Martin paid tribute to Lanegan on his social media pages this week, sharing a story about how the band used to throw beer cans at one another.
The grunge icon passed away at his home in Killarney, Ireland on February 22, age 57.
Martin wrote: “With the passing of our brother and bandmate, Mark Lanegan, I have found that humour is really the best medicine, and Mark knew this truth, perfectly. So I outlined 7 stories about Mark and the Trees, which I am currently writing and will post here on my pages. Humour is the operative word here, so I hope these stories lifts your spirits as we think about Mark over the coming weeks.”
Recalling the first of the seven stories, Martin remembered the origins of how the band members used to throw beer cans at one another.
“For some reason, the Screaming Trees had a propensity for throwing cans and even bottles of beer at each other, and Mark told the story in Sing Backwards and Weep of how I threw a can of beer at him in his New York City hotel room. This is true, and I wish I hadn’t done it, but I did.”
He continued: “More revealing about that event is the reason for my beer can chucking in the first place. It all came back in 2019, when Mark called to ask if I remembered certain stories differently from the way he remembered them. We had a really great phone conversation where I told him the things I could recall, and I’d say that his book is pretty darn accurate from everything I remember from those wild years. Anyway, Mark reminded me that it was I who threw that first beer.”
Martin recalled how it goes back to when he went to see Lanegan and the two had a disagreement about some vouchers, which led to an argument.
He continued: “I hurled my freshly opened can of Rolling Rock as hard as I could at his head, which missed him by a mile. This was a bad look for me because I had bragged to Mark about my little league baseball pitching ability, Mark being a baseball fanatic and all. Plus I was drunk at the time.
“Mark just started laughing hysterically, jumped out of his chair and hugged me exclaiming, ‘Well you must have been raised by Irish alcoholics too!’ which made laugh and cry a little bit, and suddenly everything was fine between us. In fact, I think we actually became brothers in that moment because we understood certain things about each other: I learned that Mark had a wicked sense of humor that disarmed most situations, and he understood that I cared about the band more than myself.”
He then went on to recall a second memory ‘Mark on a Moped’, which you can see below.
Lanegan was the frontman with The Screaming Trees from 1985-2000 and was also known for his work with bands like Queens of the Stone Age, Mad Season, The Gutter Twins and for his many other numerous collaborations.
Nick Cave – who performed and collaborated with Lanegan on numerous occasions – also published a new entry to his Red Hand Files website in which he recalled his memories of the artist.
He said: “A greatness, Mark, a greatness — a true singer, a superb writer and beautiful soul, loved by all. Love Nick.”
Writing on Twitter upon the announcement of Lanegan’s death this week, Cave’s longtime collaborator Warren Ellis added: “Mark wherever you are I hope you hear the tears. True gentleman. One of the great voices. Love to your loved ones. Warren x.”
Lanegan’s 12th solo album, ‘Straight Songs Of Sorrow’, came out in 2020 and served as a companion to his far-reaching memoir, Sing Backwards And Weep. In a four-star review, NME described the record as being “open and viscerally honest” while containing “music that salves the soul”.
Back in December 2021, Lanegan released another memoir, Devil In A Coma. In the book, the musician detailed his near-death experience from COVID via prose and poetry that he wrote while he was ill with the virus.