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Unchained: The Story of Mike Starr and His Rise and Fall in Alice in Chains [Paperback]

Johng Brandon
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Book Description

January 2001
Finally -- a book that uncovers the many mysteries...and much of the mystique of Alice In Chains. From "Rooster" to "Man In The Box" to "Down In A Hole" this band had a dark, raw knack for creating a Grunge Music sound that will stand the test of time. Read about its story from the beginning through the eyes of founding bass player, Mike Starr. The early poverty, the music, the fame, the women, the fans, the dangerous drug addictions, and the unfortunate decline. The story is told by Mike Starr, his family, and several of his close friends. It includes exclusive stories about: Sean Kinney, Layne Staley, Jerry Cantrell, Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love, Nirvana, Pauly Shore, Matt Dillon, Van Halen, Pearl Jam, and Evel Knievel.

It explores the question "How likely is Alice In Chains to make a comeback?" This book is a must-read for any Alice In Chains or Grunge Music fan.

"Unchained..." is the compelling story of Mike Starr's roller-coaster ride that packed more thrills and experiences into a few years than most people could have in 10 lifetimes. Find out: how Alice In Chains was first discovered, why 3,000 girlfriends weren't enough for Mike Starr, who punched out Kurt Cobain in Brazil, why heroin kills you when you overdose, why you'd rather be dead than quit, and what happened when Alice In Chains' lead singer, Layne Staley, insulted the Ku Klux Klan on stage in the heart of Louisiana. Hint: it wasn't pretty.

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Product Details

Product Description


"Gives the readers the inside story of the [musician's] meteoric rise to stardom and the pitfalls along the way." -- IconoFAN News, April 12, 2001

About the Author

JOHN BRANDON has been a television and newspaper reporter since 1987. For the last four years he has been a news anchor/producer/reporter with NBC-TV affiliates in Illinois and Nebraska. He has considered Alice In Chains to be "One of the greatest bands he's ever heard" since 1991. He met Mike Starr in 1998 while working on a short film and the two began the "Unchained..." book project in December 1999. John calls St. Louis his hometown.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A disappointment. March 13 2003
First off, I need to start by simply saying that the writing in this novel is subpar. As someone else put it "My 8 year old can write better than this."
Now, it's one thing to have bad writing skills, and it's another to publish pure rubbish. I am a huge alice in chains fan, but this book paints Mike Starr out to be a self-indulged, whiny, washed up rocker on drugs. It's apparent that throughout the book he takes numerous shots at both Layne and Jerry, and critising the whole band after he "left" AiC (He actually quit, and then wanted to come back, and AiC was like "no way man").
It's a poor read, and I wouldn't even feel comfortable suggesting it to other hardcore AiC fans. There's a lot of mudslinging and name calling, and a real dissapointment.
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4.0 out of 5 stars For The Alice In Chains Fan/General Reader Dec 12 2003
I got seriously involved in Alice In Chains when I turned that specific age in my life where nothin matters, I think it's called "Adolescence", but now, having owned almost every type of memorobilia about the band, I anxiously awaited the release of this book. I felt it would be an overview of only Mike, but you can tell from reading that it is so much more than just that. It tells of the other members, including both bassists, and how it has changed the members' lives in the road paved by the band. But what will shock you about this book is the recurring references to the drug called "heroin". Some, in reading, have called it incomplete and disorganized, and in some senses, it is. But if you read the book with an open mind and try to understand what is being said, you will find it is much more than just a story about a classic "time-bomb band". It is a story of a musician's rise and fall in a band, long story short. The book's layout is not "bad", it's just very complicated and often hard to understand. This book can be read in one of those long rainy evenings (seemingly how it is supposed to be read), but it can be one of those books to read a little and think about. The other reviews on amazon help to better judge the purchase of the book, but I recommend getting it. It's not a five-star book in my opinion, but it is a very intimiate and internal view of the band from a member's standpoint.
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1.0 out of 5 stars another worthless AIC bio March 15 2003
I read this along with Angry Chair, another worthless bio piece on AIC. There is absolutely nothing in this book that held my interest. Let me save you some money: Mike Starr rose to fame in AIC, played a lot of shows, had sex with a lot of women, tried heroin, got hooked, quit AIC, tried to get back in the next day, was denied, spent the next decade trying to kick heroin. The end. The author's writing isnt as bad as the Angry Chair's author, but he definitely should not wait for the Nobel committee to call. He also made lots of historical mistakes about bands like Pearl Jam was Mother Love Bone with a new singer and then Mad Season was Pearl Jam with Layne Staley on vocals. I'm not even a hardcore fan of these bands and I know he's wrong. He also quoted Starr mentioning "Ingve Nomstein." How can you write a book about metal and not know the name of everyone's favorite cheesy metal guitar hero Yngwie Malmsteen?
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By A Customer
I have been a fan of Alice In Chains since they first came out. It's a shame Michael Starr really blew it so badly...but thank God he was replaced by a real bass player. All in all, this book is definitely worth reading. I found out what really happened to Layne Staley (the book predicted his death) and Jerry Cantrell (I hear he's now with Roadrunner Records...who in the world are they? and why was he shut out of Sony?) but who really cares about Michael Starr. It is definitely inside and accurate and if you're a serious fan I recommend it...otherwise, go read about Jim Morrison or Motley Crue. I'm glad someone published this. It looks sort of half-ass...coming from a serious drug addict and a tv news reporter but I'm sure it was difficult to pull out of Starr and his messed up mind and get it so convincingly. Where is Starr now...in some gutter somewhere?
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