This is a new series which consists of me looking back at artists I love and have influenced me that are unfortunately no longer alive.
My earliest memory of Cornell is when I heard the song ‘Black Hole Sun’ playing on VH1 Classic when I was a pre-teen. As I usually do with every song I like, I searched all I could about the band, lead singer and songs.
You could say I was instantly hooked.
Black Hole Sun
The lyrics, particularly those of ‘Black Hole Sun’ really spoke to me, and I could tell from both the lyrics and my research that what Chris Cornell was singing truly came from his heart and how personal it was.
It’s just sort of a surreal dreamscape, a weird, play-with-the-title kind of song. He also that “lyrically it’s probably the closest to me just playing with words for words’ sake, of anything written. I guess it worked for a lot of people who heard it, but I have no idea how you’d begin to take that one literally. It’s funny because hits are usually sort of congruent, sort of an identifiable lyric idea, and that song pretty much had none. The chorus lyric is kind of beautiful and easy to remember.
Other than that, I sure didn’t have an understanding of it I was just sucked in by the music and I was painting a picture with the lyrics. There was no real idea to get across.” the song was misinterpreted as being positive, No one seems to get this, but ‘Black Hole Sun’ is sad. But because the melody is really pretty, everyone thinks it’s almost chipper, which is ridiculous!
Cornell battled drug addiction at a young age (13 years of age), to the extent of starvation. He starved so badly he had to be sent to rehab for a while to recover from both his drug addiction. He only got clean when he met his second wife, Vicky. Of this, he says, “It was a long period of coming to the realisation that [being sober] is better. Going through rehab, honestly, did help… it got me away from just the daily drudgery of depression and either trying to not drink or do drugs or doing them.
“They give you such a simple message that any idiot can get and it’s just over and over. But the bottom line is really, and this is the part that is scary for everyone, the individual kinda has to want it. Not kinda, you have to want it and to not do that crap anymore or you will never stop and it will just kill you.”
He was found dead inside the bathroom of his Detroit hotel room just mere hours after performing with Soundgarden. I found out about his death on my way to work and I was distraught. I couldn’t believe it, and it seems, neither did his wife, friends or fans all around the world. It was later revealed that he took his own life by hanging.
And this is why I wanted to start the series in the first place, because people would think something like “Kill himself why? He had everything: a great career, wife, family, money, fame…! What more could he possibly want?!”
You need to realise that famous people are also humans. They bleed like us, they have feelings like us, and they breathe like us. They feel happiness, anger and sadness just like the rest of us. So don’t you dare say “He had it all”.
He had everything and nothing. He was happy and sad. Living and not. (A metaphor which makes complete sense in my head but not in the writing, but I wrote it anyways because I don’t know how to explain it).