Rest in peace, Mark Lanegan. On Tuesday February 22nd, 2022 Lanegan’s family announced his passing. He was 57.
Mark was the frontman and singer for the 90’s grunge band Screaming Trees. Their song “Nearly Lost You” was included in the Singles Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, which is considered one of the best grunge soundtracks of the time. He was also in Queens Of The Stone Age for almost fifteen years, Mad Season with Layne Staley of Alice In Chains, and Mike McCready of Pearl Jam, and started the group The Gutter Twins. He also released a dozen solo albums and collaborated with various musicians including Scottish musician Isobel Campbell, and musicians PJ Harvey, Duke Garwood and Moby. Lanegan also collaborated on an unreleased album of Lead Belly covers with Nirvana‘s Kurt Cobain.
Lanegan’s personal life involved struggles with drug addiction and alcoholism since his young teen years, but he had been sober for over a decade at the time of his death. He was also close friends with T.V. personality and chef Anthony Bourdain, whom committed suicide in 2019 after his own battles with drugs and alcohol. In 2013, Bourdain asked Josh Homme of Queens Of The Stone Age, along with Lanegan, to write the theme song to his television show Parts Unknown.
Mark publicly regarded his sadness over losing his friend Bourdain, stating “It broke my heart when Tony died.” In his 2020 memoir Sing Backwards and Weep, Mark also revealed deep regret over Kurt Cobain’s suicide, recounting the time in the 1990’s he refused to answer numerous phone calls from Kurt, only to learn later of Cobain’s eventual suicide on the same day.
Mark Lanegan contracted COVID-19 in late 2021, and was in a coma-induced state until his passing in 2022. He was born on the eve of Thanksgiving in 1964, and died on February 22, 2022. We already miss the presence of Mark in this world. May he share his voice and music to the next. R.I.P. Mark Lanegan.