It seems that I must once again be the bearer of bad news as Soundgarden lead singer Chris Cornell has passed away. Reports are that this took place not long after a concert performance in Detroit, and according to the latest updates from law enforcement that was noted by TMZ, authorities needed to break into his room where they found Cornell unresponsive with a band around his neck. They are ruling this a suicide and this simply breaks my heart. The photos I’ve used in this reflection were snapped by me when I was in the crowd during a “Live On Letterman” performance by the band. They were from my point and shoot and phone since no professional rigs were permitted in the studio. Oddly enough, it was the only time that I would ever see the band in concert.
Chris Cornell was a performer that I had been a fan of for a very long time and I am speaking decades here. I remembered there were often listening sessions at friends places way back when where each of us would compare the finds that we had “discovered” and while I was generally the more Metalized prospector, some others were shining some light on the stuff coming out of Seattle. I first heard Soundgarden on my friends local radio show and am pretty sure that the first song for me was “Loud Love” when the track was still very new and NOT something that you would hear anywhere on a mainstream station. These were the things that made both the college radio and underground radio stations so very special.
As a huge fan of Mother Love Bone back during these referenced times, I found great musical pleasure in the tribute that Cornell had assembled in Temple Of The Dog for his late friend Andrew Wood and while that group was recently reassembled for some tour dates, I couldn’t work it out to document when they hit our region. Of course the hope was that a return to the area would be forthcoming and now, well, now is now and this shall never come to pass.
Despite really loving the Soundgarden material (especially the now referred to as “classics” based on the amount of years the world had gotten to absorb them), they were never a band I managed to catch in concert and I was always relying on some quality live clips on YouTube to enjoy and rock out to in the comfort of my own home.
As many know, Cornell also had fronted Audioslave for a number of years and was an accomplished solo performer. Speaking personally, I didn’t take to the Audioslave stuff as much as I did the Soundgarden or even TOTD but did find his solo work to be loaded with passion. I always viewed Cornell as someone who could sing the phone book to the world and make it something special. His soaring register took you to places that so few others can in music and one can only imagine how hard this is going to be now that this voice has been silenced.
As is my usual practice with these reflections, I defer you to the artists official Wikipedia entry as so much more has been documented over the years than I could possibly address in a few brief sentences. It makes sure that I don’t leave anything out that you might want to know. My heart is with the family and his loved ones during this time along with his many bandmates and the worldwide throng of fans that are most probably having a truly difficult time with this circumstance. Thank you for the music Chris, you were really one of Rocks most inspiring vocalists and for this to be the manner than you’ve chosen to leave us, I can say that its far too soon with so many more stories to sing about. I hope you are at peace from whatever things were going on in your personal world and that you know you left a lot of people very sad behind on this plane. May you Rest In Peace. “Now it seems like too much love is never enough, you better seek out another road Â´cause this one has ended abrupt,…Say Hello 2 Heaven”.
Official Artist Wiki: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chris_Cornell