Lupus Thunder – Chris Cornell

Although I was privileged enough to find myself in the music industry as guitarist for the Bloodhound Gang and I met and shared the stage with many of the bands that influenced me, I never got to share the stage with Soundgarden.

But Chris did have an impact on me that sticks with me to this day.

It was during a headlining show in Philadelphia at the Troc during the Badmotorfinger tour, probably one of the last shows they played of that size. The show was insane and the band was ear splittingly loud. It was perfect end to end. At the very end of the show, Chris pushed his way into the crowd at the front of the stage, literally squeezing himself into a space that moments before didn’t exist. Everyone of course wanted to be right there and the pressure of that many people trying to get just a little closer was crushing.

Chris wound up standing right next to me. I was geeking out like any fan would and the music had descended into a hail of noise. Through that beautiful noise, Chris turned around and asked me for a cigarette. It was such a normal gesture that made this massive rockstar incredibly human. I of course gave him one (it was bent and beat up and everything that close to stage was damp with sweat). He took a few drags and stood their watching and truly appreciating his own band. You could see it on his face…he was loving watching it from the outside looking in. He asked me how the show was and I gushed about how awesome it was. To this day, I can still see the intro to Jesus Christ Pose in my head when I close my eyes. Eventually he thanked me and put his hand on my shoulder and used me and several others to work his way up and out of the crowd and back onto the stage to finish the show.

In that brief moment of interaction with Chris, I learned how the rockstars I idolized were really just people who loved music like I did. They wanted to go to shows and see bands and listen to their favorites just like I did.

And years later, when I was touring, I tried to live up to that. I always tried to give fans the time of day and hang out with them whenever I could. Chris had given me those few moments, where him and I were just two dudes at a show talking about the band in front of us, and I will never forget the way that made me feel.

No words can ever express the feelings I’ve experienced when thinking of you, his family. I hope the millions of fans out there will serve as a constant reminder of all the good your husband, your father, your friend, brought to the world. I’ve had Soundgarden on heavy rotation for awhile now and each record stands the test of time. That voice coming through my speakers is someone I idolized, but also someone who was just like me.

Thank you all for allowing me a moment to share this tiny fragment of memory I have. It’s something I have thought about so many times over my life and it’s a memory of Chris that means more to me than you can imagine.

Lupus Thunder

Chris Cornell