Today is a bad day.

Posted: May 18, 2017 in Sometimes...

Never in 30 plus years has any radio broadcast awoken me for any reason.

Until today.

I was awakened at 4 AM by a voice on the radio talking about Soundgarden. 

At first, I thought something may have happened at a show, maybe they won an award or got inducted into the Hall of Fame or something.

The cobwebs cleared just in time to hear the words; “Chris Cornell, dead at 52”.

I laid in the dark, crippled with a swell of emotion I was not prepared to feel until I finally drifted back to sleep around 6.

I awoke again at 7 to my alarm and hoped I had dreamed it. But it was true. It was real.

Soundgarden has always spoken to me in a way that Nirvana or Pearl Jam never could. They weren’t part of the complaint-rock movement.

Rather, their aggression, intelligence, fucked-up time signatures and overdrive steeped guitars made them the next logical step for a 23 year old kid who’d seen his beloved Heavy Metal become parody at the hands of Firehouse, Warrant, White Lion, Poison and the rest of the hair band poseurs.

Attending Lollapalooza ’92 literally changed my life.

In my eyes, it was Chris Cornell who was the spokesman for Generation-X, not Kurt Cobain. 

Cobain’s inability to surmount the obstacles that simply being born into our generation placed in our path made him a casualty.

We needed a SURVIVOR to relate to.

Chris Cornell was that survivor. Having outlived his roommate Andy Wood was proof enough of that and their daily songwriting competitions have given the world some of the most perpetually relevant music there is.

In an era where the natural state of being an angry young man was becoming some sort of sin at the hands of the new “Kinder, gentler Nation”, Soundgarden gave those of us who were unashamed of this natural state an outlet for our aggression, without which, we’d have all eventually exploded into real-world violence.

And that voice-

In a vast sea of Eddie Vedder clone, Scott Stapp phony baritones (there is only ONE Eddie Vedder), Chris Cornell went out of his way to remind us that a four-octave range was simply BETTER than the continuous drone of pale facsimiles.

As the man himself observed; “No one sings like you anymore”.

The only Pearl Jam album that means anything to me, or that I’ve ever owned, for that matter, is Ten.

I have had the entire Soundgarden catalog in my possession throughout the years and with their return in 2012 with “King Animal” was a glimmer of hope in a wilderness of souless, homogenized pap.

His brief, hysterical cameo in the Cameron Crowe 90’s classic “Singles” made him infinitely cooler in my book.

The deaths of Lemmy and David Bowie were devastating. The loss of Chris Cornell has a deeper emotion. Because as much as I loved them all, Lemmy and Bowie were lent to us by the generation before.

We were Generation-X and Chris Cornell belonged to US.

The death of Kurt Cobain gave Generation-X a pulpit from which to orate our collective ethos, an outward image to hang our identities upon.

The death of Chris Cornell closes the door on our relevance in a world where even our own alienation feels foreign.

But as long as there is one angry young person who doesn’t fit in and has no desire to do so, Drawing Flies will be heard at unreasonably high decibel levels.

Sleep well, sir.

  1. Gia Ness says:

    Thank you for sharing your perspective and for putting into words the feeling many of us had upon hearing this news this morning.

  2. Michael Draper says:

    Thanks, Fud.

  3. Michele says:

    Very well written and so very sad.His music will live on in our ears forever.I remember when his guitar was kidnapped after a bad breakup and thought how sad he must have been.Fly high in happiness,rest in peace Chris.I will still play your music really loud.
    RIP Michele

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