Chris Cornell Tribute

 

I wanted to do something to mark the untimely passing of Chris Cornell at the age of 52. He apparently committed suicide after a concert in Detroit. He had been a singer for Soundgarden, a major player in the emerging Seattle sound of the early 1990s. At this point, obituaries are ubiquitous on the web and I’m not sure I have anything to add to them.

It is weirdly ironic that I was listening to him about a week ago, maybe less. This clip of him playing “A Day in the Life” in anticipation of a future post. It is really impressive.

I also wanted to include the following clip. It is one of my favorite James Bond themes. I’ve seen all of the Bond movies and know how important each theme is. His was maybe the best one or two in at least thirty years. It captures the tone of the film perfectly.

Mostly, I wanted to leave a space for your comments.

Published in Entertainment
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Members have made 27 comments.

  1. Profile photo of Underground Conservative Coolidge

    One of my all-time favorites and had a good sulk today. So many of the singers I’ve liked are dead. Does that say something about me? I suppose it does. He sang like I felt for a while. I guess mine was merely a phase and his wasn’t. Very sad. Thanks for the post.

    • #1
    • May 18, 2017 at 8:08 pm
    • Like4 likes
  2. Profile photo of Jamie Lockett Reagan

    He had the best voice of all the 90s Grunge bands. A 5 octave range – magnificent.

    Soundgarden is one of the finest rock and roll bands to come out of America since the 70s and the first Audioslave album is an unsung masterpiece.

    • #2
    • May 18, 2017 at 9:04 pm
    • Like5 likes
  3. Profile photo of Jamie Lockett Reagan

    My wife and I decided to watch Casino Royale tonight….for Chris.

    • #3
    • May 18, 2017 at 9:05 pm
    • Like2 likes
  4. Profile photo of Knotwise the Poet Member

    I can’t claim to be a big Cornell fan, as I’m not familiar with much of his stuff beyond a couple of radio hits and a couple of others I heard on movie soundtracks. I like Black Hole Sun, his Bond Song, and “Seasons”. But my favorite song of his (and one of my favorite songs period) is “Like a Stone.” When I heard about his suicide on the radio this morning, that song is where my mind went to, as it’s about death. I played it for myself while getting my classroom ready before school started.

    • #4
    • May 18, 2017 at 9:41 pm
    • Like2 likes
  5. Profile photo of Paul Dougherty Member

    As pathetic as it may seem, I actually broke out my guitar after about seven years and was able to screech a solid set. A little Flower, Beyond the Wheel, Smokestack Lightning, Outshined, Searching ( with my good eye closed), Like Suicide (not the solo), and some Overfloater.

    I should think that a measure of success would be if the neighbors complained. They didn’t. I am just too old.

    • #5
    • May 18, 2017 at 9:42 pm
    • Like9 likes
  6. Profile photo of ERIC PIERSON Thatcher

    One of my favorite albums is Temple of the Dog. It was a combo of what would become Pearl Jam and Soundgarden. They put it together when Mother Love Bone’s lead singer Andy Wood OD’d. The little known Call Me a Dog is still one of my favorite songs.

    • #6
    • May 19, 2017 at 5:02 am
    • Like5 likes
  7. Profile photo of Aaron Miller Member

    Superunknown is one of my most-listened-to albums. My tribute.

    • #7
    • May 19, 2017 at 7:00 am
    • Like3 likes
  8. Profile photo of Jamie Lockett Reagan

    Blow Up The Oustide World is especially sad right now…

    Also has anyone noticed that Matt Cameron basically looks like Soundgarden’s accountant?

    • #8
    • May 19, 2017 at 8:14 am
    • Like2 likes
  9. Profile photo of Aaron Miller Member

    It’s crazy how many Seattle grunge rockers self-destructed. The frontmen of Soundgarden, Mother Love Bone, Blind Melon, Stone Temple Pilots, Alice in Chains, Nirvana… and even Ben McMillan of Gruntruck died early of diabetes (preventable, I’m sure).

