Dammit. This one was a surprise. My alarm went off at its usual 6:05 and I check my news feed. Ugh…I’ve spent the morning trying to process this one. Cornell wasn’t a mess. He seemed to be in really good health. 52. This really sucks.
Whenever playing the game of naming which musicians would make up your fantasy all-star band, Cornell was always my go-to guy on the mic. This dude’s pipes were so strong. I think he’ll be known for the high notes he could hit, but to me his voice just had that heft that most singers will never have. It had substance. It had weight. There was a power there that just pushed Soundgarden and Audioslave to places they couldn’t have reached without him. I’ve always said that of the Big 4 grunge bands to come out of Seattle, Soundgarden is the one that always stood out above the other three. Cornell was the main reason why. I’m glad I got a chance to see the reunited Soundgarden play live a couple of years ago. I will cherish the memory and will really miss never getting to hear him sing again in a live setting.
I’ve seen a lot of people posting songs and videos. Here’s mine. I remember hearing this song for the first time while watching Headbanger’s Ball on a Saturday night during my early days of college. It was just fucking weird and intense and chaotic and dangerous and unlike anything I had really heard before. I honestly wasn’t sure I even liked it, but I certainly couldn’t get it out of my head. This is the song that has been rolling around in my head since I heard the news this morning.
Rest in Peace, Mr. Cornell. We will all be forever looking California, but feeling Minnesota.