Tragic bassist had “a lot of plans” and was going to make everyone proud, say his AA sponsor and roommate

Mike Starr

Plans: Starr was looking to the future, say friends

Friends of former Alice in Chains bassist Mike Starr have refuted the suggestion he killed himself – saying that he was making big plans for the future.

Starr, 44, was found dead on Tuesday after mixing methadone with an anti-anxiety drug, three weeks after having been arrested in possession of prescription pills for which he had no prescription.

The mixture can stop the breathing reflex – and that’s what’s believed to have killed Starr. But his associates insist it was accidental, and he didn’t plan to end his life.

Brett Gunn, a bandmate and Starr’s sponsor on the Alcoholics Anonymous programme, tells the Salt Lake Tribune: “I don’t think it was suicide. We had a lot of plans.

“He was going to play with my band Nazty Habit and we were going to California this weekend to pick up some of his instruments.”

Starr’s Salt Lake City flatmate Spencer Roddan says the bassist and close friend Travis Meeks had been playing music together in their basement. Meeks, a member of Days of the New, was preparing to book a tour for their new band.

Roddan says: “I don’t think his death was intentional. Our deal was he had to be clean. He said he was going to make me proud.

Meeks, who was driving the vehicle in which Starr was arrested last month, found his friend’s body and called the police on Tuesday afternoon.

Meanwhile, Alice in Chains associate Baldy has paid tribute to Starr as a “carefree spirit,” and says he can’t help thinking about original frontman Layne Staley, who died of a drugs overdose in 2002.

“‘Fun’ is a word I keep coming back to as I try to wrap my head round the loss of another friend,” Baldy says. “Mike Starr was fun. He was a carefree spirit, quick with a joke, a laugh or a silly face. He loved being a musician, he loved being in a band, and he was great at it.

“I hadn’t seen him in several years, but I think he lost a part of himself once he was out of the band, and spent the remainder of his life trying to fill the void.

“I can’t speak to his battles and struggles, but what I can speak to is the guy I remember. He was a good friend. Mike and Layne were both good people who made bad choices, and the weight of those choices was something they could never get out from under.

“Neither of them deserved it.”

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