Mark Lanegan Dies At 57!
At his home in Killarney, Ireland, Mark Lanegan, the gruff-voiced vocalist who fronted Screaming Trees before embarking on a successful solo career passed away on Tuesday. A spokesperson for the singer said, “No additional information is available at this time.”. Please respect the privacy of the family at this time.” Lanegan died at the age of 57.
Screaming Trees, the psychedelic hard rock band from Ellensburg, Washington, that predicted grunge, made Lanegan a household name in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Prior to taking a more active role in the band’s early days, Gary Lee Conner’s songs were given weight by his dramatic voice.
In Billboard’s Modern Rock chart, the band’s singles “Nearly Lost You” and “All I Know” both reached the top 10. With Kurt Cobain and Krist Novoselic of Nirvana as guest musicians on 1990’s The Winding Sheet, Lanegan established his solo career during his time in Trees. After the demise of Screaming Trees in 2000, he resumed his solo career, frequently appearing with Queens of the Stone Age and collaborating with Duke Garwood, Isobel Campbell, and Greg Dulli of the Afghan Whigs. It was the Gutter Twins who referred to themselves as the second pair.
Sing Backwards and Weep, Lanegan’s memoir due out in 2020, goes into great length about his formative years. Meanwhile, he battled substance abuse issues such as alcoholism and heroin addiction in the shadows.
After Courtney Love paid for him to go to rehab, he finally became clean. In an interview with Rolling Stone after the book’s release, he detailed how Love had aided him. “I remember Courtney leaving me a letter saying, ‘Kurt loved you as a big brother and would have wanted you to live. His words: ‘The world needs you to live’ “I hadn’t done any good deeds in a long time,” he said.
After meeting Queens of the Stone Age’s Josh Homme (who played in Screaming Trees as a second guitarist), he went on tour with the band while also painting sets for television. Straight Songs of Sorrow, his most recent solo album, will be released in the spring of 2020.
It was a pleasure to know Mark Lanegan, Peter Hook, bassist for Joy Division and New Order, tweeted. For many others, he lived an extravagant lifestyle that they could only dream about. In his absence, he has left us with wonderful lyrics and music. It is a blessing that he will live to see the end of time.
In a tweet, former Screaming Trees drummer Mark Pickerel expressed his condolences, saying, “May you genuinely rest in peace, big brother.”
“I’m not sure how I’m going to digest this,” John Cale commented on Twitter. “Mark Lanegan will always have a special place in my heart – as he undoubtedly affected so many others with his authentic self, no matter the cost, true until the end,” says the singer-songwriter.
On November 25, 1964, Mark William Lanegan was born in Ellensburg, Washington, which is approximately 100 miles southeast of Seattle. While Lanegan was a child, his parents were both schoolteachers who separated when he was young. In his memoir, he claims that his mother was verbally abusive against him, and as a result, he chose to live with his father. “My father spent little time attempting to parent me,” he stated in his letter.
His own enormous drinking habit, as well as his longstanding interest in playing cards all night with his friends and chasing women, led him to give up trying to enforce any type of control very fast.
Following his discovery of punk, Lanegan sought out old friend Van Conner, with whom he had lost touch. Lanegan’s brother Gary Lee proposed that he record some vocals over some of the tunes Van, his brother Gary Lee, and Pickerel had written, and Screaming Trees was born as a result of this suggestion.
Clairvoyance, the band’s self-titled debut album, was released in 1986 to little attention. A psychedelic swirl of guitar, church organ, and Lanegan’s reedy vocals accompanied the show’s soundtrack. From 1985 to 1989, the band published albums with identical sounding titles every year, during which time it developed a loyal following in its home state of New York.
“I’m a tremendous fan of yours,” said one gentleman who approached Lanegan after a concert and introduced himself. If you ever require an opening or wish to collaborate on a musical project, please do not hesitate to contact me.”
It was Cobain, who was also a fan of Jamboree, the Beat Happening record Lanegan and Gary Lee co-produced in 1988, that made the connection. When Novoselic approached Lanegan later in the band’s history, Lanegan advised him to stay with Nirvana, which he did. In his memoir, Lanegan described that time when Novoselic begged to join the Trees, but Lanegan advised him to stay with Nirvana.
His writings revealed that “the distinction between Nirvana and the Trees was so plain to me.” From the first time I saw them, Nirvana was exactly who they claimed to be: “excellent music, a fantastic singer, a fantastic look, everything.”
In 1990, Lanegan began creating his own songs for The Winding Sheet, which would serve as his solo debut since he felt he was being restricted by Screaming Trees’ creative limitations.
(“Down in the Dark” and “Where Did You Sleep Last Night,” a rendition of Lead Belly’s “Where Did You Sleep Last Night” that also featured Novoselic, were two of the album’s songs that Cobain ended up singing on.) The following year, Nirvana became a worldwide phenomenon, and Lanegan reaped some of the benefits, both from interest in The Winding Sheet and from the publication of Screaming Trees’ Uncle Anesthesia, which was released the same year.
Lanegan was living in rural Ireland with his wife, Shelley, when he got infected with the coronavirus in the spring of 2020, according to his Facebook page. He was placed in a medically induced coma, yet he managed to pull through. His comments to iNews in December 2021 were, “It was undoubtedly one of my top five worst experiences.” “However, I’ve lately reached a point where I’m feeling somewhat normal, so it appears like the worst is behind me.” The incident was recorded in another memoir, Devil in a Coma, which was published the following month.
“I consider myself really fortunate,” he told iNews. “It’s an incredible privilege for a person like myself to have travelled to the locations I have and to have the potential to make a difference in other people’s lives,” says the author.