- Remembering Kurt
It was the early '90s, and the stage was being set for a new generation of rockers. Mother Love Bone was riding the crest of a new wave of grittier, more visceral rock & roll that was primed to take over for the heavy metal hairspray set, yet just two weeks before the band was about to release their eagerly anticipated debut, Apple, charismatic frontman Andrew Wood was removed from life support after lapsing into a deep coma. Who was Andrew Wood, and how did his death serve to revive the spirit of rock & roll and carry it into the new millennium and beyond? Take a look back at the life of a true rock & roll Renaissance man through interviews with his family and friends, and learn how one band helped usher in a new era of rock music where all bets were off and raw emotion once again took center stage in an era dominated by glam-showmanship, lip gloss, and heavy mascara. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi DVD-Malfunkshun: Andrew Wood Story Official DVD Web Site: Malfunkshun
Most Seattle rock bands of the late '80s (Soundgarden, Nirvana, Mudhoney, etc.) were considered a reaction against the then-prevailing glam metal scene that had MTV and radio in the palm of its hand. But there was at least one Emerald City band that could've fit into the mainstream, combining the area's trademark Sabbath-meets-Stooges garage rock with glam's pretty-boy looks and anthemic choruses -- Mother Love Bone. And although the group included five members, the undisputed leader and focal point was flamboyant and charismatic singer Andrew Wood. Born on January 8, 1966, in Columbus, MI, Andrew Patrick Wood was raised in Bainbridge Island, WA, discovering rock music via the likes of such theatrical '70s arena rockers as Elton John, Queen, Aerosmith, and Kiss. At the age of 14, Wood joined his first serious band, Malfunkshun, often performing dolled-up in makeup and outrageous clothes, under the persona Landrew the Love Child. The group lasted for much of the '80s, but never released an album (although a few of their tracks were included on C/Z's Deep Six compilation). By 1988, Wood left Malfunkshun and began jamming with two former members of Green River -- guitarist Stone Gossard and bassist Jeff Ament. Originally called Lords of the Wasteland the new outfit would soon be re-christened Mother Love Bone.
Polygram signed the band in 1989, issuing the six-track EP Shine later in the year (on the band's own subsidiary label, Stardog), as Mother Love Bone opened up a nationwide tour for British glamsters Dogs d'Amour. By September of 1989, the quintet were hard at work on their full-length debut, but Wood had developed a drug addiction that became obvious to his bandmates, and spent the last months of the year in rehab. With expectations running high for MLB's debut album (to be titled Apple), Wood and the others started 1990 by playing a few shows around Seattle as they waited for the record's projected springtime release date. On March 16th, Wood was found comatose in his apartment by his girlfriend, having taken a lethal overdose of heroin. Wood was placed on life support, but the damage was already done, and he died three days later.