    Eddie Vedder’s hanging in there.

    • #9
    • May 19, 2017 at 8:56 am
    • Like3 likes
  10. Profile photo of Quinn the Eskimo Member
    Quinn the Eskimo Post author

    Aaron Miller (View Comment):
    It’s crazy how many Seattle grunge rockers self-destructed. The frontmen of Soundgarden, Mother Love Bone, Blind Melon, Stone Temple Pilots, Alice in Chains, Nirvana… and even Ben McMillan of Gruntruck died early of diabetes (preventable, I’m sure).

    Eddie Vedder’s hanging in there.

    Being a famous musician is not an easy life. It’s not coal mining, but it has its challenges and temptations. Any musician faces a life in the spotlight, subject to criticisms fair and unfair. Loss of privacy. Success is subject as much to your talents as it is to a fickle audience and changing tastes. You are a magnet for people who want things from you. And extensive touring has to be a terrible lifestyle. Add to this, that if you are a grunge rocker, you have some measure of those emotions that make you perform grunge rock as opposed to say…gospel music.

    I’m surprised it doesn’t break more people.

    • #10
    • May 19, 2017 at 9:16 am
    • Like4 likes
  11. Profile photo of Aaron Miller Member

    Yes, but rate of suicide (slow or quick) isn’t usually this concentrated. Many musicians performed the blues without tearing themselves down. You don’t see country singers and crooners killing themselves by the dozen.

    I wonder if this is at all related to Seattle’s general culture which legalized euthanasia.

    • #11
    • May 19, 2017 at 9:54 am
    • Like1 like
  12. Profile photo of Quinn the Eskimo Member
    Quinn the Eskimo Post author

    Aaron Miller (View Comment):
    Yes, but rate of suicide (slow or quick) isn’t usually this concentrated. Many musicians performed the blues without tearing themselves down. You don’t see country singers and crooners killing themselves by the dozen.

    I wonder if this is at all related to Seattle’s general culture which legalized euthanasia.

    I think it is cultural, but not right/left cultural. Rural/urban. Maybe it’s religion. Maybe it’s patience with life that a rural lifestyle requires. Crop grow at their own pace.

    • #12
    • May 19, 2017 at 10:08 am
    • LikeLike
  13. Profile photo of Adriana Harris Member

    Thanks for your tribute to Chris Cornell. When I heard the news I was very upset. He’s one of my all time favorite singers. I’ve been listening to Sound Garden, Audio Slave and his solo albumns; what a fantastic voice! I hope he found the peace he was searching for.

    • #13
    • May 19, 2017 at 1:58 pm
    • Like3 likes
  14. Profile photo of Aaron Miller Member

    Quinn the Eskimo (View Comment):

    I wonder if this is at all related to Seattle’s general culture which legalized euthanasia.

    I think it is cultural, but not right/left cultural. Rural/urban. Maybe it’s religion. Maybe it’s patience with life that a rural lifestyle requires. Crop grow at their own pace.

    A friend had this to say:

    Aaron, he was supposedly clean for the past 15 years, they didn’t even allow beer backstage. The 27 club began before we were born with Morrison, Joplin, Hendrix, etc., so I don’t pin it on Seattle. Shannon Hoon was from Indiana, Bradley Newell was from the LBC, Scott Weiland had nothing to do with Seattle and despised being lumped in to that scene. I honestly believe those folks are literally out of their minds artistic and they never got to lead a ‘normal’ lifestyle. The pressure, the women, the hotels, the drugs, the travel, the press and on and on. Kurt, Layne and Chris never wanted the fame that they had bestowed upon them. My head is still spinning, I can’t make any sense of it no matter how hard I’ve tried to rationalize it. It. Is. Just. Sad.

    Whatever the reasons, it is indeed sad. I didn’t know Cornell, so I won’t try to get into his head. But I will miss his unique and varied songwriting.

