We met Chris during the Higher Truth Tour in 2015 at the F.M. Kirby Center in Wilkes-Barre, PA. I had entered a VIP Meet & Greet Contest on the www.chriscornell.com website and was selected as a winner (among others).

 My wife and I have been fans of Soundgarden, TOTD, Audioslave and ALL things Chris since the airwaves first graced us with his Voice and music almost 30 years ago. And, just like SO MANY others around the World, his music and voice became part of the fabric of our souls and shaped a large part of our “growing up” in that generation.
 They say you should never meet your Idols. So while it was a rare honor and privilege to meet him, the simple fact that he took the time out of his busy touring schedule to engage his Fans made him all that MORE special as a person to me.

I met a quiet, peaceful, gentle, man in that Green Room. The passion, incredible energy, and fury that would come out on stage were “somewhere else” at that moment. Here, in front of us, shaking and holding my hand…asking me, “Is She Going to Be OK?”, with a half smile look of concern and humor all at once in his voice and eyes….as you see, my wife was crying snot bubbles of Joy at meeting him.

Signing autographs on our items, I asked some questions about this and that. How was the Tour going? He said, “I think it’s going…well.” He still had thousands of miles to go before it would be done. Where had the songs on Higher Truth come from?….what did they mean?, he replied, “I wrote a lot of the songs…YEARS ago”.  I was wearing a Paul McCartney jacket from seeing Paul play only three nights before, in my hometown. Chris commented on it (he noticed it was missing a button) and that he hadn’t seen Paul in a few years. I’ll always cherish that experience and that night. He was the same birth year and age as my brother.

He was the most amazing person I’ve ever met, and not because of the “Celebrity”. You don’t often meet someone that you can feel instantly at ease and connected with. He was that. He was special. He completely impressed me as a guy you would want to share a joke with, be a friend of, call up and say, How’s it going? What are you up to? What’s on the menu for today?

He spent more time trying to put us all at ease…and before long, I think we all were.

An incredible human being who will be GREATLY missed, not only for his extraordinary musical talents and gifts, but for the love and light that he shared with the Whole World.

He said one last thing to me before it was time to go for the next group of Fans. “Take care of your Wife, Curt. That is something special. Promise to be a Friend to others in need. Share Music with others…no matter what kind it is, or whatever it is they like. Keep music with you.”

I hope he knows I’m keeping that promise.

Continued thoughts of hope and peace for his family, his wife Vicky, his Children, and for all his close friends. He will be Forever Remembered, Cherished, and Loved.

Curtis Shiffer

@DragonflySon
Chris Cornell