Good songs have a tendency to stick with you. Really good songs can stick with you for a life time. I grew up in the eighties and nineties. Grunge music became real popular as I hit my teen years. Being a fan of any kind of rock, this was the perfect genre in my eyes. One of the best bands to come from that time period was Alice In Chains. My all time favorite song by AIC is Rooster. Let me tell you why, of all their many great hits, this one is my favorite. Songs are meant to tell a story. Sometimes the best story is the one behind the song. Rooster is one of these songs. The story behind the song is what makes this song so significant. Let me tell you the story behind the lyrics…

Rooster was recorded at Eldorado Recording Studios in Burbank, California in 1992 on the bands second album, Dirt. It was released as a single on March 15, 1993. This song was written by AIC guitarist, Jerry Cantrell for his father, Jerry Cantrell Sr. His dad’s nickname was “Rooster” while serving with the US Army during the Vietnam war. He got this name due to the way his hair stood up as a young man. In a 1992 interview, Jerry Cantrell said “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 heard all the words. I was never in Vietnam and he won’t talk about it, but when I wrote this it felt right. I remember when we played it, he was back there with his big gray Stetson and his cowboy boots and at the end, he took his hat off and just held it in the air. He was crying the whole time.” Rooster peaked at No. 7 on the Billboard Rock chart. The song is just as popular today as it was 20 years ago. Tim Kennedy, MMA fighter and Army veteran, uses Rooster as his entrance theme at UFC events. The song is featured in movies like Terminator Salvation and This is 40. The video was directed by Mark Pellington and featured real Vietnam War footage. Cantell Sr. also appears in the video. His scenes were filmed on their family ranch in Atoka, Oklahoma. Rooster was also the last video to show the original bass player, Mike Starr. MTV pulled the video from circulation at first because of the graphic war scenes and footage. Cantrell Sr. joined the band on stage when they performed Rooster on October 19, 2007 at a show in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

This video shows what it was like during Vietnam and the struggles our armed forces faced. It’s an amazing story with equally as awesome lyrics.