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Posted at 8:05 AM ET, 03/ 9/2011

Alice in Chains original bassist Mike Starr dies

By Justin Bank

Mike Starr, bassist for Alice in Chains during their late '80s-early '90s heyday, was found dead in Salt Lake City yesterday. He was 44. He is the second of the band's four founding members to die along with lead singer Layne Staley in 2002. As a washingtonpost.com reader commented then:

"Here was a quality band whose above-average work included insightful, intelligent lyrics that were about relevant issues; great, memorable riffs and hooks and chords; an energy, simply put; a dark yet not too-depressing view of some things; a sound that was just plain rock 'n' roll, despite attempts by some people to call it "grunge," which is nothing more than a media label. Alice in Chains is a great rock band that produced some great albums."

Starr and the band parted ways in 1993, so he wasn't involved with the recent incarnation that replaced Staley with William DuVall. And that also means that he wasn't involved with the band's "MTV Unplugged" show in 1996. But their melancholy melodic rendition of 'Heaven Beside You" still feels like an appropriate tribute to Starr and the band today:

Starr recently made something of a comeback in a concert shortly after his appearance on the "Celebrity Rehab" show, where he worked through his decades-long battle with drugs. Here's Starr shortly after the show:

By Justin Bank  | March 9, 2011; 8:05 AM ET
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