MIKE STARR Featured On LEIANA's Cover Of SONIC YOUTH's 'Kool Thing'; Audio Available

March 24, 2011

A previously unreleased cover version of SONIC YOUTH's "Kool Thing" from the Philadelphia-based singer LEIANA — featuring a guest appearance by original ALICE IN CHAINS bassist Mike Starr — can be streamed using the ReverbNation TuneWidget below (click on "Songs" tab).

"[Mike] was nice enough to play on 'Kool Thing' for me this time last year," Leiana tells BLABBERMOUTH.NET. "From what I am told it was his last session, and his first in about 20 years sober. He had just finished 'Celebrity Rehab' and drove down from Seattle to do the session and relocate to L.A. Dustin from WALLS OF JERICHO was on drums, Sean Danielsen from SMILE EMPTY SOUL on guitar, my friend Shawn Lyon on additional guitar and me on vocals. Eddie Wohl (ILL NINO, ANTHRAX) produced it. It was supposed to be a promo track for my new record but I ended up leaving my label and never released it."

She added, "We were all very supportive of [Starr] that day and had high hopes that he would be able to stay sober."

A photo of Starr from the "Kool Thing" recording sessions can be seen below.

Mike was found dead in a house in Salt Lake City, Utah on March 8. Starr, who was a founding member of ALICE IN CHAINS and played on its first two albums, was 44 years old. Police who were called to the scene said that foul play was not suspected, but that drugs were found near the body. Starr's father told TMZ.com, "It's a terrible shock and tragedy."

According to The Pulse Of Radio, Starr had struggled with drug problems for years and was dismissed from ALICE IN CHAINS in 1993 due to his addiction. He had been arrested numerous times over the years for DUI, reckless driving, and various drug charges in Los Angeles, Seattle and Salt Lake City. Just last month he was arrested for felony possession of a controlled substance in the latter city.

Starr was featured as a cast member of the third season of the VH1 reality series "Celebrity Rehab With Dr. Drew" in 2009. Hosted by Dr. Drew Pinsky, the season consisted of eight episodes that followed the real-life experiences of celebrity patients undergoing detoxification and treatment at the Pasadena Recovery Center. However, like fellow rocker participant Steven Adler of GUNS N' ROSES fame, Starr seemed to struggle once his season on the show was finished.

LEIANA's third album, "Lucky #3", was released last year through the FOF Label Group. The CD was described in a press release as "an action-packed rock/metal/punk extravaganza that will delight fans of any genre. Recorded in Los Angeles, and produced by Eddie Wohl, the album captures the alt-rock energy of LEIANA's stage show and melds it with infectious hooks that leaves listeners thirsty for more."

Upcoming LEIANA shows:

Sunday, April 17
The Trash Bar
Brooklyn, NY

Friday, June 10
The Golden Fleece Tavern
Dover, DE


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