…Seems I (went to see) Temple of the Dog!!!”
It isn’t an accident that my blog got my husband for me. The brilliant but deceased Andrew Wood of Mother Love Bone put together a most amazing lyric to a song I once wrote about on my blog, and when my husband thoughtfully responded to it, that’s when I knew I had to meet him.
1) He took the time to read my blog
2) He carefully and eloquently responded to it
3) The song was “Man of Golden Words” by Mother Love Bone. I got to hear it, in the fifth row, standing next to him, four and a half years after his fated message. The subject is also lyrics from the song.
It may take me more than one blog to explain Saturday night. When I was ten years old and Pearl Jam took my breath away, I discovered Mother Love Bone and the tribute act, Temple of the Dog, too. In a matter of days, I could sing every word, intone every bass line, sway my head to every guitar riff and kick my foot to every bass drum hit.
Was Eddie at the show like I had wished with all my heart? No. Did that change the fact that it was absolutely amazing? No. Chris Cornell. That should be all I have to say. But it was truly Chris Cornell with Pearl Jam (excluding Eddie.) And, though fans were surprised and probably dissappointed that Vedder didn’t show for this 10-date-only U.S. tour, Chris was more than amazing to us. He had us back him on “Hunger Strike.” He played “Man of Golden Words” by himself with an acoustic, then melodically transitioned into a brief mix of “Comfortably Numb.” He opened the song up with heartfelt words about what Andy meant to him, and how Andy made him a better songwriter, and how he couldn’t even listen to this song for a very long time after his passing.
They played the entirety of the Temple of the Dog album, and a generous number of tracks from Mother Love Bone’s Apple. They covered Green River and Black Sabbath…they did two encores. They did not play “Captain Hi-Top” and I bring this up because it has become a hilarious favorite of my husband’s because Andy inquires in a raucous call, “Where’s that chicken gumbo, baby?” I told him he should shout the question to Chris.
I can’t explain how I felt. I should have been screaming. I should have wanted to pass out like Beatlemania…and still, two days later, I feel like it was a dream I had, looking through glass. I remember feeling a bit detached. My eyes saw them. They were five rows away from me. My ears heard them. My whole body contorted, gyrated, sang, screamed, pumped fists, “interpretive danced” to the lyrics…and yet, it still feels distant, though not in a bad way.
Do I have a balance on my credit card? DO I EVER! Did I buy a lot at the merch table? Well, I bought a tee, a sticker and my very first ever rock n’ roll hoodie. (I adore it.) Did I spent a lot on a hotel, gas, food, etc.? Yeah. Do I regret any of it? Hell no. Though this meant more to me than to my husband, I am glad he was there. I’m glad because he used the sentiments, “Words and music/my only tools […] let’s fall in love with music/the driving force of our living/the only international language/divine glory/the expression/the knees bow, the tongue confesses…the Lord of Lords, the King of Kings…” to snare me. He said he agreed, and that we had how we FELT about music in common for sure.
We vary greatly in many ways, but this we will always share.
When I was ten, I said, “Holy shit, if Soundgarden and Pearl Jam ever went on tour, I’d sell my soul to see them.” That was nearly 25 years ago. My expenses are justified in that, my soul is in tact. One of my life’s biggest dreams has come true. Now, if only I could get to meet Eddie…
Be well and Rock ON!