Newsletter

Layne Staley Team Newsletter
“…pink cloud has now turned to grey.” Layne Staley

2015 Christmas Letter
Dear One and All,
You can open your eyes, now. Yep…one more year down. Was I dreaming!?

Between birthdays and anniversaries, we said a sad “good-bye” to another young man in our family. My dear son-in-law wasn’t given much time to feel the loss of his brother before his life-long friend and his friend’s dad said their farewells. We learn what is expected of us in some very harsh ways.
I’ve prioritized more time with friends and family. “The days are long, and the years fly by!”
It’s been fun to explore home base with company, and to have their companionship: hikes; restaurants; galleries; artists’ homes; near-by towns and shops.
I juggle several maintenance people between house, yard, and car. Keeping up with a house stuffed with “stuff” of my own and family members’ has taken a lifetime; and, it will take a long time to find appropriate new homes for much of it. I’m a night time t.v. junkie when it comes to our pbs (public broadcasting service) station; and, of course, I had to catch most episodes of Downton Abbey… just for the costumes! That’s true of many of their specials.
January
I gave my grandsons tickets to iFly…woo-hoo! MLK Day was a chance to spend the day with the boys. They don’t need gramma as much anymore.
I worked with other community members for months to square up some of our HOA (Homeowners’ Assoc.) issues. It was great to work with my neighbors. I’m really lucky.
A wonderful surprise was the collaboration of The Seattle Symphony and remaining Mad Season band members with guest performers, including most who were Layne’s friends “back in the day”. It was thrilling when their last encore featured Layne’s recording of “All Alone”. The great respect gave us all chills.
February
I’m not a great sports fan; but, I watched the Hawks in the Super Bowl. Oh, well.
I’m nobody’s Valentine, yet. There’s always hope.
It was a good month to visit with some AiC/Layne fans who’ve become friends. Thank you, Layne, for that great gift.
March
When things get dull, I consult with Layne’s attorneys and CPA’s. Expensive company!
There are always computer glitches to add spice to our lives, right!?
The Italians and Swiss had Tributes to Layne. Thank you, Hungary, too! Their donations to THS (Therapeutic Health Services/Seattle) each year from profits are very generous, selfless, and so appreciated. Layne Staley Memorial Fund @THS is devoted not only to heroin addicts in treatment, but also to their whole group involved as support people.
I visited Tacoma Art Museum with a best friend from high school to view some examples of my favorite artist, Georgia O’Keeffe; and, I was also treated to a Chihuly Glass Exhibit.
April
Enjoying great health after 11 of the last 12 weeks enduring sinus, allergy, cold and cough. Blah. I was sick off and on for 11 weeks this quarter. I have to guard against ‘mental malpractice’.
More friends and family.
The weather is perking up. 
May
Elected with 9 others to be on the new board for our association. I’ve been on the board before. Time to make some changes.
Almost missed the Kentucky Derby. It is such a fast race!
Wonderful day with a friend to celebrate Mother’s Day. Discovered a magical antique-used-thrift store along the river; and, found a really affordable hanging basket of purple petunias interspersed with a vine of tiny orange flowerets…so showy. Great country breakfast in a turn-of-the-century hotel at an out-of-the-way crossroads. Reminded me of my years in Alaska.
June
Beautiful day for a family memorial service.
I’m on the Pool, By-Laws, and Caretakers Committees; so that means meetings and help.
Sisters got together for an overnight. Our goal is to go through family photos…eventually.
Three graduation announcements and 2 big celebrations. Discovered Juanita Chips. ..the devil’s food!
Grandsons and I spent a day @Seattle Center. Junk food and teasing.
July
Fireworks over the water at my neighbors. So much fun!
I spent 4 days in Santa Monica (L.A.) with my daughter. In addition, I saw relatives, friends, and a business associate. Gorgeous weather, and an evening and afternoon of torrential rain. Beach walks, delicious food, a trip to Capistrano Mission, decadent pastries, and an evening at House of Blues!
Mass-mailing the Tribute announcement…thousands, whew!
Sometime in this past quarter, slowly but surely, my appreciation and tolerance for fragrances returned. I spent several years sensitized to fragrances of every kind; and, just couldn’t stand to be around perfumes or other chemicals. Everything had to be fragrance-free. Now, I can enjoy fragrances on myself and others. Still don’t like some; but, I don’t hold my breath and run the other way!
Enjoying getting to know some new neighbors on walks.
August
Christmas in August @my sister’s. More fun than a clam bed!
Enjoyed our local fair…quilts, plants, the cabin, animals, little kids, food!
Tribute Month…3 nights of music and visits with fans and friends from all over the world!
September
September brought my second ‘empty nest’ trauma. My grandsons are both in school and sports, and it has been a wicked adjustment not to see them each week. Makes my stomach churn. I truly long for those days when they’d be home from school and they’d humor me with a story or a game of cards. I got pretty good at Fish! I miss walks when they were babies, singing together, watching the gardens change in the seasons and naming the flowers.
Attended a pig roast on a perfect day. We had over 90 days w/o rain this summer. Lots of playtime.
Djangofest with neighbors. (street jazz on every corner)
October
I shared plant cuttings and repotted my fragrant orchid. I needed lots of help to get the yard and house ready for winter. Thank goodness that there are several nice handymen in my neighborhood.
I added an HVAC system. After 12 years in this house, enduring summer sunsets that heated the living areas to 80s-90s, I decided I’d earned air-conditioning. Next summer there should be a big difference, and my electric bill will go down. The temperature in the house will remain steady instead of running around opening and closing windows and monitoring the thermostats in each room. It may not pay for itself in my life time; but, I’ll be a lot more comfortable, and able to use the front of my house, even on hot days.
I started holiday prep early, in order to be organized for the family Christmas party at my house this year.
Lucky me! My friend since 5th grade and Sunday School brought her son-in-law to the house for a day.
My youngest escaped Hurricane Patricia.
Watched grandsons’ soccer games.
On Halloween one grandson went as a banana, and another as D. Trump, including all of the gestures! A banana?
November
We’ve had 2 major wind storms this fall, and the trees next door are scar-y! If I don’t keep my deck clear of fir needles the wind can drive water into the house via the slider doors. Lucky me, again.
I caught the PBS Pilgrim Special; and, believe me, it was grim! Not the City of Heaven that they thought they’d been promised.
I celebrate Thanksgiving by watching the Macy’s Parade, then the National Dog Show. The next day cousins gathered for games like charades, etc. Our family has great humor. I love my cousins.
December
I love to shop at thrift stores, and there are 5 in my area. I replenished my Christmas mug collection and found a few goodies including a winter coat and a 4-drawer file for Layne’s stuff. I can clear some counters!
I’ve been doing some non-grain cooking and baking. I still need my red meat. My compassionate brain would love to eliminate animal food; but, my ancient type O body still needs red-meat protein.

