Stanton Payne – Chris Cornell

Vicky and family,

Thank you so much for sharing Chris Cornell with the world through his music, philanthropy, humanitarianism and legacy. As I was growing up, he has been a huge inspiration to me lyrically because many of his songs from Soundgarden, Temple of the Dog, Audioslave and his solo works relate to what I experience through my life up to this present day. I grew up in a small college town in Vermont where we have college radio stations and independently owned commercial radio stations nearby. I discovered Soundgarden in circa fall 1989/winter 1990 mostly by listening to college radio stations. I recall hanging out at one of my local college radio station, WRMC which is at Middlebury College because it was a few floors above the food service where my dad worked. The DJ’s were nice enough to let me hang out with them and give me a few promo cassettes and CD’s they no longer needed. They had early Soundgarden on vinyl in their archives including the promo for Louder Than Live. Since I only had Louder Than Love on cassette at the time, the DJ’s let me tape the Fopp EP, Ultramega O.K., Flower EP and Louder Than Live onto my blank cassette for my own personal use. Unfortunately, I somehow lost that radio recording of Louder Than Live and I was so disappointed. WRMC have also helped me broaden my musical horizon as I was getting into decent bands and artists.

All through my high school and college years, I have been constantly been listening to mostly college radio and independently owned radio stations because they have better playlists. I have always been collecting cassettes, CD’s and vinyl. I now have every releases spanning Chris Cornell’s entire career on almost every available format. I have only attended very few concerts because many major ones are too far away from home. I have had several missed opportunities of seeing Soundgarden and Audioslave in concert.

The only time I got to see Chris Cornell in concert was during the second leg of the Songbook tour in 2011. I recall begging on Twitter for Chris to come to Burlington, Vermont because the Flynn Center for Performing Arts was a perfect venue for a solo acoustic show. I was stoked when Chris Cornell added the Burlington, Vermont date to the tour. I immediately purchased presale tickets to that show. I scored seats in the third row. My girlfriend and I had goosebumps during the show which was phenomenal. Chris shared several stories and hilarious jokes in between songs. He had a wicked sense of humor. If I recall correctly, Chris really loved his fans in Vermont and during the encore, it was like he didn’t want to leave. Sadly, that was the last major concert I attended and the only time I got to see Chris. Chis is like a “brother” to me because of his lyrical inspiration in my life. I love him and miss him very much. I promise to keep his legacy alive by sharing his music with the younger generation and future generations to come.

Again, thank you so much for sharing Chris Cornell with the world. I wish you and your family nothing but the best.

Best Regards,

Stanton Payne

Chris Cornell