Vietnam was hell on my family. I mean, it was great growing up with a dad in the Army. We had medical, dental, food for all the kids. I was taken care of by the base until I was 18. The Army was his way out. He came from a farm where he was picking cotton and hauling hay, so he wanted to get the fuck out of there. When he went to Vietnam, it just tore up our family. I feel sorry for him, ‘cause he’s a great guy, but what do you do after you’ve been killing people for a living? He started drinking heavily, and he became violent. Then my folks split. So rock was my escape. I’ve always loved music. My mom played piano, and my uncles played music. But I did all sorts of jobs before the band.
Jerry Cantrell (1996)