Posts Tagged ‘Alice in Chains’


Alternative Nation has this story of an early Alice in Chains show in Pullman, Washington at WSU.

 As the legend has it…some AiC fans drove up to Spokane to see the emerging Seattle grunge group who had recently been signed to CBS Records. They asked the band to come down to Pullman for a show. $2,000 guarantee was enough to the band to perform in front of 450 people at Washington State University on December 1st, 1989…months before their debut record Facelift.

Here is the set…love the cover of “Suffragette City” near the end.

1. Killing Yourself
2. Man In A Box
3. Love, Hate, Love
4. We Die Young
5. Sunshine
6. Queen Of The Rodeo
7. Social Parasite
8. Put You Down
9. Real Thing
10. I Can’t Remember
11. Sea Of Sorrow
12. Suffragette City
13. Taxi Driver

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Today I was thinking about Alice in Chains for some reason…. and it got me thinking back to the Alice in Chains Best of/VHS thing “Music Bank.”

The first video is an old documentary that Seattle TV station, King 5, did about Alice in Chains when they were first coming up.  Its such a spooky thing to watch now knowing how the band got what they set out for… then the tragedy that befell many of the members since.

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I vaguely remember when my old man bought our first CD player.

I think it was a Boxing day maybe? or around Boxing Day… part of me feels like it was winter.

We drove out to the A&B sound in Burnaby.  This was before there an A&B Sound everywhere and obviously before the chain closed down.

If I remember, he bought the player and then needed a CD so he bought an Elton John Box-set that had four discs of hits.  I listened to a lot of  “Crocodile Rock” as a young’n.  I don’t know what it cost, but I think it was pretty expensive for the late 80s or early 90s.  I can’t really remember, its a bit of hazzy remembrance.

I read today that Sony is closing one of their last two CD plants in America.  Its a warehouse in New Jersey that employs about 300 people.  It seems most the people that work there know whats up.  They stopped making Blu-Ray discs last year and one worker said his own daughter steals music off the internet despite the fact the roof over head and food in her belly comes from him pressing CDs.

Then I read some facts about the CD

Invented in 1979.  Which makes it older than me… which means… I’ll be discontinued soon. sad face. Do not disassemble.

The first test pressing happened in Germany.  It was Richard Strauss‘ “Eine Alpinsinfonie.”

The first public demonstration happened on BBC television and featured the Bee Gees 1981 record Living Eyes.

The first record to be pressed in the manufacturing plant in 1982 was ABBA’s The Visitors.  The first CD album to be released for sale was Billy Joel’s 52nd Street.

By 1983 you could buy a CD player in America and there were 16 titles (all from CBS Records) you could buy to play in it.

The first record to sell 1-million compact discs was Dire Straight‘s 1985 classic Brothers In Arms. Wait a minute, that song “Money For Nothing” says “faggot” a bunch, maybe I need to edit history to make a more politically correct record the 1st ever?

First artist to release their entire catalog on Cd was Mr. David Bowie when he took all 15 of his albums and 4 best of’s… and pressed them also in 1985.

First CDs I bougth with my own money were… Metallica’s …And Justice for All, Alice in Chains s/t and Seven Mary Three.  I think it cost me close to $80 and was almost all of one of my first paycheques from the job I got that summer.  making sandwiches at Subway in the summer of ’96.

Then I bought a lot of CDs. I do remember my Dad getting mad at me for wasting my paycheques on CDs.  What did I need so many for?  So I need to find an excuse for having so many… so I became a DJ.

Go with yourself.

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Al Ford is many things (the man that hired me for the Zone, Sonic 102.9‘s Program Director) and one of those things is rock & roll photog.

Back in 1991, a little known Seattle band came to Victoria to open for Alice in Chains and Al was there to capture it all.

Jerry Cantrell :: picture Al Ford

Jerry Cantrell's Guitars :: picture Al Ford

Layne Staley :: picture Al Ford

Eddie Vedder :: picture Al Ford

Jeff Ament :: picture Al Ford


Years later, this concert would be immortalized in Rolling Stone.