Much more could be said; but, this has given you an idea of my year.

Woo-hoo! Days start to get longer after Dec. 22nd!

What did the snowman say to the family? “I smell carrots!”

Santa Claus is a symbol of love and benevolence that we can all embrace. It is inclusive.

In life, do your best; and, remember, C+ is passing.

If someone is too dangerous to fly, then they are too dangerous to buy and own guns. That should be a no-brainer. We talk about ‘rights’; but, where’s the counter conversation about ‘responsibilty’? The 2nd Amendment talks about an organized militia, not vigilante-ism.

Identify and treat mental illness as early as possible. Like all diseases (this one ‘of the brain’), mental illness compounds itself, and becomes worse, over time.

We don’t banish all Christians if a Christian son or daughter commits a crime. We don’t label, or make a big deal out of their religion (or lack there-of, or falling away from) those of other faiths when they commit crimes. All crime is terror.
Heinous crimes have been committed in the name of all revered religious leaders. The thing these crimes have in common is mental illness.

With that, I wish everyone a Season of Heartfelt Progress, and a New Year of the Same.

So, in the words of Tiny Tim, “God (meaning good in 14 primary languages) Bless Us, Everyone”,

N.

Dear L’Angels,

2014 flew by like in a dream…

Did you know that the longest dream lasts only 7 seconds? No wonder the year can seem to fly by. I must be living in a dream for so much to have happened so quickly!

I’d like to clarify something in an effort to “keep it simple”. After closing Layne Staley Fund, which was a non-profit earning income from merchandise (with profits being donated to THS/Seattle for heroin treatment), I morphed into NANCYLAYNECO, L.L.C., an account for my personal income from Layne’s royalty earnings.

