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Susan Jean Silver (born July 17, 1958) is an American music manager, best known for managing Seattle Rock bands such as Soundgarden, Alice in Chains and Screaming Trees.[3][4] Silver also owns the company Susan Silver Management,[5] and co-owns the club The Crocodile in Seattle.[6]

Susan Silver
Susan Jean Silver[1]

(1958-07-17) July 17, 1958 (age 61)[1]
EducationUniversity of Washington
OccupationMusic manager, entrepreneur
Years active1983–present
Chris Cornell
(m. 1990; div. 2004)



Early lifeEdit

Silver was born in Seattle, Washington on July 17, 1958, to Samuel and Emmogene (Jean) Silver.[2] She is the oldest of three children.[1][2]


Silver started working as a music manager in 1983.[3] Her first clients were the bands The U-Men and First Thought.[3] In 1985, Silver met Soundgarden, whose lead vocalist was her then-boyfriend Chris Cornell, and in the following year she started managing the band.[3] Back then, Silver was also managing Screaming Trees.[3]

At the same time that she was managing Rock bands, Silver was also the manager of a John Fluevog shoe store in Seattle.[7] The store would become famous years later for selling the Dr. Martens boots worn by several members of Grunge bands from Seattle.[7] One of Silver's co-workers at the store at the time was Kevin Martin, lead vocalist of Candlebox.[7]

In 1988, Silver met music manager Kelly Curtis.[3] Curtis and his friend Ken Deans owned a company, and Deans was the manager of the band Alice in Chains.[3] Deans gave Silver a cassette tape of Alice in Chains and she liked it.[8] Silver then went to an Alice in Chains concert and thought they were fun and very energetic.[8] When Curtis became interested in working with the band Mother Love Bone, Deans decided that he didn't want to work with Alice in Chains anymore, so he offered the managing job to Silver and Curtis,[8] who started co-managing the band.[3][8] Curtis and Silver passed on the Alice in Chains demo tape The Treehouse Tapes to Columbia Records' A&R representative Nick Terzo, who set up an appointment with label president Don Ienner.[9] Based on that demo, Terzo signed Alice in Chains to Columbia in 1989.[9] Some time later, Curtis started managing the band Pearl Jam, and Silver became the sole manager of Alice in Chains.[3]

In 1996, Silver was featured on the Doug Pray documentary Hype!, talking about the Seattle music scene.[10]

Among Silver's clients in the 90s were the bands Hater,[11] Inflatable Soule,[12] Crackerbox,[13] Sweet Water,[13] Sponge,[13] singer Kristen Barry,[4][14] and producer Terry Date.[4]

In 1998, Silver retired from the music business to concentrate on her family.[3] In 2005, Silver and Deborah Semer formed a new company in Seattle, Atmosphere Artist Management. Their first client was the music and dance group Children of the Revolution.[15]

Alice in Chains was inactive from 1996 until 2005. After lead vocalist Layne Staley died of a drug overdose in 2002,[16] the band only performed in public again in February 2005 for a benefit concert with guest vocalists in Seattle.[17] After that experience, the band called Silver and said they wanted to tour as Alice in Chains again.[18] The band released their first album with new vocalist William DuVall in September 2009, Black Gives Way to Blue.[19] The album debuted at No. 5 on the Billboard 200 chart, and was certified gold by the RIAA in 2010 for shipments in excess of 500,000 copies in the United States.[20]

Since 2009, Silver co-manages Alice in Chains along with David Benveniste and his company Velvet Hammer Management.[21]

Other venturesEdit

Since 2009, Silver co-owns the club The Crocodile in Seattle along with Alice in Chains' drummer Sean Kinney,[22][23] Capitol Hill Block Party co-founder Marcus Charles,[6] Peggy Curtis,[6] and Portugal. The Man guitarist Eric Howk.[6]

In 2013, Rolling Stone named The Crocodile as one of the best clubs in America, ranked at No. 7.[24]

Personal lifeEdit

Silver majored in Chinese at the University of Washington.[25]

In 1985, Silver started dating Chris Cornell, the lead vocalist of Soundgarden, a band that Silver started managing a year later,[25][26][3] and they got married in 1990.[27] Cornell wrote the song "Moonchild" from his debut solo album Euphoria Morning for Silver.[28] The couple's first and only child, a daughter named Lillian Jean, was born in June 2000.[29] The couple divorced in 2004.[30]

When asked about his heroes during a press conference in 2002, Alice in Chains' vocalist and guitarist Jerry Cantrell named Silver as one of his heroes.[31] Cantrell also thanked Silver for being one of the people who helped him get into rehab during his speech at the MusiCares MAP Fund Benefit on May 31, 2012, where he was awarded the Stevie Ray Vaughan Award.[32]


