with him just sitting there tweaking alone. Both amazing artists. RIP
  • Erin from Tulsa, Okyeah, obviously about both amazing legends kurt and layne.
  • Hannah from Loughborough/leicestershire, Englandactually Kurt Cobain died on the 5th of april, that was the estimate of death
    he went missing on the 1st of april, died on the 5th and was found on the 8th.
    Layne and Kurt were both brilliant
  • Mike from Sonora, CaYeah, just look up " The Day Seattle Died" On google under pics, and it has the lyrics and the faces of both Layne and Kurt. This song really sticks out as one of the best songs on the album. I miss Layne dearly, but a great song.
  • Matt from Millbrae, Cathe second verse has to be about layne staley. for one, there's the angry chair reference, and Layne was almost a more-well-known heroin user than Kurt, explaining the needle reference.
  • Matt from Millbrae, CaDoes anyone else notcie that aout six songs on this list are about kurt cobain? influential, anyone?
  • Kevin from Manhattan, KsIt's about both Kurt and Layne. The first verse is Kurt, the second is Layne(as the last guy said, the angry chair is a song layne wrote and the needle is the fact that he was addicted to heroin and died from it). Theres a live version of the song you can find using the Altavista Audio Search, at the begginging the singer talks about how it was originally about just kurt, but when layne died he added the part about Layne. Proof.
  • Cp from Cleveland, Ohright, the lyrics "sitting on his angry chair" depict another seattle rock legend that also had died, Layne Staley. it is rumored that when kurt cobain had killed himself that scooter had written this song but left it unfinished. upon the death of layne staley scooter was inspired to finish the song. it is rumored that layne officially died on april 4th. eerily that is the same day that kurt cobain died.
  • Alatriel from Lothlorien, Otherdonny come on "sat in his angry chair" was a nod to the fact that kurt blocked the door to the greenhouse he shot himself in with a chair.
  • Donny from Trenton, GaIts also about the lead singer of alice in chains. his name was layne staley. He did of a over dose(the needle became your queen, the drug became your enemy) the also had a song called angry chair( your closed the door and sat in your angry chair)
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