    • #14
    • May 19, 2017 at 2:15 pm
    • Like2 likes
  15. Profile photo of Umbra Australis (umbrafractus) Coolidge

    Quinn the Eskimo (View Comment):

    Aaron Miller (View Comment):
    Yes, but rate of suicide (slow or quick) isn’t usually this concentrated. Many musicians performed the blues without tearing themselves down. You don’t see country singers and crooners killing themselves by the dozen.

    I wonder if this is at all related to Seattle’s general culture which legalized euthanasia.

    I think it is cultural, but not right/left cultural. Rural/urban. Maybe it’s religion. Maybe it’s patience with life that a rural lifestyle requires. Crop grow at their own pace.

    I think it’s more that grunge was an inherently depressive style of music, so it tended to attract already damaged people.

    • #15
    • May 19, 2017 at 2:24 pm
    • Like3 likes
  16. Profile photo of Wintermute Member

    I am listening to a Marc Maron Podcast, which is an interview with Chris (= WTF) from June of 2014. Good stuff!

    • #16
    • May 19, 2017 at 3:46 pm
    • Like2 likes
  17. Profile photo of Wintermute Member

    You can find the WTF podcast on iTunes and other services….

    • #17
    • May 19, 2017 at 3:49 pm
    • Like1 like
  18. Profile photo of Paul Dougherty Member

    Umbra Fractus (View Comment):

    Quinn the Eskimo (View Comment):

    Aaron Miller (View Comment):
    Yes, but rate of suicide (slow or quick) isn’t usually this concentrated. Many musicians performed the blues without tearing themselves down. You don’t see country singers and crooners killing themselves by the dozen.

    I wonder if this is at all related to Seattle’s general culture which legalized euthanasia.

    I think it is cultural, but not right/left cultural. Rural/urban. Maybe it’s religion. Maybe it’s patience with life that a rural lifestyle requires. Crop grow at their own pace.

    I think it’s more that grunge was an inherently depressive style of music, so it tended to attract already damaged people.

    Lets not rule out Detroit.

    (I can only be sullen for so long)

    • #18
    • May 19, 2017 at 4:37 pm
    • Like1 like
  19. Profile photo of JL Member
    JL

    WTF!!! NO!!!

    NO!

    How the hell….NO!

    • #19
    • May 19, 2017 at 4:47 pm
    • Like1 like
  20. Profile photo of JL Member
    JL

    Im just..

    Rest in Power

    • #20
    • May 19, 2017 at 5:12 pm
    • Like3 likes
  21. Profile photo of Schwaibold Member

    https://www.vevo.com/watch/audioslave/doesnt-remind-me/USUV70500639?syndicationid=bb8a16ab-1279-4f17-969b-1dba5eb60eda&shortlink=gZZEHk&country=US

    I always thought this song was optimistic, now it just makes me sad.

    • #21
    • May 19, 2017 at 5:27 pm
    • LikeLike
  22. Profile photo of Joseph Stanko Member

    Quinn the Eskimo (View Comment):

    Aaron Miller (View Comment):
    It’s crazy how many Seattle grunge rockers self-destructed. The frontmen of Soundgarden, Mother Love Bone, Blind Melon, Stone Temple Pilots, Alice in Chains, Nirvana… and even Ben McMillan of Gruntruck died early of diabetes (preventable, I’m sure).

    Eddie Vedder’s hanging in there.

    Being a famous musician is not an easy life. It’s not coal mining, but it has its challenges and temptations. Any musician faces a life in the spotlight, subject to criticisms fair and unfair. Loss of privacy. Success is subject as much to your talents as it is to a fickle audience and changing tastes. You are a magnet for people who want things from you. And extensive touring has to be a terrible lifestyle. Add to this, that if you are a grunge rocker, you have some measure of those emotions that make you perform grunge rock as opposed to say…gospel music.

