Mother Love Bone has the weird distinction of being the band that never happened but it turn made so many other things happen. Mother Love Bone featured lead singer Andrew Wood along with Greg Gilmore, Bruce Fairweather, Jeff Ament and Stone Goassard.
Mother Love Bone released one E.P. “Shine” in March of 1989 to wide critical acclaim. A year later on March 16, 1990, days before their debut album “Apple” was to be released, Andrew Wood suffered a heroin overdose and died 3 days later.
His death closed the door on Mother Love Bone but sent the doors wide open for the tribute band Temple of the Dog founded by Wood’s roomate and Soundgarden lead singer Chris Cornell.
Temple of the Dog released one self-titled album on April 16, 1991 featuring Soundgarden members Cornell and drummer Matt Cameron along with former Mother Love Bone members Ament and Gossard. The band also featured future Pearl Jam members guitarist Mike McCready and singer Eddie Vedder.
Andy was living with his fiance, Xana La Fuente who discovered his overdosed body.
“He was dead when I found him, and I didn’t really realize it,” she remembers. “I flipped him over and was shaking him. I looked at his arm and dialed 911 . They told me to get him on his back and give him CPR. When they arrived, they pronounced him dead, made me sign this paper, and then told me to go to the hospital. When I got to the hospital, Andy was alive. He was alive for three days.”
“He had an aneurysm in his brain that would have caused him to have a stroke eventually; so he did the drugs and probably had a stroke a few hours later, which knocked him out. They got his heart going again at the hospital, but his brain had swelled up from not breathing. They told me he could get worse, which he did. We had a meeting with the doctors on that Monday, and they said Andy’s brain was dying, and it wasn’t going to get any better. We had three hours to say goodbye to him.”
“His whole family was at the hospital, like 20 people. They all went in and saw him. Then all of his friends went in and saw him. Then I went in had cut his hair off and kept it. I played some Queen for him-they were his favorite band. The doctors turned everything off, and I just held him really tight and listened to his heart until it stopped. It took like 15 minutes. God, it’s so wild. I can’t believe I went through that. When I think about it all, it freaks me out.”
On March 19, 1990, Andrew Wood died here at Virginia Mason Hospital in downtown Seattle. Andy passed away from “complications” from a heroin overdose. Sources have suggested that Andy survived the overdose, but rather was killed by an allergic reaction to drugs that were administered to him while he was in a coma in the hospital.
Sadly, Wood was sober for 161 days when he overdosed and the dose he OD’d on was extremely small. The hospital had reported four other heroin OD’s the same evening Andy was brought to the hospital, so it was definitely a “bad batch” that had hit the streets and wound up in Andy’s arm.
UPDATE: This video that has recently surfaced was taken on March 11, 1990, 5 days before Wood’s overdose is the last video of Andrew Wood alive.
Along with being the inspiration for all the songs on the Temple of the Dog album and essentially kick starting Pearl Jam, the song Would? by Alice in Chains is dedicated to Andrew Wood.