>>  Rolling Stone 10-28-93 Five Against the World by Cameron Crowe

“An early turning point came onstage at a club called Harpo’s, in Victoria, British Columbia. It was Pearl Jam’s maiden tour, their first appearance away from a nurturing audience of Seattle friends. But this Canadian crowd was far more interested in getting drunk. In midset, Vedder decided to challenge the jaded audience, to wake them up. Unscrewing the 12-pound steel base of the microphone stand, Vedder sent it flying over their heads, like a lethal Frisbee. The steel disk crashed into the wall of the back bar. They woke up.

By some accounts this story may or may not have happened.  The jury is out on to the authenticity of the actual event s of the night.  But what is true, Cameron Crowe believed it and published it in Rolling Stone!


I blogged about this show before >> Vintage Victoria Rock History
Mike Devlin’s article on Pearl Jam’s Ten >> Vancouver Sun

Rolling Stone 1993

Go with yourself my jaded drunks.

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01) Phoenix – Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix

No record got more play at home, in the car, or in the club for me then Phoenix.  I genuinely enjoy the whole disc from front-to-back.  Remixes, love them, instrumentals are mighty, catalog (now that I am going back) all good.

02) Propagandhi – Supporting Caste

Propagandhi will be a band that i will always adore.  I forgot how much I listened to this record this year till I hit my Last FM, and for bands that had new music in 2009, Propagandhi was number 2!  I remember looking forward to this record, then getting as soon as I could.  Admittedly, a lot of those spins for this record were for the song “Dear Coaches Corner.”  My great rock and roll shame is that I still have never seen Propagandhi live, ever in all my years.

03) The Dudes – Blood Guts Bruises Cuts

The Dudes get to be one of those bands that I love hearing the singles on the Zone, and I love exploring their album.  Another front-to-backer that I can put on and let it play right through… into their previous record.

04) The Rural Alberta Advantage – Hometowns

a summer record for me.  It got heavy play on the iPod when Coral and I visited Alberta.  Just too cliche to not love while I was driving around Wetaskiwin.  Very pretty music.

05) Japandroids – Post-Nothing

Finally some local(ish) rock on the list.  I have a huge hard-on for Japandroids.  I can’t remember why I was taking the ferry by myself last year.  I am generally herding an entire family with my on the voyage, but there was a time I had the opportunity to listen to music for the crossing on the boat and Japandroids were so perfect.  “Its raining, in Vancouver… but I don’t give a fuck!”  Super fuzzy.  Super great.

06) Silversun Pickups – Swoon

This album remains a steady play on my stereo at home, I enjoy hearing the singles on the Zone and a highlight of the year in concerts was the Zone Show at the Royal.  I loved their set at Sasquatch last May.  Lots of stand-out cuts on this record, but basically, the first 5 song son the record I never skip over.

07) Yeah Yeah Yeahs – It’s Blitz

The sound track to our trip to the Sasquatch Festival (well this and Passion Pit and Bon Iver and Explosions in the Sky and ….).  It’s Blitz is one of the few 2009 vinyls Coral and I added to our collection and I enjoy the dancier ones when I am DJing.

08) Alice In Chains – Black Gives Way To Blue

Growing up, AiC would have to be one of my top 5 90s bands.  Their catalog songs still get regular play at home.  I wanted to pan this record when it came out but something funny happened, its good.

09) Pearl Jam – Backspacer

Another record that hipster Jeremy wanted to hate-on… but its good.  “Just Breathe” is a highlight of the my sets on The Zone Afternoon Show.  I missed the concert in Van but hear only great things.  When I read about Eddie Vedder in the music gossips its for good things.  PJ makes me smile still and I enjoy this record as a stand alone or mixed in with a set of PJ catalog cuts.

10) Passion Pit – Manners

Passion pit got slightly more spins at home this year than PJ… but PJ crushed in total times (because of the Zone) so I made PJ 9 and Passion Pit 10.  I like Passion pit at the club and sometimes at home.  Great in the car.  They were a huge disappointment for me at Sasquatch (maybe I wasn’t drunk enough?) and some album cuts I skip over.

