I remember having a conversation about the death of John Lennon with my mother once, who is one of the main people responsible for my love of music, and I’ll never forget how she recounted that moment with pinpoint accuracy. Every minute detail was still vivid in her mind. “You never forget something like that” she said. It’s only just now that I truly understood what she meant by that.
Music is one of those things that truly affects you. In my opinion, there’s nothing more powerful in this world — except maybe an atomic bomb and the human heart. Which is probably why when I heard the news this morning, it felt like a bomb went off inside my chest.
Every generation of music lover has their heroes. Chris Cornell was definitely one of mine.
I was 9 years old when Superunknown came out in 1994. Like most people who grew up in the 90’s — I learned pretty much everything I knew at the time about music by watching the Countdown on Much Music; which is where I first saw this video:
From that point on, I was hooked on Soundgarden. Matter of fact, one of the first albums I ever bought with my own money was Superuknown, and later BadMotorFinger. Those two albums were the driving force that sent me down the rabbit hole towards all things grunge and doom-laden.
Obviously, Chris Cornell was a savage vocally; but as I got older and started playing music myself, I realized just how great he was as a songwriter.
Heard it from another room
Eyes were making up just to fall asleep
Love’s like suicide
Dazed out in a garden bed
With a broken neck lays my broken gift
Just like suicide.
There’s an eerie beauty to that.
After the break-up of Soundgarden, Chris made what could have been a very dangerous and stigma riddled decision that’s been the demise of many a fallen front-man in music — by joining a “super-group” with members of Rage Against the Machine (Chris Cummerford, Brad Wilk, and Tom Morello) called Audioslave — which went on to release not one, but two kick ass albums that spawned some pretty big hits like Cochise, Show Me How To Live, and Gasoline.
No doubt Chris was best known for his rock vocal — but for me – he really stood out on slower songs like I am the Highway, Like a Stone, and my personal favorite Audioslave song, Getaway Car.
I’d like to thank everybody who took the time to write and call in today to express their sadness, and to share the kind words. It really meant a lot — and just in case you missed it; Q93 paid a little tribute to Chris this morning — you’ll find the audio below.