Layne Staley Memorial Fund at Therapeutic Health Services (in its 45th year) still exists @www.ths-wa.org, accepting donations in Layne’s name as it always has. It is now in the 12th year since Layne’s dad, Phil, and I established this fund together soon after Layne’s passing. Half of your donation will supply immediate treatment, and half will be added to the savings portion for future needs.

Although I work full-time for the L.L.C., a great deal of that time is spent corresponding with all of you. It is interesting, and a pleasure. I wish I had all of the answers to your questions; but, first and foremost we are a family, and some things are ours only to know and remember.

People ask, “What was Layne like as a child?” When he was born, he didn’t cry out. He looked up at the lights and cooed. Even at 3, he had a long attention span for building things, loved music and was in rhythm band just before his 3rd birthday (‘though we didn’t have him perform at the recital because of his age). He was shy, funny, smart, sweet, and very kind, loving animals even after a dog bite to the face. Brave.

Now for a 2014 Tribute report. This year’s show was organized by J.T. Phillips, who plays in several Seattle bands; and who, this year pulled the gang together as Jar of Flies, to pay tribute to Layne and the band (as Jonny Smokes did in the past). This year, JoF actually played the full Facelift album @El Corazon. Preceding that night, we all met @The International Fountain in the Seattle Center to visit, share stories, & sing along to those who brought their guitars. We heard from bands for 2 nights, including: Mothership, Amanda Hardy band, JoF, & Outshined, all who really did! The event was sponsored by El Corazon and KISW radio. I am unbelievably grateful for everyone’s help and support.

As we enter 2015, I am taking a bit more time for myself, family, and friends. I’ll never catch up or finalize some of the projects I and others have started on Layne’s behalf. I will continue to work on them, as inspired or required. Losing a child is an unbelievably long chapter, and hard to read. Just as with 12-step, you recycle and rework the process. I am now Layne’s business manager, and deeply, humbly thankful for the professionals who guide me on his behalf.

More profoundly, I am Layne’s mom; and, thanks to you, I not only love him as my son–with memories of the little boy– but, also with knowledge of him as a grown man whose work continues to bless. Thank you for sharing your stories; so that, I better appreciate his world and his influence.

From our family to yours, may you enjoy a lovely holiday season of happy times and memories.
Nancy

2013 “Could this be a dream?”

Woo-hoo! Finally, a block of time to gather my thoughts, which have been collecting for some time… obviously.

As soon as there are specific plans for the 2013 Tribute, you will know by social media, and by a special announcement on the web site, as well as a mass-mailing. ‘Til then, I know of plans taking shape for events in the evenings of Thursday, Aug. 22nd (Layne’s birthday) & Saturday, Aug. 24th. I already know of some venues and bands…but, that would spoil the surprise wouldn’t it?

This is a very busy time of the year for me, with family birthdays, the Tribute and a vacation squeezed in; so, that being said, please do not correspond with me at this time. I will not be answering individual questions about lodging, or the events, or sites to see in Seattle. Thank goodness for the internet and Facebook! , Seattle Visitors and Convention Bureau, and Seattle Music web sites.

As you may know, I’m working on some special projects for Layne. “The laborer is worthy of his hire.”

And I have an idea for a very funny merch item that Layne would just love.
By now, I’m sure most of you have purchased your latest AiC album, The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here. Any favorites? The last 10 years have seen successful treatment for many. AiC is often credited, via their musical contributions, with helping those struggling with addictions and mental struggles. Thanks guys…and, much love.

Now for the re-release of Mad Season, Layne’s work for which he is most proud! The box set includes some surprises and, in addition to remixed music, some goodies and several new pieces. You’ll also get the Mad Season videos. This re-release makes me so happy. Layne made gorgeous music with more talented friends, Barrett Martin, Mark Lanegan, Mike McCready, and John Baker Saunders. In the new edition, we hear more from Mark.

I took a friend to This is 40, and blushed at all of the crude language and jokes; but, was really happy to hear “Rooster” in the background. I always cheer at great placement of AIC music. It is timeless.

