Why Chris Cornell Was Angry And Regretful At Layne Staley’s Funeral

Alice In Chains singer Layne Staley’s tragic death was a shocking moment for the music world. He passed away on April 5, 2002, at the age of 34, from a combination of heroin and cocaine. His body was discovered after days when no one heard from him for two weeks, and they decided to call the police to break down the door in his apartment. Although he died young, Staley accomplished a lot in a relatively short time. He left an unforgettable mark in the music scene with his instantly recognizable vocal style.

His early death left millions of music fans heartbroken. Many musicians also paid their tributes to Staley, and they have been trying to keep his legacy alive. Chris Cornell, who was one of the other leading figures of grunge along with Staley, was also badly shaken by his death. Later on, he even shared a dream he had of Layne, which showed the enormous impact of the late singer’s death on him.

Chris Cornell Recalled Dreaming About Layne Staley

In one of his blogs, Chris Cornell shared the dream he had about Layne Staley. He saw himself sitting in a cafe, and some of his friends were coming and talking to him one by one. Then, Layne Staley came in, which made Cornell both happy and confused. He remembered that Staley seemed very young in his dream, around the age Cornell first met him.

Layne Staley told him that he had been working on some new music projects, and he seemed very happy. At that moment, it seemed to Chris Cornell like Staley was still alive. When he woke up, it felt like he had had a real conversation with Staley, and the dream made Cornell hope Layne was doing fine out there somewhere. Following his dream, Chris also recalled a memory.

They were sitting with several people after Andy Wood’s funeral, with whom Chris Cornell had a close friendship. While they were sitting in the room, Layne Staley came in and cried so deeply. At that moment, Cornell felt that he was utterly lost. He wanted to hug Staley and say that everything would pass, but he didn’t, although he knew that Staley needed it.

Then, Chris Cornell recalled how angry he was at Layne Staley’s funeral after years but didn’t know why. He could’ve been angry at Layne, at his other friends who passed away before him, or at the people talking about Layne at the funeral. Maybe he was just furious with himself as he didn’t grab Staley at that moment and say that everything would be okay. It seems like Cornell partially felt responsible for not being there when Staley needed help. He wrapped up his post by saying he hoped to apologize to Layne one day in a dream.

Here is how Chris Cornell recalled his dream and memory of Layne Staley:

“I remember Andy’s girlfriend looking at everyone and saying, ‘This is just like ‘La Bamba,” then suddenly I heard slapping footsteps growing louder and louder as they reached the front door, and Layne flew in, completely breaking down and crying so deeply that he looked truly frightened and lost. Very childlike. He looked up at everyone at once, and I had this sudden urge to run over and grab him and give him a big hug and tell him everything was going to be okay.

Kelly has always had a way of making everyone feel like everything will turn out great. That the world isn’t ending. That’s why we were at his place. I wanted to be that person for Layne, maybe just because he needed it so bad. I wasn’t. I didn’t get up in front of the room and offer that, and I still regret it. No one else did either. I don’t know why.

Years later, at Layne’s funeral, I was angry. I kept hearing the ‘twice-as-bright-half-as-long’ speech and the ‘he-was-just-too-special-for-this-world’ nonsense that I had heard at so many other funerals for so many other friends that were so young and talented. I’m not sure why I was that angry. Angry at Layne? Angry at all my other friends for leaving me?

Angry at the people running around in circles saying ‘I knew him best’ or ‘I was the only one he really trusted,’ angry at all of them for squandering what I thought of as brilliant futures that would make the world feel to me like a place worth living? Or maybe I was just mad at myself because he was dead, and one time I had a chance to pick him up, dust him off and let him know that there was a person who cared about how much pain he was in, and I didn’t do it.

If I ever run into him in a dream again, I hope I remember to apologize.”

Apparently, Chris Cornell thought that he could’ve been supportive of Layne Staley during his difficult times. He regretted not doing it even more at Staley’s funeral. Unfortunately, Chris Cornell was also found dead in his hotel room in 2017. It’s sad that the two very talented voices shared the same fate.