Posts Tagged ‘Chris Cornell’

I’ve already published a long reaction/opinion piece on the Chris Cornell tribute even – ‘I Am the Highway’, which focused mostly on the musical performances and the final Soundgarden performance.

Here, I wanted to create an additional space to talk about a different side of things: and specifically the speech Pearl Jam and Temple of the DogsStone Gossard made and the position he seemed to take on Wednesday night. The role Gossard was playing, beyond his musical presence, may have escaped some people.

A lot of people have been critical of the event, based largely on a dislike of Vicky Karyanis, who was the event’s primary organiser. (more…)

Advertisements

I did whole, very long piece already on the Chris Cornell tribute event on Wednesday night, in which I covered mostly everything.

But I really wanted to create this space here to talk solely about the final performance of Soundgarden and about that utterly beautiful, incredibly powerful final act.

Because it was just extraordinary: and I get goosebumps every time I think about it. And I’ll probably get goosebumps every time I think about it for the rest of my life. (more…)

So the Chris Cornell tribute concert took place on Wednesday night in Los Angeles.

The show was huge, with an array of high-profile performers and acts coming together to pay tribute to the late musical icon whose death in May 2017 is still reverberating across music fandom.

I wasn’t originally going to write about this event: but I had such a strong reaction to it and had so many mental notes that I figured I should. I’ve been such a deep fan of Chris Cornell for so long that it seemed silly to not react in writing.

Among those involved in the ‘I Am the Highway‘ event were Dave Grohl and Foo Fighters, Peter Frampton, Metallica and others: but also a lot of less-than-obvious performers, ranging from Miley Cyrus to Rita Wilson – which is a hell of a pendulum swing.

The show also didn’t try to scale down: it went on for five hours and turned out to be an enormous affair. I had known this event was on the horizon for a long time: but I somehow lost track of it until the night it was happening. I wasn’t sure exactly what this show was going to be, how it would feel to watch, what kind of tone would be found and whether it would generally go down well.

Something like this could be awkward or misfiring in bad circumstances.

And there were suspicions from some sections of the fans that this was going to end up being an overly ‘Hollywood’ event, disconnected from Cornell’s roots or the Seattle scene. I’ll address some of that at the end when I talk about Pearl Jam’s Stone Gossard and address some of the division that now exists among Cornell’s fans.

I don’t want to get into any of the conspiracy-theory side of things here: even though people have asked me to before (or have asked why I haven’t). Again, when I talk about Gossard, some of that will get touched on by default. But I really just want to talk about the music at this point.

And, in the final equation, things actually seemed to come together really well. I kept abreast of its progress on Wednesday night, and then I watched most of the online coverage of it on Thursday evening – which was an emotional experience, especially the way it ended.

There’s a lot of details to keep track of, and a lot of different names and performers to mention: and so I’m not going to try to cover the whole event. I just want to put down some notes from an overview of the five hours: and then focus on three main issues, these being (1) the FINAL appearance of Soundgarden, (2) the ending (oh my god, the ending), and (3) Stone Gossard‘s actions, his speech and some of what I read into it. (more…)

A statue of the late Soundgarden/Audioslave frontman and rock music legend, Chris Cornell, was recently unveiled in Seattle.

I haven’t been able to figure out how I feel about this monument, or what it’s meant to represent, or for who’s sake it has been erected.

My instinctive reaction to the images of it are that it seems like a tacky thing to do: and also seems like something Chris Cornell himself would not have wanted. (more…)

For at least two months after Chris Cornell died a year ago, I didn’t listen to any Soundgarden music or any other Cornell music at all.

And I avoided all videos or Cornell-related content.

I wrote something here right after his death was announced: and something a few months later when Cornell’s friend Chester Bennington committed suicide on Cornell’s birthday.

But, aside from that, I went cold-turkey. I was too upset, too emotional, about Cornell to carry on business as usual: and business as usual, for me, would’ve been to be listening to Soundgarden or Audioslave tracks or albums at least once or twice a week. (more…)

So this feels really weird now.
After Chris Cornell’s death back in May, I wrote one immediate article on the subject and then I consciously chose not to write anything more.

This was for the same reason that I chose not to get drawn into all the conspiracy theories and predictable ‘Illuminati ritual murder’ videos springing up on You Tube – I was too upset by the death of one of my genuine heroes and I didn’t want to complicate or infect my feelings any further by opening myself up to all those other things.

It’s much easier to take an objective, dispassionate overview of subjects or cases like this when you’re not emotionally invested in the individual person: but when it concerns someone you really care about or have a strong sense of connection to in your psyche, it is more difficult to stomach all the rabid theories and speculations or to assess the ‘evidence’ at all.

I still feel that way; and I am generally wary of the plethora of Illuminati-centered conspiracy theories/videos that immediately spring up every time anyone vaguely famous dies.

In some cases, there are genuine reasons a death needs to be looked at more closely, but in many cases it’s just people who dive blindly onto the conspiracy bandwagon for either click-bait or just ingrained (unhealthy) reflex.

I’m not someone who thinks every death is a conspiracy; and I still probably don’t think Chris Cornell was murdered. But the last couple of days have re-awoken niggling uncertainties.  (more…)

Sorry to anyone who is used to regular posts on this site – I’ve been having some difficulties and taking a break for a little bit.
But I wanted to make sure I put up something – anything – to pay tribute to Chris Cornell, who died on Wednesday night. The coroner’s initial report suggested it was suicide by hanging.

Which is a horrible, numbing end to one of the greatest singers, songwriters and lyricists who ever lived. And to one of my personal heroes for most of my life. He was 52 and had, in fact, just finished playing a sold-out show with Soundgarden, with further shows scheduled for the following days. He also had a wife who he appeared to be very much in love with and two young children.

His death – and the reported manner of it – is baffling and numbing to me; particularly as the official photographer for the Detroit show, who has been filming Soundgarden shows since the late 80s, reported that Cornell had seemed happier and in a more vibrant on-stage mood than he had ever seen him. (more…)

soundgarden_down-on-the-upside

Every couple of months, in the last few years, it seems like we’re reminded that it’s the ’20th anniversary’ of some great, landmark album by some great band or artist.

It is a constant reminder, to me, of what was going on two decades ago: of how much interesting, quality or enduring music was being created by a number of incredibly talented artists. I’ve marked some of those anniversaries already on this site; and every time I do it makes me long for that era and it also inevitably makes me compare it to the era, musically, we’re currently living in – which makes for a stark and obvious contrast. (more…)

z-soundgarden-the-least-bad-recycled-pic-626x469
It’s a testament to how much great music of genuinely enduring substance was being recorded and released 20 years ago that the term “20th anniversary” keeps cropping up in music journalism in regard to seminal albums that have more than stood the test of time.
I’ve written a couple of pieces on this blog along those lines, specifically in regard to Nirvana’s In Utero, Hole’s Live Through This, and a couple of others. Soundgarden’s classic 1994 album Superunknown is one of those era defining pieces of work that more than justifies the various coverage its 20th anniversary re-issues have garnered on-line and in the music press in the passed few months.

(more…)