Newsletter page 2

I imagine being able to meet some of you as the years go by. I’d like to hop in a Winnebago and just drive along. If I have addresses and phone numbers and email addies I’ll try to visit or call. My computer will collate by state and city for me. Hopefully the time will come. Layne once said, “Mom, you ought’a get a motor home”.

Meanwhile, buy up all of the AIC/Mad Season music and videos that you can find. Memorize Mad Seasons ABOVE cd. It is Layne’s swan song, very beautiful, and his final public words on some subjects, the various elements of his life. It holds the same magic for me as “Man In The Box”. Sony/Columbia has plans for future music and video releases, very much anticipated. Release of the new “Essentials” CD happened on September 5th, 2006.

Woo-hoo!! Write Sony/Columbia, Marketing, 2100 Colorado Ave. Santa Monica, CA. 90404, and tell them how you feel about the release of this long-awaited project. Encourage release of the Brazil show, and the idea of making a documentary about Layne.

I hear from fans, since there is lots of curiosity. I have mixed feelings about some things, but not about wishing the band well, and hoping for their health and happiness. I think William Duvall must be very brave, and I told him so when we first met in Seattle. He is a singer-songwriter in his own right. I look forward to hearing new work in the future. For now, we get to enjoy original AIC songs for old-time’s sake, and it introduces the band to a whole new group of young fans all over the world.

Last summer I was one of hundreds who heard the new music, accompanied by a beautiful laser light-show backdrop in the Lazarium at the Pacific Science Center in Seattle. You are going to love this CD, “Black Gives Way To Blue!” And “thanks” to Elton John for the piano background in Jerry’s tribute song to Layne,“Black Gives Way To Blue”.

Layne asked me, after I’d heard “Facelift”, what I thought of it. I said, “Layne, I think there’s a real sleeper on the album”. He said, “Which one, Mom?” I said,“Man In The Box”. He said, “Mom, I wrote that song”. "Oh Layne, it’s so beautiful”.
A.I.C. music can be found in movies on the soundtracks of “Singles”, “Last Action Hero”, “Marvin’s Room”, “The Faculty”, “Black Hawk Down”, “Clerks”, “Collateral”, “Lassie” and “Terminator 2”.

Did you see the Cold Case show that featured most of “Man In The Box” in the background of a particular segment? Since then, “Nutshell” opened a TV drama. Last night I heard A.I.C. music in the background for the news; and once, in the background for the Super Bowl! And how about “Man In The Box” when a hockey player gets a penalty? It’s special music for special people, but the beauty is universal.

Layne said to me with watery eyes, at age 21, after a show at The Renton Fire Hall, “Mom, I’m going to be a star”. I put my hands on his shoulders, but I did’t guess the outcome when I responded, “Go for it, Honey. Someone’s gotta’ do it”. I was teasing, of course, and very excited for him and proud. Little did I know.

I recommend reading What’s So Amazing About Grace by P. Yancey and dogs of god by Pinckney Benedict; also, Soul Mates by Thomas Moore. (Not what you think. There is beauty and value in dark lessons, too.) I have just finished Earth In The Balance, by Senator Al Gore (remember the guy who won the presidency by popular vote in 2000; buddies with John Kerry, who won the popular vote in 2004?). This book holds the key to Global Recovery–WORK– but you have to be willing to roll up your sleeves and put your back into it! Write yourself a Mission Statement in 25 words or less, state your purpose, and make your life matter to others.

I also recommend a movie, Men with Guns, and the books, In the Absence of the Sacred, by Jerry Mander, and Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond.
An important take on reality addiction, and on what is happening to our youth is Dr. Drew Pinsky’s ‘09 book, The Mirror Effect. Read it if children are, or will be, in your life–ever.

The best book to explain addiction, so far, is Alcoholism, by Clive Graymore. It explains the variable that answers the question “Why some, and not others? Why me?” Addiction, edited by Hoffman/Froemke (based on the HBO documentary series) is a compilation of some of the latest research reports on addiction. Everyone’s chemistry is different, right? So, some can handle varying levels of stress, and others can’t. Why should our sense-of-self suffer for that? Keep it simple, if that’s what keeps you sane. Don’t try to keep up with someone whose natural speed is a mile-a-minute if you’re a slow kind of earthling. Maybe you work in spurts like me. Be prepared to have down times, and don’t panic or use chemicals to adjust to things. I also highly recommend reading  Prozac Backlash, by J. Glen Mullen, M.D.

Over a lifetime we are faced with tragedy that we thought only befell others. Recently, as if life wasn’t shocking enough, some fans have faced the destruction from several earthquakes, tsunamis, coastal hurricanes and other natural disasters. We watch devastated lives with no shelter in Japan, Haiti, Libya, Congo, Burma, and who’s to say where next?  American soldiers, and innocent Afghanis, go down.  It doesn’t end. Mother Nature will do what she does to balance the planet. She ebbs and flows, heaves and sighs. Sometimes we’re in the way. Sometimes we’re in our own way. Mother Teresa instructed us to look around in our own communities to volunteer our time.

Don’t lose heart. This is not Armageddon. Mother Nature will do what she has always done, heave and swell. Because world population has also swollen, and because humans live and play by water, and because our media can report back instantaneously, we are face-to-face with “life on life’s terms” every day. What difference can one sober life make? How will you know, except by being sober and drug-free, and by doing what is right and kind? Life is hard and sad sometimes, for everyone. You have not been singled out. It is not your karma. Layne did not deserve to die this hideous death, or choose it. No one does. We are not being punished for our mistakes or inadequacies. Humans are fallible, vulnerable, and fragile, in body and mind. I believe that people in recovery “are the light of the world”. We all will be tested.

Newsletter Continued