Mike Starr (April 4, 1966 – March 8, 2011) was the bassist of Alice in Chains.
Mike Starr first appears in the annals of rock’n’roll in 1983 when he formed the heavy metal band SATO. Their song “Leather Warriors” appeared on Northwest Metalfest, a compilation album released in 1984 by local Seattle label Ground Zero Records. Mike Starr joined the band called Gypsy Rose for a short period of time where he met his future bandmate Jerry Cantrell.
Starr and Cantrell left Gypsy Rose and decided to start their own band. The first to join them was the drummer Sean Kinney who helped them to contact the singer Layne Staley. Staley eventually left the other groups he was playing with and joined their band which was named Alice in Chains. Their group gained attention in the Seattle area and soon signed the contract with Columbia Records.
Mike Starr recorded two full albums Facelift and Dirt and the Sap EP with Alice in Chains. He left the group while it was promoting Dirt. According to Layne Staley, his departure was caused by difference in priorities with the band aimed at touring and their bassist wanting to stay at home. However, when he was on a rehab several years later, Mike Starr admitted that he parted ways with the band due to his heroin addiction.
He was later playing bass in the band Sun Red Sun, which featured Ray Gillen and Bobby Rondinelli, both former members of Black Sabbath until Gillen’s death in 1993. There were also rumours in 2010 that he was creating his new band but nothing was confirmed.
Mike Starr was struggling with the addiction and took part in a TV show Celebrity Rehab to help him deal with it. Unfortunately on March 8, 2011, the police found his body in his home in Salt Lake City. On March 20, 2011 a private memorial was held for him in Seattle which was attended by family, fans and former bandmates Jerry Cantrell and Sean Kinney.
Mike Starr has no gravestone, his body was cremated and the ashes were handed in to his family.