History Temple of the Dog

Temple of the Dog – History (part 2): The death of Andrew Wood

At the same time, the infamous Green River was at its peak. For those not keeping a scorecard, Green River consisted of Mark Arm and Steve Turner, who would later go on to form Mudhoney, and Stone Gossard and Jeff Ament, who, well, you know. Bruce Fairweather, a bandmate of Jeff’s from his metal project Deranged Diction, also joined to replace Steve Turner. Stone, funk denizen that he is, often jammed with Andy and Malfunkshun. Jeff used to work with Andy at the same day job. Green River breaks up, Malfunkshun packs it in, and the three of them (plus Bruce Fairweather) get together to form their own project, Mother Love Bone.

From the start, Mother Love Bone thought big time. Wanted to be big time. They wanted to be rock stars, and their dedication paid off in the form of a record contract with Polygram, signed by Michael Goldstone, who would later bring Pearl Jam to Epic Records. “We wrote more songs and dreamed big dreams,” says Jeff Ament in the Mother Love Bone compilation liner notes. They recorded the Shine EP in November of 1988, and the record was released a few months later, in March of 1989. The project toured, received critical acclaim (and critical bashing).

Mother Love Bone spent the summer and fall of 1989 recording their first album, Apple. It was during this time that the band realized that Andy’s struggle with his demons was a serious one. He was persuaded to enter a rehab program, and completed it successfully. Shortly afterwards, the band played The Rocket’s (Seattle’s local music paper) 10th anniversary party in late December, and by all accounts were the stars of the show. Mother Love Bone was, by anyone’s reckoning, on the verge of making it big, of achieving all the dreams its members had for years.

Then disaster struck. Two weeks before Apple was due to be released, Andy Wood was found comatose in his apartment, the result of a heroin overdose. He remained in a coma for several days, and never recovered. Andy Wood died on March 19, 1990.

Continue reading: History of Temple of the Dog – Part 3, the album.

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