April 5th is a date that lives in many rock fans memories; especially for a kid that grew up through the grunge era.  2 iconic rockers passed on that day one in 1994 and one in 2002. I’m talking about the day that killed Seattle and the historic grunge rock scene that started there. By now you know I’m talking about Kurt Cobain of Nirvana, and Layne Staley of Alice In Chains.

To this day one of my favorite “albums” (which is not really an album at all) is the live set from Nirvana’s MTV Unplugged in New York and I definitely have that DVD. History tells us that during this time Kurt was struggling heavily with his heroin addiction, during the time of that filming which first broadcast in December of 1993. He was gone just 4 months later of an apparent suicide by gun shot at the age of 27. The fall of Nirvana then brought about the rise of then drummer Dave Grohl's Foo Fighters. Thank goodness we can enjoy what Kurt left behind.

Photo from Geffen Records DGCD-24727
Photo from Geffen Records DGCD-24727
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Unfortunately, in the same way, Layne Staley was also in the throws of heroin addiction and died of a speedball overdose at the age of 34. Staley’s work with Jerry Cantrell can not be understated. They changed and developed an entire new sound and generational wave along with Nirvana and the rest of the growing Seattle grunge scene including Peral Jam and Soundgarden. The grunge scenes California cousin Stone Temple Pilots also came through during that time period. One of Layne Staley’s last live appearances also just happened to be on Alice in Chains MTV Unplugged in New York in 1996; with Down in a Hole being one of the most haunting and phenomenally breathtaking live performances by the band, continuing the vein of Folk Rock popularized by Nirvana’s MTV Unplugged effort.

Photo from Colombia CK 67703
Photo from Colombia CK 67703
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Both of these amazing vocalists helped me build my own style of singing. They are just a couple of the great vocal influences on me. Their musical genius was an inspiration as I both wrote and sang during my rock years in Beyond the Silence. Two albums, hundreds of shows, and years of rock music (probably a future of tinnitus, ringing ears anyone?)  all because I got hooked on rock.

attachment-bts albums
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Beyond the Silence opens for Sevendust
Beyond the Silence opens for Sevendust
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If you’re a fan of Rock do yourself a favor today and revisit the unplugged albums and tunes from both bands. You won’t regret you did and you can pay a small tribute to the best grunge rockers of all time!

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