The original members of Alice in Chains reacted to the death of the band’s former bassist Mike Starr .
Guitarist Jerry Cantrell and drummer Sean Kinney released a statement on Tuesday in which they said, “Jerry and Sean are mourning the loss of their friend and ask that the media respect their privacy — and the privacy of Mike’s family — during this difficult time. Their thoughts & prayers are with the Starr family.”
Starr, 44, was found dead Tuesday afternoon in his Salt Lake City home. A co-founding member of the pioneering Seattle grunge band, Starr appeared on VH1’s “Celebrity Rehab” in 2009. He was arrested on February 18 for felony possession of a controlled substance. Salt Lake City police said he had several painkillers on him when he was arrested.
The bass player’s death unleashed a flood of comments from Alice in Chains fans and fellow rockers including former Guns N’ Roses members Steven Adler and Matt Sorum , as well as ex-Dream Theater drummer Mike Portnoy, Mötley Crüe’s Nikki Sixx, former “Celebrity Rehab” castmate Mackenzie Phillips and “Rehab” host Dr. Drew Pinsky.
Slash weighed in on Twitter as well, writing, “really tragic news about Mike Starr. RIP.”
The Salt Lake City Tribune reported that police do not suspect foul play and have turned the investigation into the cause of Starr’s death over to the medical examiner’s office.
Mike’s dad told TMZ his son’s death is “a terrible shock and tragedy.”
Starr left Alice in Chains while touring behind their second album, Dirt, in 1993. Years later, he would reveal on “Celebrity Rehab” that his reason for leaving was his growing addiction to drugs. He briefly joined former Black Sabbath singer Ray Gillen in Sun Red Sun. Their self-titled debut was released in 1995, two years after Gillen died from AIDS-related complications.
Heroin addiction sent Starr to “Celebrity Rehab,” which was followed by a stint in the spin-off show “Sober House.”