Still, can’t deny that the songs I like from Passion Pit, I REALLY like and play them often. “Little Secrets,” “Moth’s Wings,” “The Reeling,” “Sleepyhead,” all magical.


My favourite album covers (if Coral reads this and wants to know a Christmas present) are the Japandroids, Rural Alberta Advantage and Propagandhi.  Just say’n dear.


Go with yourself.

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Mike Devlin sent me a follow up to yesterday’s post regarding the classic Alice in Chains/Pearl Jam show in Victoria back during the first ice age.


Holy shit!  That show was on my birthday!

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Its been awhile since I shared some emails and today I got a couple nice ones.


The first email is from Jessica talking about the Matt Good/Mother Mother concert last week.

Hey Jeremy!
The concert on Saturday was really good! It was my second time seeing Mother Mother and I was sad they only did 6 songs…it was a very short opening act! In the intermission there was so many people who had never heard them and all bought there CD’s because they were so impressed!

It was a first seeing Matt Good but, he was awesome!! Apparently, people were upset that he was only on for an 1hr and 15. I thought it was a good length though!
On that note! I’d love to hear one of these songs if you get a chance!!
Mother Mother – Touch Up

Thanks a bundle!


I was trolling Mike Devlin’s Facebook the other day, and the founder of the The Zone, a gentleman named Al Ford, posted a picture of Jerry Cantrell (Alice in Chains) on his site.  The concert was from 1990 I think, at Harpos (where Upstairs is now).  AiC played with the beginnings of Pearl Jam (some band named after a basketball player), and a group from Victoria (name I can’t recall).


What a rad picture.  Al has all sorts of great Victoria rock and roll memorabilia.  Makes me wish I had done a better job collecting over my years as a broadcaster and indie rock hipster.

I talked about this picture on my radio show the other day and got some of it wrong.  More fun facts emerge from Troy.

I have to help you out a little on your comment on Jerry Cantrell earlier.

Yes the club was Harpo’s in Bastion Square where the club something or other “… Upstairs” is located now.

The band name you tried to recal was Mookie Blaylock. Another pre-Pearl jam played there as well during that same era under the name Green River featuring Mark Arm later of Mudhoney fame plus Jeff Ament and other Pearl Jam members. I didn’t live here at the time but might I suggest that perhaps you confused the two groups?

At any rate you’re the best DJ on the zone and a decent bloke. We met when my old band was band of the month back a few years ago and you were a very genuine guy. So with that in mind please play some Visqueen sometime, like Hand Me Down from Message To Garcia, the kids will dig it.




awwww.  Suzanne jammed out CRC 80.

I listened to your podcast from today! I loved it and felt all nice
and fuzzy afterwards:)

just to let you know:)


I feel fuzzy now too.

Go with yourself.

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Growing up in the wilds of Coquitlam, there were two records I remember playing exceptionally heavy.  R.E.M.’s Green and Alice in Chains’ Unplugged.

Every night before bed, I’d throw the AiC record in my discman, tuck into a book about war and go away.

Many nights, I would go through the record two times before falling asleep.

The habit was so entrenched, that even to this day, I still love listening to music before bed and if I am ever feeling the weights of life pulling down on me, a little music before bed or laying on the couch in the dark with the headphones on will make me feel infinity better.

A great modern rock shame in those days was that I never did go see Alice in Chains in concert.  I do think a bunch of my friend did see them once at some arena show in Vancouver, but I missed that one.

Later, after the band was on the hiatus, I had the chance to see Jerry Cantrell twice.  Once at Richards and another time opening for Metallica at Thunderbird Stadium.  Both times were special but the Richards show was the better.

Jerry had this band on tour with him called Comes With the Fall (circa 2002 I think… Wagner, were you at this show with me?).

I didn’t know what to expect at the Jerry Cantrell solo tour other than I was sure to hear some Boggy Depot and Degradation Trip.  My life erupted with joy when Jerry launched into many classic AiC songs… and filling in the part of Layne Staley was William DuVall, lead singer of Comes With The Fall.

