When KISS Fans Protested Alice In Chains’ Layne Staley

The KISS Alive Worldwide Reunion tour began in 1996 at Tiger Stadium in Detroit, in front of an audience of approximately 43,000 people. During the first show, Alice In Chains opened for them. However, the fans became enraged when Alice In Chains guitarist Jerry Cantrell performed a couple of KISS riffs during the breaks. Jerry and drummer Sean Kinney discussed what happened that day during the first KISS reunion event on The Eddie Trunk Podcast in 2020. Jerry began telling about what he remembers from that day. He elaborated: “Here’s what I remember; there may have been a riff or two, but the real thing was when Sean [Kinney] decided to come out front and sing ‘Beth’ acapella.” Sean is a brilliant drummer, he has an excellent business sense, he is very artistic… yet he is not a great singer.” Sean said that the audience didn’t like his humor and showed their displeasure. He remembered: “Man, they just, they [the audience] weren’t digging the humor.” The entire stadium, 60,000 people, booed – loudly.” Jerry revealed that, aside from the crowd, the KISS drummer did not enjoy Sean’s sense of humor. The guitarist went on to say: “You know, he didn’t really like it – Peter Chris, he had a little problem with it.” Kinney went on to relate vocalist Layne Staley’s reaction to the face-painting crowd.

He stated, ” “I remember Layne also saying – because people were painted like KISS characters, they were wearing makeup and everything – and Layne looks at the audience in between songs, like, ‘What the f*ck’s wrong with you people?'” ‘How come no one has painted themselves to look like me?'” like Sean attempted to sing ‘Beth,’ and Layne chastised the audience for not dressing up like him, the drummer stated that the fans weren’t having it. He went on to say: “And they all go, ‘Boo!'” I added fuel to the fire by cutting ‘Beth,’ and yes, there were some riffs from their songs in between, Jerry knows a lot of KISS tunes…” Gene Simmons recalled that day when Alice In Chains opened for them and his interaction with Layne in a 2018 interview with Meltdown of Detroit. Simmons revealed that he discussed his drug use with Staley prior to his death, saying: “And I had the same discussion with Layne.” ‘Layne, here they are, they’re fans, they’re lined up, it’s all yours,’ I said right before they went on stage in Detroit. Just go out there and perform admirably.’ ‘Gene, I’ve been straight, I’ve straightened up,’ and so on. And then he passed away.”

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