Mark Lanegan, singer of the Screaming Trees, dies at 57 | Marc Lanegan

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Musician Mark Lanegan has died aged 57.

The singer, songwriter and musician was known as the lead singer of Screaming Trees and was part of Queens of the Stone Age.

“Our beloved friend Mark Lanegan passed away this morning at his home in Killarney, Ireland,” read a statement posted to his Twitter account. “A beloved singer, songwriter, author and musician, he was 57 and is survived by his wife Shelley. No further information is available at this time. The family asks everyone to respect their privacy at this time. moment.

The American singer, born and raised in rural eastern Washington State, had survived a battle with Covid-19 that left him in a coma for months in 2021. His memoir Devil in a Coma, published last December, detailed his torturous near-death experience, which included a Covid-induced fall that cracked his ribs and a painful hospital stay laced with recurring hallucinations.

“It reminded me more and more of an interminable period in the county jail that I couldn’t get rid of, with my trial date intentionally undetermined, constantly moved around just to keep me inside,” he said. writes in an excerpt published in the Guardian. “Whatever was in this shitwagon I had taken a ride on was no fucking joke. I had taken my share of well deserved ass kicking over the years, but this thing was trying to dismantle me, body and mind, and I saw no end in sight.

Once a lifelong drug addict and friend of Kurt Cobain, The Gun Club’s Jeffrey Lee Pierce and Alice in Chains’ Layne Staley – all of whom he detailed in his 2020 memoir Sing Backwards and Weep – Lanegan was dubbed “the great survivor of the rock’. .

At age 12, according to his memoir, he was a “compulsive gambler, rookie alcoholic, thief, porn fiend.” At 18, he had a lengthy criminal record that included break and enter, shoplifting, drug possession, vandalism, insurance fraud and 26 counts of underage alcoholism. “I wanted excitement, adventure, decadence, depravity, anything, everything,” he wrote in Sing Backwards and Weeps. Lanegan had been clean for over a decade at the time of his death.

Howling Trees in 1993. Photography: Gie Knaeps/Getty Images

In 1985, at age 21, Lanegan was working for a video store in his hometown of Ellensburg, Washington – what he described as a “dusty, isolated cow town” – when he formed a band with the son of his boss, guitarist Gary Lee Conner and bassist Van Conner.

The Screaming Trees went on to record seven studio albums before breaking up in 2000 and rose to fame as part of the early 1990s grunge movement centered around Seattle. (An eighth album, Last Words: The Final Recordings, recorded in 1998-99, was released on drummer Barrett Martin’s label in 2011.)

Lanegan also embarked on a solo career during the height of the band’s fame. His 1990 solo debut, The Winding Sheet, included appearances by Cobain and Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic, and numerous grunge personalities appeared on subsequent releases Whiskey for the Holy Ghost, Scraps at Midnight, and The Cover Collection. I’ll Take Care of You.

Langean wrote his 2020 memoir under the encouragement of his close friend Anthony Bourdain, the celebrity chef and TV host who died by suicide in 2018. Lanegan wrote an obituary for Bourdain in the Observer.

“Anthony said, ‘There’s got to be a level of honesty beyond what you’ll be comfortable with for this not to be a shitty rock autobiography,'” Lanegan told The Guardian in 2020. It was the last thing I wanted to do, ever. It may sound ridiculous, but if it’s not literature, I didn’t want to do it.

Many musicians, including many from the rock scene, have paid tribute to Lanegan in the wake of his death.

“Mark Lanegan keep quiet buddy. A real singer” tweeted British post-punk duo Sleaford Mods. “Oh no. Terrible news that Mark Lanegan has left us. Bon voyage man – we will miss you”, tweeted musician Tim Burgess of The Charlatans.

“I am in absolute shock, a very beautiful soul has left this world. I love your brother,” tweeted friend and fellow musician Anton Newcombe.

English musician Damon Gough, who uses the stage name Badly Drawn Boy, tweeted this news of Lanegan’s death “stopped me in my tracks. I am absolutely disgusted. I met him a few times and was nervous because I liked him so much. He was a perfect gentleman, really nice. One of the great singers of the last 30 years.

Lanegan was “an extremely gifted performer, songwriter, artist and author, and we are devastated to learn that he has passed away,” his UK publishing house, White Rabbit Books, said in a statement. job to Twitter. “His art will endure and only grow.”

Lanegan is survived by his second wife, Shelley Brien.

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