Jerry Cantrell, of Alice In Chains, doesn’t like Dr. Drew’s Celebrity Rehab show on VH1.
From Rolling Stone:
“I think it’s a real travesty and a shame to put people in a really vulnerable situation like that and make it entertainment for people to see,” he told an Atlanta radio station (per Blabbermouth). “[Mike is] a friend of ours, and we wish him the best. But that show’s not really cool.”
Personally, I wholeheartedly disagree with Cantrell. These people volunteered to be on the show. It isn’t about exploitation (which Cantrell implies in his statements), but rather is about helping people. If seeing these celebrities going through the process helps even one person, then the show would not only be a ratings success (which is is), but also a cultural success. Everyone knows celebrities party hard, and this show shines light on the dark side of celebrity.
This is a scene from a recent episode where Mike Starr, former bassist of Alice In Chains, talking about the day Layne Staley, former lead singer of Alice In Chains, died:
At one point, Nancy Staley, Layne’s mother, asks Mike if he saw Layne die. Her tone leads me to believe that she wishes the answer to the question was yes. That Layne didn’t die alone. Mike then explains how he left and tells, for the first time, what Layne’s last words to him were: “Don’t leave like this. Not like this.”
It’s heart wrenching. I was crying watching this scene. Not only because it is such a sad moment, but because of my own personal investment in the players. Growing up in Washington meant Alice In Chains was a part of the local music identity. I was always more of a fan of Alice In Chains than Nirvana or even Pearl Jam. Years later, after Staley’s death, I had the opportunity to meet Nancy Staley. I blogged about that encounter once; I’ll quote that here:
I was wearing my Mad Season shirt at the show to pay an extra bit of homage to the man that was missing. I got a LOT of comments on the shirt. Actually, I’m pretty surprised there weren’t more people wearing the same damn shirt. But I was alone in my coolness.
So, we’re standing in this crowd and this little old lady walks by me and says, like so many people had that night, “Nice shirt.” I didn’t think anything of it. Why would I? She liked my shirt, no big deal. Well, she came back, tapped me on my shoulder and said to me, “My son drew that, I’m Layne’s mother.”
My first reaction was total disbelief. I said to her, “It’s a real pleasure to meet you ma’am.” And I shook her hand. That apparently wasn’t enough for her and she threw her arms around me and we hugged. This woman birthed one of the most influential singers in rock history (if you don’t believe me just listen to KUPD) and she’s hugging me. Her son had a lot to do with me making it through high school. I always identified more with Alice In Chains, and Layne himself, than Nirvana or Pearl Jam. AND I’M HUGGING HIS MOTHER! Very cool rock moment. Very cool.
What do you think of Celebrity Rehab, and in particular the situation with Mike Starr and Jerry Cantrell?