Screaming Trees drummer leads tributes to bandmate and ‘big brother’ Mark Lanegan

Members of the rock community including Iggy Pop, Peter Hook and John Cale were among those to remember Lanegan and his ‘wild life.’

23 February 2022

Screaming Trees drummer Mark Pickerel has led tributes to his former bandmate and “big brother” Mark Lanegan following his death aged 57.

Members of the rock community including Iggy Pop, Peter Hook and John Cale were among those to remember Lanegan and his “wild life that some of us could only dream of”.

A post on the musician’s official Twitter account said he died at his home in Killarney, Ireland, on Tuesday morning.

Lanegan was a member of rock bands Queens of the Stone Age and The Gutter Twins – and collaborated with artists such as Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain.

He was also known for fronting grunge band Screaming Trees, and alongside Pickerel, Gary Lee Conner and Van Conner, produced some of the rock genre’s most psychedelic and experimental music.

In a series of tweets, Pickerel said: “Goodbye old friend, I’ll miss you, I love you,” and that he hoped the angels were “taking good care” of Lanegan.

He also shared a photo of them hugging and added: “May you truly Rest in Peace Big Brother @marklanegan.”

Mark Lanegan live at Trip Music Festival 2018 at Triennale
(Roberto Finizio/Alamy Live News/PA)

Lanegan joined Screaming Trees in the 1980s and went on to produce eight studio albums until the group’s split in 2000.

He first appeared on Queens of the Stone Age’s Rated R album in 2000 and lent his voice and songwriting talent to several songs.

He later formed The Gutter Twins with Afghan Whigs vocalist Greg Dulli.

Lanegan also featured on the 1995 album Above by Mad Season.

Punk star Iggy Pop, who was the lead singer of The Stooges, said he was a “fan” of Lanegan and had the “deepest respect” for him.

The US musician, whose real name is James Newell Osterberg Jr, shared a message on online, saying: “Mark Lanegan, RIP, deepest respect for you. Your fan, Iggy Pop”.

Co-founder of English rock bands Joy Division and New Order Peter Hook described Lanegan as a “lovely man” who led a “wild life.”

Sharing a black and white photo to Twitter and wrote: “Mark Lanegan was a lovely man. He led a wild life that some of us could only dream of.

“He leaves us with fantastic words and music! Thank god that through all of that he will live forever. RIP Mark. Sleep well. Love Hooky. X”

Founding member of Velvet Underground Cale said the grunge star would “always be etched in my heart”.

“I can’t process this,” he wrote, captioning a picture of the pair on stage together.

“Mark Lanegan will always be etched in my heart – as he surely touched so many with his genuine self, no matter the cost, true to the end. xx jc.”

Other artists paying tribute to Lanegan included Moby, Badly Drawn Boy, Charlatans singer Tim Burgess, Nadine Shah and Mark Ronson.

As frontman of Screaming Trees, the 6ft 2in underground rock star produced some of the genre’s most psychedelic and experimental music.

Formed in 1985, their commercial breakthrough came with the release of 1992’s Sweet Oblivion, which was buoyed by the popularity of grunge bedfellows such as Nirvana.

The album birthed their biggest single, the soaring Nearly Lost You.

When they disbanded in 2000 amid creative differences, Lanegan went on to establish himself as a varied and successful solo artist, working under numerous aliases and with artists including English multi-instrumentalist Duke Garwood and cellist Isobel Campbell.

Throughout his career he collaborated with some of the biggest names in the music industry, including Massive Attack, Moby, Pearl Jam, the Eagles of Death Metal and more.

In 2020, Lanegan published a “no holds barred” memoir called Sing Backwards And Weep, in which the musician covered everything from “addiction to touring, petty crime, homelessness and the tragic deaths of his closest friends”.

Last year saw him publish another book, a memoir called Devil In A Coma, in which he detailed his battle with Covid-19.

In an excerpt from the book, published by The Guardian, he wrote about being placed in a medically induced coma while in hospital in County Kerry, Ireland.

The statement announcing news of his death read: “Our beloved friend Mark Lanegan passed away this morning at his home in Killarney, Ireland.

“A beloved singer, songwriter, author and musician he was 57 and is survived by his wife Shelley.

“No other information is available at this time. We ask please respect the family’s privacy.”

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