Another day…..another musician in my life has passed away. Chris Cornell. Soundgarden, Audioslave….and….Temple of the Dog….well….mostly the Hunger Strike song. I will admit…..I came to him and grunge late. In the late 80’s and early 90’s I was still banging my head with all the “long-hairs” at my local live music club. I was smoking and drinking and going to college and post-grad school. I was in constant pursuit, just like that Poison song Nothing but a good time. And then…….AND THEN…….okay….there is no other way to put it……Grunge killed metal…..and, for me…the battle was bloody. First I was having fun…even when my neck hurt…..then all this deep dark, depressing crap on the radio. So, like any good little head-banger….I rebelled. I quit listening to “new music” and started listening to oldies. You know….Rolling Stones, Zepp, AC/DC. (This is a whole ‘nother blog post….)
Somewhere in early 2000, I pulled my head out. Okay…not true. I watched every single Behind the Music and realized…..wow….it is possible that between Nirvana and Pearl Jam (whom I had rigorously boycotted…I mean c’mon……they killed metal) some other good music was produced. Sometime after I fell in love with Foo Fighters, No Doubt, Collective Soul…..I discovered Soundgarden and Audioslave…but, if I was honest….I fell in love with Chris Cornell’s voice. So…I “hated” grunge….but, liked this stuff. Yes…I know…it sound alike….whatever. That is also when I discovered Hootie and Gin Blossoms and all those other light grunge bands. Or whatever they were.
Since then I have been making up for lost time. I will admit that while I liked the voice and the music…I never got into the minutia of their music….by that I mean..I can’t name every member, what their instruments are, what bands they’ve been in and blah blah….this is something I have done since young….I have more music facts and information in my head than people would think. And…..it is something I stopped doing after I went to metal’s funeral.
So….suicide? I don’t know. He was married? Kids? No idea. But, he was my age-ish. At my age, I have learned that nothing lasts forever. If I forget that, I have also learned…..things change. And, I know that wanting to harm myself is not normal…..so…it bums me out when people over 25 do it.
I could go into my “musicians are temperamental, hormonal girls (even when they are men) and that most artists are “tortured”……but, that helps nothing.
I googled him….read this article. In it, he says……”I was driving home from a restaurant gig thinking: ‘It doesn’t matter to me if it’s hugely successful, it matters that we get to create our own songs and art. I don’t care if I have to break concrete if that supports the art,’ ” he said. “I didn’t want to play Police covers in the back of a Chinese restaurant, that’s not me. … Something felt really settled in me when I thought that.”
Now…this I can relate too……I have come to the place in my life/writing career….where….I no longer have a list of “must-haves (house, good job, expensive clothes, etc). I want to write. I want to do it by the beach. And, now I can. I have a new plan. Once I decided what I wanted to do…..I also got calm and settled inside. I am no longer worried about the future. I am looking forward to it. After years of upheaval and recovery from stupidity and circumstance…..I am in a great place.
He was young. I think he had a lot more to give us. He is gone too soon. I am thankful for the music legacy he left. R.I.P. Chris Cornell.