Andrew Wood Cause of Death: The Tragic Story of a Grunge Pioneer

Andrew Wood was a talented and charismatic singer who fronted two influential bands in the Seattle grunge scene: Malfunkshun and Mother Love Bone. He had a unique style that blended glam rock, alternative rock, and grunge, and he inspired many of his peers and fans with his energy and creativity. However, his life was cut short by a heroin overdose in 1990, just days before the release of his debut album with Mother Love Bone. His death was a devastating loss for the music community and a catalyst for the formation of other bands such as Temple of the Dog and Pearl Jam. This article will explore the life, career, and death of Andrew Wood, as well as his legacy and impact on grunge music.

Early Life and Malfunkshun

Andrew Wood was born on January 8, 1966, in Columbus, Mississippi, to David C. Wood and Toni Wood. He was the youngest of three children; he had two older brothers, Kevin and Brian. Wood and his brothers were exposed to various types of music by their parents, who also supported their children when they were learning how to play instruments.

Wood became a fan of acts such as Elton John, Queen, Aerosmith, and Kiss. He moved with his family to Bainbridge Island, Washington, when he was 11 years old. There, he met Regan Hagar, who became his lifelong friend and musical partner.

In 1980, at the age of 14, Wood formed Malfunkshun with his brother Kevin on guitar and Hagar on drums. The band used alter ego personas onstage, with Wood using the name Landrew the Love Child. They played shows in Seattle and recorded demo tapes, but they never achieved commercial success. However, they are often cited as being among the “founding fathers” of the Seattle grunge movement, along with bands such as Green River and Soundgarden.

Wood was influenced by glam rock and adopted a flamboyant and theatrical style that contrasted with the more subdued and gritty image of most grunge bands. He wore dresses, makeup, and colorful accessories, and he sang with a powerful and expressive voice that ranged from high-pitched falsetto to deep growl. He also wrote lyrics that were poetic, personal, and sometimes mystical.

Malfunkshun released only two songs officially: “With Yo’ Heart (Not Yo’ Hands)” and “Stars-n-You”, which appeared on the 1986 compilation album Deep Six. The album also featured tracks by Green River, Soundgarden, Melvins, Skin Yard, and U-Men, and it is considered one of the first documents of the grunge genre.

Mother Love Bone and Drug Addiction

By 1988, Malfunkshun was on hiatus due to creative differences between the Wood brothers. Wood began jamming with Green River members Stone Gossard and Jeff Ament, who had recently split from their band. They soon began writing original material and formed Mother Love Bone in 1988, adding guitarist Bruce Fairweather (also a former member of Green River) and drummer Greg Gilmore to the lineup.

Mother Love Bone was more successful than Malfunkshun in terms of popularity and recognition. They signed a deal with PolyGram in 1989 and released their first EP, Shine, which received positive reviews from critics and fans. They also toured extensively across the US, supporting bands such as The Dogs D’Amour and The Cult.

Mother Love Bone had a sound that combined hard rock, glam rock, funk, and punk elements. They were also influenced by classic rock bands such as Led Zeppelin and The Rolling Stones. Wood continued to showcase his charismatic personality and vocal skills as the frontman of the band. He also wrote most of the lyrics for the band’s songs, which reflected his struggles with drug addiction, love, spirituality, and death.

Wood had started using drugs when he was in Malfunkshun. He experimented with various substances such as LSD, cocaine, heroin, alcohol, and prescription pills. He became addicted to heroin in the late 1980s and entered rehab in 1989. He tried to get clean for the release of Mother Love Bone’s debut album, Apple , which was scheduled for March 1990.

Death and Aftermath

However, Wood relapsed shortly before the album’s release date. On March 16th , 1990 , he was found unconscious by his girlfriend Xana La Fuente in their apartment after overdosing on heroin . He was rushed to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle , where he was put on life support . He remained in a coma for three days , until his family decided to turn off the machines . He died on March 19th , 1990 , at the age of 24 .

Wood’s death was a huge shock and tragedy for his bandmates , friends , family , and fans . His funeral was attended by hundreds of people , including many musicians from the Seattle scene . His body was cremated and his ashes were scattered in the Puget Sound .

Apple was released posthumously in July 1990 and received critical acclaim and commercial success . It sold over 500,000 copies and reached number 34 on the Billboard 200 chart . It also spawned two singles , “Stardog Champion” and “Crown of Thorns” , which became anthems for Wood’s fans . The album is widely regarded as one of the best and most influential albums of the grunge era .

Wood’s death also inspired several tributes and projects by his friends and peers . Chris Cornell , who was Wood’s roommate and close friend , wrote two songs in his memory , “Say Hello 2 Heaven” and “Reach Down” . He recorded them with Gossard , Ament , Gilmore , and Mike McCready (who later joined Pearl Jam) , forming a supergroup called Temple of the Dog . They released their self-titled album in 1991 , which also featured guest vocals by Eddie Vedder (who also later joined Pearl Jam) . The album was a success and spawned the hit single “Hunger Strike” .

Gossard and Ament also formed Pearl Jam with McCready , Vedder , and drummer Dave Krusen in 1990 . Pearl Jam became one of the most popular and influential bands of the 1990s , selling millions of records and winning several awards . They dedicated their debut album Ten (1991) to Wood and often played Mother Love Bone songs live . They also collaborated with Cornell on several occasions , such as the 1992 tribute concert for Wood at the Moore Theatre in Seattle .

Other bands and artists that paid homage to Wood include Alice in Chains , who dedicated their album Dirt (1992) to him ; Candlebox , who wrote their song “Far Behind” about him ; Smashing Pumpkins , who covered “Stardog Champion” on their album Pisces Iscariot (1994) ; and Malfunkshun , who reunited in 1995 and released their album Return to Olympus (1995) , which featured unreleased songs by Wood .

Legacy and Impact

Andrew Wood is remembered as one of the pioneers and icons of grunge music . He was a talented and charismatic singer who had a unique style and voice that influenced many other musicians . He was also a prolific and poetic songwriter who wrote honest and heartfelt lyrics that resonated with his fans . He had a passion for music and life that was evident in his performances and recordings .

Wood’s death was a tragic loss for the music world , but it also gave birth to new bands and projects that carried on his spirit and legacy . His music lives on through his albums with Malfunkshun and Mother Love Bone , as well as through the tributes and covers by other artists . He is widely respected and admired by his peers and fans , who consider him one of the greatest singers of all time .

Andrew Wood cause of death was a heroin overdose, but his life was much more than that. He was a grunge pioneer who left a lasting mark on music history. He was a star that shone bright, but burned out too soon. He was Andrew Wood, the man of golden words.

Doms Desk

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