Alice in Chains: The Horrific Story Behind ‘Rooster

Alice in Chains: The Story Behind Rooster From the Song Rooster

Alice IN Chains
I cite my sources and they may differ from other people’s accounts, so I don’t guarantee the actual accuracy of my videos.

While Alice in Chains 1992 album Dirt is often associated with mental health,drugs,and relationships, one of the album’s tracks encapsulates the horrors of war. The song Rooster offered a chance for a son to understand his father’s pain and it would result in healing a fractured relationship. But it also did something else, that was unexpected. That’s what were going to explore int oday’s video. Several of the songs found on Alice in Chains 1992 album Dirt dated back to the sessions the band did for the Cameron Crowe film Singles. The band was given money to hit the studio to record the song Would? For the film’s soundtrack. It was also during those sessions that band cut a number of other songs that would eventually become their first EP 1992’s SAP which was released in February of that year.

Also recorded during these sessions was a song called Rooster, which would be held over until Dirt which came out later in the year. If you want to hear the demo of Rooster it’s up on YouTube. Link is down below. Guitarist Jerry Cantrell would recall where he was when he wrote the song telling Classic Rock Magazine “I was between places to live at that time,”, “so I moved in with [Soundgarden singer] Chris Cornell and his wife Susan Silver at their house in Seattle. Susan was managing Alice In Chains at the time. I stayed for a few weeks, up in this little room. Cantrell would admit staying up one night while he crashed at their place, possibly taking acid, and wanting to get a Jimi Hendrix type of sound on his guitar. The song was being mixed by producer David Jerden in July of 1992. The book Alice in Chains the untold story tells an anecdote about the mixing of the song. Layne showed up to the studio with his dealer and as Jerden was playing the song on the studio’s loudspeakers, Layne loved it but his dealer offered his unsolicited advice with Layne telling him to shut up. The book would set the scene by saying “Jerden lost it ‘who the f are you? Get the f out of my studio. He turned to Layne and said “don’t bring your drug dealer around.”” “Rooster” was released as the fourth single from Dirt in February 1993.[1] It spent 20 weeks on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks chart where it peaked at No. 7.[7] The term Rooster came from his father’s nickname he was given as a little kid because of his cocky attitude. Cantrell’s father would be deployed to Vietnam twice during the war and never talked about his experience to his son.. Cantrell would tell the LA Times “Vietnam is something he never talks about,” “I asked him about it once and he said, ‘That’s dead, son, let it lie.’ When I wrote it, I was getting this vibe, thinking about him and what he’s lived through–two tours of duty in Vietnam, he’s been a prison guard. I was thinking about the things he might have thought and felt there. It was pretty close. It hit home to him.” In a separate interview with Rolling Stone in 1996 Cantrell talked about the impact the war had on his Dad as he transitioned back into civilian life saying My dad was trained to be a f*@!ing killer … After that, you can’t just come back home and say, ‘OK, everything’s cool. I’m going to work 9 to 5 now.’ That stuff scars you forever. We had a lot of problems and occurrences because of that.” Those problems would lead Cantrell to his parents divorcing and him living with his mother and grandmother in Tacoma, Washington. The guitarist would recall to Louder Sound He didn’t walk out on us. We left him. It was an environment that wasn’t good for anyone, so we took off to live with my grandmother in Washington, and that’s where I went to school. I didn’t have a lot of my father around, but I started thinking about him a lot during that period.” Rather than resentment Cantrell p Sources: Alice in Chains the Untold Story, Author David De Sola……)……

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