I want to clarify something. I hear references to “the foundation”. Layne Staley Fund closed in ’09, and since then our donation button has pointed to THS (Therapeutic Health Services) in Seattle, who have always been the recipients of our donations. They, not I, provide treatment in 6 locations, and have for over 40 years. I was working the front desk of their Bellevue location when I got word to check on Layne, and found he had passed. I know the staff at the various locations, and trust that their use of the funds donated will be prudent; since, each of the counselors, treatment supervisors, and the executive director and board are wonderful people, well-trained, and have been very kind to me on Layne’s behalf. The funds you donate are held in perpetuity, and the interest earned from those funds is used for treatment of heroin in the Seattle music community, as well as for support of affected families & friends.

In the morning I sometimes wake with the first thought of the day quite surprising me. I’ve wanted to have some place for people to go when thinking of Layne and paying tribute. Why not a garden in our own yards, or a plant re-named Layne? Why not a houseplant that contributes to our healthy environment? Why not a gift of flowers to a friend? Why not something living and beautiful whenever we think of Layne and his fallen friends and fans?

When Layne passed, you can imagine that I received many flowers and plants. In this moment, some of them are blooming profusely next to each other in my home garden, and in the winter several have beautiful leaves and interesting shapes. In the kitchen garden-window is a ruffled geranium that his little nephew planted for Mother’s Day. Each brings me memories of my family and Layne. Each is a daily reminder, needs little care, is shared with my neighborhood and friends, and takes no funds away from my primary charity. If we all planted something beautiful in Layne’s name, wouldn’t he be surprised!? Add a little sign, “In Memory of…” and add the names of your loved ones, as well.

Those are my thoughts for now. I’ll add a post script after tribute weekend.
Take care…and cyber hugs to all.

N.

2012 “…into love we delve.” Dene C.

We have Jonny Smokes to thank for an extraordinary five days of fun, music, camaraderie and magic! The Fountain Event on Layne’s birthday, and in remembrance of Mike Starr and other Seattle musicians, was held on a beautiful summer evening. The vigil is always heart-warming… lots of photos and hugs and kind wishes.

Thursday night at The Central, with Jonny and Jar of Flies, was old-home night for me. The Central is where I first met some of the AIC parents, watched the band perform, met Nick T. of Geffen, and watched Andy Wood and Mother Love Bone.

Friday night at Louie G’s was the greatest little mini-concert you could ever imagine. Jar of Flies, Outshined, and Vitaology played their hearts out. Add Amanda Hardy and Jason Kertson for a rockin’ night and light show.

Saturday at the Crocodile will never be matched in Seattle. We all attended Grunge Church, Pastor Layne presiding, and the audience-choir filled the universe with a most sublime joy that I have rarely experienced. Thank you everybody for lifting my heart.

Hard Rock Sunday was my first experience listening to music in this venue. Add to Jar of Flies, Outshined and Vitalogy, Jason and Amanda, and a little ditty called Wake Up with Amanda and Nancy, and we closed the doors on Tribute weekend.

Thank you everyone for traveling near-and-far, including from Italy, New York, Maryland, Canada, Texas, the Netherlands, Denmark, and other far corners. Seattle is “whelmed” by your continued fidelity to Seattle musicians and music. We know it has met needs far deeper than can be defined.

Also a special “thank you” to the fans, world-wide, who hold events to honor Layne and Seattle music and musicians with tributes, shows, sing-alongs, auctions and other fund-raising events.

Til we meet again…rock on!

2011 “Saw significant changes.”

Layne Staley Fund Board closed the fund and directed donations to *Therapeutic Health Services. We disbursed donated cash and remaining merchandise to related non-profits and shifted the fund website to a family, friends, and fans website. Instead of a massive tribute, fans and other key players created a more personal gathering at Seattle Center International Fountain in August. The Center played Alice in Chains music over the outdoor loud speakers for the full three-day weekend. Fans, friends, and family gathered, including those that travelled from various states: Canada, the Netherlands, the U.K., and Italy. The Jar of Flies band, singers, and several pick-up musicians played under the covered area for us to sing and sway along. Amanda H. and Jason K. were guest singers, and Adam P. and Jason K. played guitar. Jar of Flies went on to perform at a local venue, Floyd’s, that evening on behalf of the event. There were many significant moments amongst friends old-and-new.

