LAMONT’S MUSIC NOTES-MARCH 15, 2019…HOLY CRAP ! IT WAS 26 YEARS AGO TO THE DAY ALICE IN CHAINS RELEASED ‘ROOSTER’. THE TITLE COMES FROM JERRY CANTRELL’S FATHER. ROOSTER WAS HIS NICKNAME IN VIETNAM, WHERE HE FOUGHT IN THE WAR. CANTRELL’S FATHER WOULDN’T TALK ABOUT THE WAR, SO JERRY WROTE THE SONG BASED ON WHAT HE THOUGHT WERE HIS FATHER’S FEELINGS AND EXPERIENCES, TOLD FROM WHAT HE THOUGHT WAS HIS FATHER’S PERSPECTIVE. THE SONG IS ABOUT RESILIENCE, WITH THE SOLDIER BEING SENT OFF TO WAR, LEAVING A WIFE AND CHILD BEHIND. HE WATCHES HIS FRIENDS DIE, AND DOES HIS BEST TO STAY ALIVE.
THEY COME TO KILL THE ROOSTER, BUT HE WON’T DIE.
CANTRELL’S FATHER DID HEAR ALICE IN CHAINS PERFORM THE SONG.
JERRY TOLD THE STORY IN “GUITAR FOR THE PRACTICING MUSICIAN” MAGAZINE”:
“He’s only seen us play once, and I played this song for him when we were in this club opening for Iggy Pop. I’ll never forget it. He was standing in the back and he heard all the words and stuff. Of course, I was never in Vietnam and he won’t talk about it, but when I wrote this it felt right… like these were things he might have felt or thought. And I remember when we played it he was back by the soundboard and I could see him. He was back there with his big gray Stetson and his cowboy boots – he’s a total Oklahoma man – and at the end, he took his hat off and just held it in the air. And he was crying the whole time. This song means a lot to me.”
HERE’S THE VIDEO FOR ALICE IN CHAINS ‘ROOSTER’