  1. ^ a b c d David De Sola (August 4, 2015). "Alice In Chains: The Untold Story". Google Books. Thomas Dunne Books. p. 101.
  2. ^ a b c "Emmogene Molly (Jean) Silver". January 23, 2017. Retrieved December 21, 2018.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Susan Silver". Stargate. Archived from the original on June 2, 2017. Retrieved December 21, 2018.
  4. ^ a b c "Faces To Watch In '91 -- A Look At Up-And-Comers Who Will Be Helping To Shape The Arts This Year". The Seattle Times. January 6, 1991. Archived from the original on June 3, 2017. Retrieved December 21, 2018.
  5. ^ "Recording Academy's Pacific Northwest Chapter Elects Leadership". Mix Online. August 25, 2003. Retrieved December 21, 2018.
  6. ^ a b c d "The Return of The Crocodile". The Stranger. March 26, 2009. Retrieved December 21, 2018.
  7. ^ a b c Mark Yarm (September 6, 2011). "Everybody Loves Our Town: An Oral History of Grunge". Google Books. Three Rivers Press. pp. 355–356.
  8. ^ a b c d Mark Yarm (September 6, 2011). "Everybody Loves Our Town: An Oral History of Grunge". Google Books. Three Rivers Press. p. 177.
  9. ^ a b Music Bank (Media notes). Alice in Chains. Columbia Records. 1999. 69580.CS1 maint: others (link)
  10. ^ "Hype! Film". Retrieved December 30, 2018.
  11. ^ "Soundgarden: New Metal Crown". Google Books. September 15, 1995. Retrieved December 21, 2018.
  12. ^ "Inflatable Soule Is Band That Is On Its Way Up". The Seattle Times. August 19, 1994. Retrieved December 21, 2018.
  13. ^ a b c "Chris Cornell, Searching for Solitude". Pitchfork. May 19, 2017. Retrieved December 21, 2018.
  14. ^ "Kristen Barry". These Streets. Retrieved December 21, 2018.
  15. ^ "Susan Silver creates Atmosphere Artist Management". January 6, 2005. Retrieved December 21, 2018.
  16. ^ "The Last Days of Layne Staley". Rolling Stone. June 1, 2002. Retrieved December 21, 2018.
  17. ^ "Kinney drums up enthusiastic response for tsunami benefit". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. February 17, 2005. Retrieved December 21, 2018.
  18. ^ "Putting The Band Back Together". PollstarPro. February 17, 2010. Retrieved December 21, 2018.
  19. ^ Lipshutz, Jason (September 18, 2009). "Alice in Chains back in "Black" after 14 years". Reuters.
  20. ^ "ALICE IN CHAINS Strikes Gold With 'Black Gives Way To Blue'". Blabbermouth. May 25, 2010.
  21. ^ "Alice In Chains Signs With Virgin/EMI". April 25, 2009. Archived from the original on April 27, 2009. Retrieved December 21, 2018.
  22. ^ "Legendary Crocodile, the cradle of grunge, rocks into its next stage". The Seattle Times. March 21, 2009. Retrieved December 21, 2018.
  23. ^ Gillian G. Gaar (February 2, 2010). "Alice in Chains' Homecoming". Seattle Weekly. Retrieved December 21, 2018.
  24. ^ "The Best Clubs in America / 7. The Crocodile in Seattle". Rolling Stone. March 28, 2013. Retrieved December 21, 2018.
  25. ^ a b Jae-Ha Kim (April 27, 1997). "Susan Silver steers careers toward rock stardom". Chicago Sun-Times. Archived from the original on November 25, 2004. Retrieved December 21, 2018.
  26. ^ "Becoming Chris Cornell: Inside the Early Days of Soundgarden". Billboard. May 15, 2017. Archived from the original on May 29, 2017. Retrieved December 21, 2018.
  27. ^ "Chris Cornell: His Rise to the Top of the Seattle Scene". People. May 18, 2017. Archived from the original on May 22, 2017.
  28. ^ "Chris Cornell Talks 'Euphoria Morning' in 1999 SPIN Interview". SPIN Magazine. May 18, 2017. Retrieved December 21, 2018.
  29. ^ "Chris Cornell Feels "Euphoria" With Newborn Daughter". MTV. July 6, 2000. Archived from the original on August 4, 2017. Retrieved December 21, 2018.
  30. ^ "Chris Cornell, Singer with Soundgarden and Audioslave, Dies at 52". Billboard. Archived from the original on May 18, 2017. Retrieved December 21, 2018.
  31. ^ "Alice in Chains' Jerry Cantrell: "Layne Staley, Sean Kinney and Susan Silver are my heroes"". YouTube. Retrieved December 21, 2018.
  32. ^ "Jerry Cantrell Thanks Alice in Chains' Manager Susan Silver in his Stevie Ray Vaughan Award Speech". YouTube. Retrieved December 21, 2018.

Further readingEdit

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