Mark Lanegan – RIP


Si rimane paralizzati. Increduli. Come un fulmine che squarcia l’aria. Pesante. Mark William Lanegan è morto a 57 anni. Le cause ancora non si conoscono. Nato a Ellensburg (Washington) nel 1964, a vent’anni co-fonda i meravigliosi Screaming Trees che resteranno insieme fino al 2000. Una voce e un carisma unici. Tra i più grandi della sua (sfortunata) epoca che viene indissolubilmente legata al sound di Seattle. Una carriera solista ineccepibile e una serie di collaborazioni, progetti, guest quasi tutti a cinque stelle. Isobel Campbell, The Twilight Singers, Queens of the Stone Age, Soulsavers, The Gutter Twins, Duke Garwood, Mad Season… fino alla più recente joint venture con Joe Cardamone (‘Dark Mark vs. Skeleton Joe’). Da ricordare anche i suoi libri: “I Am the Wolf: Lyrics & Writings” (2017), “Sing Backwards and Weep” (2020) e “Devil in a Coma” dove racconta l’esperienza in ospedale colpito da Covid-19. Lascia la moglie Shelley Brien con la quale viveva in Irlanda, a Killarney, da circa due anni.


Our beloved brother, collaborator, and fellow pirate has passed into the spirit world today. Mark Lanegan is moving swiftly through the realms now, so let us praise his greatness, his talent, and his humanness. After almost two decades going around the world in the Screaming Trees, we all became brothers in a way that is different from any other kind of brother. Mark was full of contradictions to be sure, but how else could he be, when he was destined to sing the blues? Only those who understand the darkness of humanity can also sing about its light, and Mark could sing both, superbly. Because of that contradiction, we understood Mark in a way that only a literal band of brothers can understand, because we saw it all, firsthand, together, in those decades on the road and in the studio. Mark had a voice for the ages, truly one of the great American vocalists of all time. Critics often claimed that his voice came from whiskey drinking, but Mark sang like that when he was young and sober, an ancient voice transplanted inside a young man’s body. By the way, we never saw Mark touch a drop of whiskey – gin & tonic was his preferred drink, and a lot of cigarettes. We often joked after the band broke up in June of 2000 that we could finally be friends, now that we weren’t in a band anymore. And friends we were, albeit from a distance, and mostly through emails and the occasional phone call. Mark’s tell all book, “Sing Backwards And Weep” rubbed many the wrong way, but after the initial shock wore off, we all made peace and laughed at Mark’s wry sense of humor and great storytelling style. Mark had the ability to tell the most horrific of stories, yet have you chuckling out loud as he spun the yarn to its conclusion. He had that sharp wit that all great writers have, because he also had a keen view into the hearts of people – and he showed us the full spectrum of humanity.

In Mark’s final book, “Devil In A Coma” he made a closing statement that is as timeless as anything written by any Zen master a thousand years ago:
“The watcher
And the observed are
The same
Good and evil
Are the
Flip side of
The same mirror
All Is love
Is God”

Duff McKagan > He was such a good man, and friend to my family. RIP Mark Lanegan


Mark Lanegan was an extremely talented musician. Mark was also an Ipecac Recordings artist. We worked with him on several records. But more importantly, Mark was a dear friend that we loved. I’m not a religious person but there is no denying that Mark’s voice was a spiritual device. He had a wonderful, dark sense of humor was often grumpy and loved baseball. We were blessed to have had Mark in our lives and we miss him horribly but will celebrate our time with him and the music he created.
G Werckman/Ipecac