    I’m surprised it doesn’t break more people.

    But why specifically the frontmen? The bass players and drummers go on the same tours, and experience many of the same temptations, but they don’t seem to crack nearly as often. Perhaps because they are less well recognized and can go out in public without being harassed? Or does it have something to do with the unique way that singers who also write their own lyrics bare their soul on stage night after night?

    • #22
    • May 19, 2017 at 5:30 pm
    • Like2 likes
  23. Profile photo of JL Member
    JL

    Joseph Stanko (View Comment):

    Quinn the Eskimo (View Comment):

    Aaron Miller (View Comment):
    It’s crazy how many Seattle grunge rockers self-destructed. The frontmen of Soundgarden, Mother Love Bone, Blind Melon, Stone Temple Pilots, Alice in Chains, Nirvana… and even Ben McMillan of Gruntruck died early of diabetes (preventable, I’m sure).

    Eddie Vedder’s hanging in there.

    Being a famous musician is not an easy life. It’s not coal mining, but it has its challenges and temptations. Any musician faces a life in the spotlight, subject to criticisms fair and unfair. Loss of privacy. Success is subject as much to your talents as it is to a fickle audience and changing tastes. You are a magnet for people who want things from you. And extensive touring has to be a terrible lifestyle. Add to this, that if you are a grunge rocker, you have some measure of those emotions that make you perform grunge rock as opposed to say…gospel music.

    I’m surprised it doesn’t break more people.

    But why specifically the frontmen? The bass players and drummers go on the same tours, and experience many of the same temptations, but they don’t seem to crack nearly as often. Perhaps because they are less well recognized and can go out in public without being harassed? Or does it have something to do with the unique way that singers who also write their own lyrics bare their soul on stage night after night?

    You just hear about the frontmen more. Example, here are the two greatest bassists of all time and their sad demises:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Jamerson

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jaco_Pastorius

    • #23
    • May 19, 2017 at 5:33 pm
    • Like2 likes
  24. Profile photo of Quinn the Eskimo Member
    Quinn the Eskimo Post author

    Joseph Stanko (View Comment):
    Perhaps because they are less well recognized and can go out in public without being harassed? Or does it have something to do with the unique way that singers who also write their own lyrics bare their soul on stage night after night?

    It is all probably cumulative. Also the pressure of being the face of the operation so that everything seems to the public to depend on you, whether it actually does or not.

    • #24
    • May 20, 2017 at 8:47 am
    • Like1 like
  25. Profile photo of Umbra Australis (umbrafractus) Coolidge

    Quinn the Eskimo (View Comment):

    I think it is cultural, but not right/left cultural. Rural/urban. Maybe it’s religion. Maybe it’s patience with life that a rural lifestyle requires. Crop grow at their own pace.

    Also, I’m not sure religion is a factor here, as Cornell was actually a recent convert to Orthodoxy (he married a Greek woman.)

    • #25
    • May 20, 2017 at 8:47 am
    • LikeLike
  26. Profile photo of Quinn the Eskimo Member
    Quinn the Eskimo Post author

    Different people respond to the rock star lifestyle. Paul McCartney and Bruce Springsteen seem to enjoy it. Roger Waters is a walking mass of human bitterness.

    • #26
    • May 20, 2017 at 8:50 am
    • Like1 like
  27. Profile photo of Joseph Stanko Member

    Quinn the Eskimo (View Comment):
    Roger Waters is a walking mass of human bitterness.

    He was for many decades, no doubt, but recent interviews suggest he’s finally found some sort of peace in life. He seems to at least be on speaking terms again with his former bandmates, who joined him on stage at one London show of his recent Wall tour. When I saw one of the Wall shows he talked on stage about how miserable he was during the original Pink Floyd tour, and how thankful he was to have the chance to do it again and enjoy it this time.

    • #27
    • May 20, 2017 at 12:50 pm
    • LikeLike