There Will Never Be Another Chris Cornell
Music is the soundtrack of our lives. Without it we would be soulless robots swimming in a sea of blackened nothingness. No matter the emotions; the struggles, or triumphs, we have certain musical acts that perfectly express who we are, or what we are going through at certain point in our lives. At the very least, the best artists draw us into specific genres we hold with reverence years after the style fades away, or merges into a style we don’t recognize. When critics and fans think of grunge music, the first band thought of is Nirvana, but for me and surely scores of others, grunge is Soundgarden.
As a kid I had a horrible taste in music, but one of my older sisters accidentally changed all that. She would blast bands like Hole, Pearl Jam, and Soundgarden that broke through her wall, into my ears before they took residence in my soul. Soundgarden quickly became one of my favorite bands, permanently taking a spot in my stereo; teaching me why the music we listen to has immeasurable value, and is the basis of our most cherished moments, as well as being the art form we depend on during our most darkest moments.
The last album they produced before their original break up; Down on the Upside is one of my favorite albums of all time, and is consistently in my rotation. Inside that album was a song I listened to during many of the dark moments in my life. The song is rarely, if ever mentioned as one of their best, but it spoke about life and loneliness, describing what it means to be alone, with just enough hope.
I think I know the answer,
I stumbled on and all the world fell down
And all the sky went silent
Cracked like glass and slowly
Tumbled to the ground
They say if you look hard
You’ll find your way back home
Born without a friend
And bound to die alone.
Listening to that song on the morning drive to work was more heartbreaking than ever before.
When I logged into my Facebook this morning and saw “R.I.P Chris Cornell,” I was crushed. I never met the man, but he was an artist who wrote some of the best songs of my youth. Spoonman, Black Hole Sun, Jesus Christ Pose, Outshined, Fell on Black Days, Hunger Strike, and countless other classics graced our world and left an indelible in music history.
Regretfully I never saw Soundgarden perform, but I saw Audioslave twice. One of those concerts was a free show on Hollywood Blvd.
It was first trip to California to visit a childhood friend. Along with the rest of the U.N, we went to a taping of Jimmy Kimmel Live where Audioslave performed for the show on that famous American street. They played a song for the show and then proceeded to continue the concert. After about three songs, Audioslave performed the Rage Against The Machine classic Killing In The Name Of; a minute in, a fan threw a pylon on stage, and the concert was shut down. The LAPD SWAT team arrived, and my friends and I got the hell out of there. It’s one of many moments I will never forget, and one I am glad to have experienced.
Like Bowie fans after that legend’s death, I feel the same for the untimely passing of Cornell. He was responsible for so much of my favorite music, and there will never be a duplicate. While other singers have voices that can be easily duplicated, no one will ever be like Cornell. His voice was completely original, and his lyrics were poetic. While some asshole will condemn me for taking this death hard while kids are dying in wars overseas, Cornell’s death leaves me saddened, while also grateful for being around for such great music.
This is the guy who played in a band that played this song.
There will never be another Chris Cornell, but our world sounded so good with him in it.