Plans have been made for a special gathering over Layne’s birthday weekend, August 24th, 25th & 26th for 2012. Check out the Events page for other details.

*Therapeutic Health Services, Seattle, provides assessment, treatment and recovery resources for the addict, as well as their support family. Donations can be made in Layne’s name from their web site www.ths-wa.org. Requests for collectible souvenir calendars can also be directed to THS.

THS collects our donations to Layne Staley Memorial Fund (which now totals well over 120K). Only interest earned will be used for treatment. Your donation will continue to earn interest for use in drug recovery.

Vera Project www.theveraproject.org has collectible tribute posters through 2010. Contact them for more information.

2010 “Here we go again!”

Layne Staley Tribute and Benefit Concert came and went in a flash, though dedicated event coordinators worked for months to make it the best show ever!

Each year I say, “How can you top that?”, and each year, thanks to Emerald City Musicians Network (Jamie Richards), and Darrow Music Productions (Suzanne Darrow), and musician-friends of Layne, and all of the wonderful local helpers and fans, friends, and family…it just keeps getting better!!

Doors opened at 7:30, Saturday, August 21st, @Showbox at the Market, Seattle.
Performers included: My Sister’s Machine, old Seattle friends making their Seattle comeback; All Hail the Crown, Shawn Smith and mates; Villains of Yesterday, a Seattle Industrial District band sharing music and personal memories of Layne; then, Gunn & the Damage Done, again featuring Layne’s friends from “back in the day.”

We were surprised and treated to Alice songs by a young duo, Amanda Hardy and Jason Kertsen, who received a standing ovation!

Thank you, All.

2009 “…is feelin’ fine.”

We enjoyed the almost best Layne Staley Tribute ever! What fun!! All those months of preparation…then, the evening flies by in a wink. Bagpiper, Tyrone Heade, again brought the recovery troops together, followed by the Serenity Prayer in unison. Performers included: Faceless, The Crying Spell, and an acoustic performance by Eddie Kowolczyk of LIVE.

Several of Layne’s old band mates accompanied Eddie in a forceful rendition of Man In A Box that sent chills. We’ve hosted fans from Canada, Australia, Wales, England, South Africa, Sweden, Germany, Italy, Spain, Ireland and, of course, many U.S. states. Guests greet old friends, meet new, see people they’ve been emailing (or have met on MyFace), purchase t–shirts, posters, decals, calendars, order portrait art donated by fans, purchase raffle tickets for signed guitars and other goodies, bid on silent–auction items (including a signed guitar from Filter) and a Top Hat from Slash) and are entertained.

Proceeds benefit Layne Staley Memorial Fund for heroin recovery at Therapeutic Health Services (T.H.S.), 1116 Summit Av., Seattle, WA. 98101. You may now donate directly.

We proudly display on our web site any artwork you may have created as a tribute to Layne. A high–resolution copy emailed to me as an attachment is all you need to send. Artists have made gifts of their original art to our family. We have also received poems, CDs, lyrics, gifts, and loads of love in the form of your stories. It is an honor, and very humbling. Thank you for honoring Layne’s work, and for helping us to heal. You are all much loved.

When you visit Seattle, your money is best spent on the longer, warmer days of summer. I recommend going to the Seattle Visitors and Convention web site to see what’s happening. You can copy a guide map to Seattle music history. The phone book has the most important scenes and sites, so that’s a good guide once you get here. The airport has a great visitor’s magazine, too. Layne lived in neighborhoods in the Queen Anne and Seattle Center districts, as well as his permanent residence in the University District. When you visit, enjoy their views and stroll their parks. Neat shops everywhere. Since our family is from the Puget Sound area for 6 generations (Bainbridge Island, Seattle, Bellevue, Kirkland, & Lynnwood), enjoy all the sightseeing you can pack in and know that Layne has been there, too!

Want to donate to heroin recovery, but strapped for cash? ask each of your friends who are Layne/Mad Season/AIC fans to donate $1, and then send it as a group donation directly to Therapeutic Health Services. Both addresses are available on the web site for direct donations. A group of fans from Japan pooled their allowances and came up with over $300 between 22 people. Thank you, Mariko!! What a cool idea!

Newsletter Continued