My Friend “Layne the Legend” Part 4

Edited by That_Girl_C

One time, James (Bergstrom) and I arrived early for practice. I was sitting on the couch in their band practice room noticing Layne’s folded laundry on the end of the couch but he wasn’t there. James was working on a song; he told me he’d show me the basic drum beat to play while he worked out the bass line. I was reluctant but he talked me into it so I kept practicing until everyone showed up. Scott Hunt, co-owner of The Music Bank and drummer, popped his head into the practice room and said, “oh, I thought you were one of my students!” My sister was working that day and watched for awhile and laughed at the look on my face while I was trying to play.

L to R – Layne Staley, James Bergstrom, Johnny Bacolas & Nick Pollock

We heard Johnny wasn’t going to make it to practice that day so James insisted that I play drums for the new song and he would play bass. I was a nervous wreck. There was no way I wanted to play in front of Layne and Nick.

But it happened! I played the damn song…the very basics. Layne kept looking back at me and laughing his ass off (in the nicest way possible) while trying to sing. Nick was laughing too. It’s not everyday you can say you had a part in practicing a new song with Alice N’ Chains! It was called Ya Yeah Ya! LOL! James still calls me a co-writer of that song just for fun. I really had nothing to do with writing it.

It became routine that James would come pick me up for practices because he lived in Shoreline and my house (my parents house) was right on the way to the Music Bank.

Like I mentioned, James became my best friend from the moment I met him at the Stryper show. I think Layne thought me and James had something other than friendship going on. James and Traci broke up for a bit around that time as well. I remember Layne would walk in on us at times and give us a look. One time me and James were listening to Son of a Gun by Dead or Alive in the office and James took me by both hands and started started spinning me around and dancing. Then in walks Layne and gave us a look. Another time James and I were sitting on the couch in the practice room; Layne came in, James stood up and quickly made his way to the other side of the room. Again, we got a look from Layne. There was nothing going on but I knew he thought otherwise.

I came to find out that James’s ex-girlfriend Traci had originally dated Layne; then dated James after Layne. It wasn’t because James was a girlfriend stealer, he wasn’t; Layne adored James just like everyone else. It’s just that Layne was very non- assertive when it came to relationships; I happened to be the same way, therefore, it led to a lot of unspoken miscommunications. Layne could be very aloof at times as well. I wanted to be with Layne but I was never going to push it – and I never did.

Layne did kind of take a verbal shot at James once when we were loading all their gear for a show. I was walking in between James and Layne in a single file line and Layne started sniffing the air behind me and said, “It smells like a mixture of sweat and Brut (mens cologne) – James?”

At the beginning of April things changed. I started dating a guy from my work and Layne started dating this girl named Gina, who ironically enough was also one of James’s exes! I still had a thing for Layne but I kept it hidden. I really liked Gina. I remember one time we “compared notes” about Layne while in the bathroom at The Music Bank and found our stories pretty similar. Gina’s name is on the liner notes for Sleze/Alice N’ Chains demo.

I still went to The Music Bank periodically and still went to their all of their shows.So around the end of May I got a call from James asking if I would be interested in going up on stage with 4 other girls during their song “Football”. We would basically just have to strut out onto the stage wearing football jerzees and high heels, bend over and hike a football under Layne’s direction. So of course I said YES……

The show was going to be on June 6, 1987 at Kane Hall, University of WA. They were playing with Mistrust and DeVol. It was a pretty big deal. Layne and Johnny were interviewed by Jeff Gilbert on his Brain Pain show on KCMU a couple days before the show. The interview was short but hilarious. I taped it onto a cassette tape at the time it aired. You can find it on the Alice N’ Chains page of my Layne the Legend site (

The practice was going to be at Music Bank. There were 5 girls; Me, Traci, Gina, Tami, and one other girl that I don’t remember (her name). We showed up at practice and Layne and Johnny described what they wanted. None of the girls wanted to go first – finally volunteered.

Cassette Artwork for Demo #2


Demo #2 Song Listing 1987

The show was the next day; James and Traci came over to my parent’s house to get ready. Traci and I crimped the hell out of James’s hair and it was huge. We did his makeup and he put on his long shiny jacket. We went downstairs to head out just as my Dad was walking through the living room. He looked at James, looked at me, shook his head and walked out of the living room….it was too funny!

We got to the show and went backstage to get ready. Layne, Johnny and Nick were busy doing their hair and putting on makeup. The girls and I put on our royal blue football jerzees and heels. I was so nervous and wondered why the hell I volunteered to go out on stage first!

It was so surreal when it was time to go onstage but it was so much fun! We strutted out there and took our places. There was a lot of people there AND they were cheering!

Basically we were to follow Layne’s commands. When he said hike one, we got into position, hike two, we all bent over! At that point Layne said, “usually we have a well trained crowd and now we have well trained women!” Haha! Then on hike three Traci was to hike the football, only it wasn’t a football because someone forgot it so she had to hike a tin can! Lol! And that was that! Us girls left the stage. It was such a fun night.

Alice N Chains Demo 2 – contained the track “Football”

The guy I was seeing at the time refused to go to that show because of Layne.

The next day my sister said that Layne told her he wanted me. He said it much more crudely than that though. Lol! I ended up going to the Music Bank to see Layne only to have him become aloof again.

At some point in the summer of ’87, I went down to the Music Bank to see my sis and noticed Layne was there. We saw a couple making out in the hall and my sister turned to Layne and said, “that should be you and my sister. Layne made the comment, “you mean like this?” Then, totally out of character, pushed me up against a wall and passionately kissed me. I was shocked! I could NOT fall out of love with him at that point.

I went down to the Music Bank again one night in August 1987. This was the night Layne introduced me to Jerry (Cantrell). The old Alice N Chains lineup was over. I was sad about it but my sister said, Layne was happy and that this was a “serious band.” Jerry didn’t say much to me other than nod quickly in my direction than continued to talk with others in the office. It was a bit awkward and I felt like he didn’t really like me.

••Stay tuned for the next installment.

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