Remembering when Alice In Chains’ Layne Staley beat up a Nazi skinhead during a live show, 1993
In 1993, while performing live in Sweden, Alice In Chains frontman Layne Staley invited a Nazi skinhead on to the stage before punching him straight back off it again.
Staley, who tragically died of a drug overdose 2002, spotted the man making a Nazi gesture throughout Alice In Chains’ set when the band performed live in Stockholm. Staley, unable to ignore the person in the crowd, stopped the show, called him over, helped him climb up onto the stage, and landed a right hand.
Alice In Chains, who were in transition at the time after bassist Mike Starr was replaced by Mike Inez, were enjoying a European tour alongside the Screaming Trees in support of their sophomore album Dirt when the incident in Sweden took place.
According to Randy Biro, the guitar and bass tech looking after the band during the tour, a man disrupting the concert began making obscene gestures and actively attempted to beat people up during the mosh pit. After finishing up a rendition of ‘It Ain’t Like That’, Staley had seen enough of the man punching and elbowing people and took things into his own hands.
After speaking into the microphone, the singer stated: “We love you Swedish people,” which was met by cheers from the crowd as he began to walk to the edge of the stage. With a bit of assistance from security, Staley managed to reach out to the man in the crowd much to the bemusement of the fellow audience members. After landing two punches, Staley swiftly pushed the man off the stage and he was promptly removed.
After the show, however, the man reported the band to the police who, in turn, started trying to track down the Alice In Chains frontman. By this time, however, he and Biro were already on their way to catch a ferry to Finland. That said, local authorities did manage to catch up with the rest of the band who, in turn, had their passports seized until Staley returned. A brief investigation, which included the Nazi’s own brother siding with the band, resulted in Staley being praised by Swedish police and released immediately.