Last night on the ride home Jake & I discussed and critiqued the performance of Chris Cornell and Soundgarden. We had spent the evening at the Fox Theater in Detroit. We were basking in the never ending 90’s grunge rock scene of bad attitudes, squealing guitar, straight forward rock drumming, vigorous bass thumping and a gem of a voice howling above the music. Soundgarden can only be described as haunting while envigorating at the same time.
The voice Cornell uses to scream out lyrics like “Blackhole sun won’t you come and wash away the rain” and “Outshine” is not quite the same as the voice you hear on his more personal acoustic albums and performances of covers like “Imagine” and “Billie Jean”. Both styles come from one man’s voice and can transport a listener to so many places.
In the 90’s, Seattle was the place for rock, especially grunge angst ridden rock & roll. The scene there was intense with loads of great artists all coming from one area, like there’s something in the water. That generation of artists, seems to have such a plague on their souls. In the Seattle grunge scene, the first big one I remember was Andrew Wood from Mother Love Bone (heroin overdose), then the most famous suicide of my generation, Kurt Cobain of Nirvana (also a heroin addict, chose a shotgun to seal his fate). Then a little later on, we all listened a bit deeper to Layne Staley’s words for Alice In Chains when drug addiction took his life in 2002. Now, add Chris Cornell to the graduating bunch of Seattle grunge rockers stepping through the gates of life… and what do you have left, Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam.
Friends, I cannot even begin to fathom what is happening in Chris Cornell’s family right now. He was a father, lover and a friend well before he was our grunge howler. I pray they find some type of releif and comfort in the love that so many of his fans feel for him. I wish we would have been friends with him so he could have come over last night after the show, have a beer, rap about the in ear monitor mix and the show. Just so he didn’t have to go to that hotel room all alone.
Lastly, please, get help. If you have a drug addiction, or if you are depressed and suicidal, there are people who care about you, places you can go for support. If all else fails, call or email me, I’m happy to talk or just listen.