Chris Cornell, to me, is music excellence personified. Obviously everyone loves and remembers his voice and how incredible it was, but I feel like people often overlooked how untouchable his songwriting was. His artistic range and complex musicality will never be matched. From the melt your face attitude of Badmotorfinger to the sensitive and emotional Euphoria Mourning, from the hard rock/funk combo on Audioslave’s Revelations to the mature, wise, and beautiful Higher Truth, Chris Cornell did everything and anything he wanted, and with the upmost dignity and grace.
I’m only 20 years old so I missed a lot of Chris’ career but for the last 5 years of my life he, and his music have meant more to me than I could ever imagine. I have heard every song, watched every interview, and read every article. My life has revolved around this mans music for years now and he means so much to me. Which is strange because I never got the chance to actually meet him.
I did however get to see him live in concert. September 20th 2015 at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles for his Higher Truth tour. It was absolutely incredible. My father and I have never really bonded over much but Chris Cornell’s music is one of the few things that we both love. He drove me and my best friend 6 hours to go see Chris that night, which ended up being the best night of my life. Chris opened up with Before We Disappear which just so happens to be my favorite song from Higher Truth. The second he started singing I lost it. I started crying. I’ve never had such an emotional reaction from music before. He gave me chills dozens of times that night. Hearing that voice in person with my own ears was surreal. It just further proved that Chris Cornell was the best ever. No fancy lights or effects, no dancers or fireworks, just a man pouring his heart out on stage with nothing but his acoustic guitar. I’ve never been happier than I was then. He was funny, charming, silly, and incredibly talented and all of those qualities were shown to me that night. Hearing him talk about where the song “Josephine” came from, and hearing him talk about his wife Vicky (who was in the audience) really showed me how much he loves her. That stuck with me. This man had it all, fame, money, and success, but all he wanted to do was talk about his wife and kids.
Chris Cornell is a hero of mine. A huge inspiration not only musically but as a human being. I always dreamt about having lunch with him sometime. I just wanted to talk to him. Not about how much he means to me or how talented he is. I just wanted to talk about life and listen to him ramble about how much he loves his family. He was so fascinating to me and he still is.
I miss him every day and I still get emotional sometimes just thinking about him. He helped me through the hardest times of my life. He inspired me to become a better musician and a better person and I could never thank him enough.
I wish I had a picture of him and I together that I could share, I wish I had the chance to meet him but I know I’m not alone in thinking that. So here’s my favorite picture of him, because he just looks so happy.