James Heal – Chris Cornell

I loved Soundgarden. There was something about the sound that Chris, Matt, Ben and Kim made from Badmotorfinger through to King Animal that clung to me through thick and thin. Some bands you have a personal shelf life with, you still like them but you move on for whatever reason. But not Soundgarden. During the time they split, I appreciated Chris’ other work but I never stopped listening to Soundgarden. Chris was a master songwriter, guitarist and lyricist, and in my opinion he was at his best musically playing alongside the Soundgarden guys. I’m so glad they had a chance to get back together, write great new music and tour again.

Back in 1996, I thought I’d hexed the band. I made a specific choice to listen to them as my last music of 1996 before New Year struck. The following year they split up. This must’ve happened before with another band because I felt I was causing this to happen! To this day I make sure I don’t listen to anyone I really love before New Year just in case I mess with their legacy!

Chris always made interesting choices. Clearly he followed his heart, moving from project to project as the musical urge took him. It’s so sad we will never get to see where his next musical choice would have taken him, even sadder that there will be no further Soundgarden albums. But I’m appreciative for all the work he committed to tape – a lifetime of beautiful songs and singing for us all to enjoy.

RIP Chris, I’m listening.


Chris Cornell