Dianne Topping – Chris Cornell

There is a hole in my soul that will never be filled; such is the emptiness left by his passing. My heart is shattered into a million little pieces.

Chris Cornell was a blindingly brilliant talent whose life-light was extinguished far too soon; a humble and gentle man, beautiful inside and out, leaving a legacy that will live forever in our minds and in our hearts.

That one brief moment of walking on air because we got talking on Twitter; me, a nobody from Melbourne, Australia, alone in the office in the early hours of the morning; him suffering from insomnia, about how we both loved to smoke but had given it up but some days still craved that deep inhalation and the rush it brought and how he’d taken up guitar playing to keep his fingers busy; about the lyrics to Men At Work’s ‘Downunder’ and the meaning of the word ‘chunder’; of the 13 year drought we were suffering from at the time; how if it wasn’t for the fans he would still be cleaning fish in restaurants; of not recognising me because I’d changed my avatar so I changed it back; of offering free VIP passes to any of his shows if we came over; of going to the show at the Wiltern on 3 May 2009, going backstage and Pete Thorn saying ‘Oh, you’re the ones! He’s been talking about you guys’ because we’d flown from Melbourne to see him and the band perform and standing 3 feet away from Brad Pit, BRAD PITT, and not saying anything because I was too shy and didn’t want to intrude.

How lucky was I to see him perform in all his different guises; from Audioslave on 26th April 2003; to Soundgarden at the Gorge 30th July 2011; to his songbook tours; to Temple of the Dog twice in San Francisco on 10th and 11th November 2016; and finally meeting him in Melbourne on 3rd December 2015 and him saying that I looked familiar and that he remembered the Wiltern gig from 2009; the slight tinge of regret in his voice because he’d given his Triumph to Peter, not for the gift but for the ‘what if’s’; and the hug, a real tight hug and saying ‘Thank you’ and me saying ‘No, thank you’. He re-awaken my love of music all on his own because of who he was; to the people I’ve met and the things that I’ve done if it wasn’t for him. Thank you is not enough.

That one brief moment of walking on air; there is a hole in my soul that will never be filled, such is the emptiness left by his passing.

I hope he is at peace now and forever.

‘No-one sings like you anymore.’

Melbourne, Australia.

Chris Cornell