Say It’s Your Birthday: Jerry Cantrell

Jerry Cantrell’s bowl certainly overflowth. As he surveys
his kingdom and enjoys his 30th birthday, the Alice In Chains guitarist has
much to be thankful for. His band has gone from strength to strength despite an
erratic internal combustion that always seems to be on the verge of blowing the
entire structure to bits. Most of that, of course has centered on Layne
Staley’s poppy seed demons, and in a weird kind of way this may have
unintentionally worked to Jerry’s advantage. Jerry is the engine that drives
the band; their songs start as a flash in his head. So while the media has been
off flirting with Layne’s self-inflicted danger, Jerry has been pretty much
left to his own devices, which tend toward the creative rather than the
pharmaceutical. This is good news for those who pride the music of Alice in
Chains rather than any of that other nonsense. Besides, the two best songs on
the band’s current album, were written by Jerry Cantrell alone, without
resorting to any of Layne’s gloom-pustule lyrics. So if worse came to worse…
Other birthdays today: Queen Latifah, Wilson Pickett, Charlie Pride, Vanessa
Williams, Irene Cara, B.J. Wilson of Procol Harum, and John Hartman of the
Doobie Brothers.