Sounded mighty and was at the time, as close as I was going to come to an Alice in Chains show.  I’d have to relieve the live days on the DVDs I had (and my brother CJ had a great old VHS with lots of early footage too).

I guess William did a good job and the band felt it was time, after 14 years, to put out another record, revive the Alice in Chains handle, and get out there!

Today I had the chance to talk to bass player Mike Inez.  I made a little podcast of the interview and included far more than what you’ll hear on the radio or countdown this weekend.  if you are an AiC fan like me, please take a second to have a listen (well many seconds total running time is 15 minutes).

Download: Interview: Mike Inez of Alice in Chains

Mike gives the cole’s notes version of joining Alice In Chains.  He was on tour with Ozzy and working in Reno recording when he got a call from Sean Kinney inviting him to join the band.

He goes on to talk about the natural progression he felt as the band got back together including the original genesis… the Tsunami of 2005.

The band toured a bit and the shows got bigger and bigger and it showed them it was time to do it right.  AiC financed the record independently before even thinking about sending to a label for distribution.

Then I find out, Mike Inez is a hockey fan?  SWA?  LA Kings? I’ll TRY not to let that ruin his musical legacy.

Mike talks about the meaning behind the title of the album Black Gives Way to Blue.  He tells the story of floating in Jerry’s pool as they debated album title names and why song is special for the band.  the title track was especially hard to record because of its meaning and Jerry battling an illness at the time.

Then he reflects on Layne Staley and what he was like living and tells the story of the Grammy Awards snubbing Layne after his death despite the fact AiC has been nominated for Grammy Awards… what 5 times, 6 times?

Mike Inez is a great guy and I loved interviewing him and having the chance to hear his stories.  I hope you do too.

Go with yourself.

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Fortune favours the bold.  More than ever I believe it.  Sometimes I wish I were more “ahead” in the game of life, or that my brand of entertainment would light on fire and embed itself in the public consciousness.  I wish I were rock star.

but I can’t sing.

but I am paranoid of women controlling me.

but my only passion is 1980’s era cyborg crime fighting sci-fi.

All these roadblocks I’ve set up in front of me before I’ve even laid down a single track.

Kanye West didn’t let any of that get in his way.  He auto-tuned his way through an amazing song about his LA Girl who he likens to Robocop.  How this song is not THE Top 40 hit of the summer is beyond me.


Coral and I got to go see a movie on Saturday night.  Going for a movie becomes a real treat when you have a teetering toddler rampage at home, but Nana was kind enough to take for the night, so Corj and I hit the town.

We tried to have a burger at the new hipster burger joint, The Pink Bicycle but it was lined up out the door, so Cactus Club is had to be.

The movie we saw was/is called Adventureland.  Very cute film, the thing that really stuck out for me was the killer 80s alterna-soundtrack.  I spent much of the film leaning over to Coral going, ” psst, that’s the Replacements.”  “Oh hey, I totally love this song, that’s Husker Du.”  “Wow, Velvet Underground… rad, REM does an excellent cover of that track!”

Kristen Stewart looked pretty darn adorable too… that didn’t hurt.


With all this Replacements lately, its no surprise that this week on my Last FM they are number 1 with a bullet.

Jeremy Heavy Rotation for the week

01) The Replacements
02) The Thermals
03) Alice Cooper
03) Lou Reed
05) Falco
05) Alice in Chains
05) The Garner Andrews Podcast

hmmm, a couple SWA?’s on the list.  Falco’s “Rock Me Amadeus” was featured fairly prominatly in Adventureland, and in the two days since the movie, um, yeah, the song has gotten a couple spins at home.

The new Thermals record is just plain good.  Go git it!

The Garner Andrews Show podcast from Sonic in deadmonton is turning into a daily listen for me, so I’d imagine it’ll chart on my Last FM. Weird, but good.  Kinda like the Polcast from the Zone except Garner puts it together every morning, so its a daily download.

and that’s that.

Go with yourself.

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