“I never wanted to write these words down for you” (Chris Cornell, Temple of the Dog)
I know. You’ve been patiently waiting my pontifications on this past week’s tragic loss of one of the best musicians from my (our) time. Thank you. I know you understand.
On Wednesday, May 24th, we lost the prophetic Chris Cornell to a sad suicide. He finished his concert with a raucous version of Led Zeppelin’s “In My Time of Dying,” returned to his hotel room, and ended his life by hanging himself in the bathroom.
On Friday evening, my husband and I solemnly inserted my original Temple of the Dog CD into his car CD player…and just listened…in homage, in honor, as a memorial. I felt a terrible winding in my chest…a noose of sadness, squeezing the air from my already asthmatic lungs.
I’m sure I forgot that Chris wrote Temple of the Dog almost entirely by himself. He was Andy Wood’s roommate. He was a rock god; there was, and never will be again, anyone to take his place. “Say Hello” in particular, brought on such emotion that I had to crack the car window and breathe in the early spring air deeply.
Earlier, I’d been driving by myself and I just opened the communication line between this world and the next thing…and I told Cornell how I felt. I thanked him for everything. I told him I’d miss him dreadfully. I didn’t ask him why. I understand clinical depression; I don’t understand, thankfully, addiction and alcoholism. I imagined that great line in “In My Time of Dying” where Plant rasps, “OH MY JESUS!” and talks about Jesus meeting him in the sky to give him wings. I knew, that while we mourn, Chris is, at last, at peace.
But this world will never be the same without him, his amazing voice, his plethora of talents.
Reach down, Chris. Reach down and pick the crowd up.
We love you.
Respectfully rocking for you,