Truth be told, no famous persons death has affected me.
When I was younger, I thought I cared that Michael Jackson died, but looking back on it, I really didn’t. It was just a shock that someone so familiar, so universally famous and loved had died.
After that, it was weird to me. Being upset at a famous persons death was weird to me; they’re a normal person. I wouldn’t be so affected if another normal person died. I wondered how people cried, screamed, ripped their hair out and locked themselves away when a famous person died. It was so weird.
Whitney Houston died, and I didn’t care about her.
David Bowie died, and despite being a huge fan of his, I was shocked but I didn’t care.
Prince died, and, whilst I was a fan of his music, he was kind of an asshole, so I was shocked but I didn’t care.
George Michael died and I was admittedly a little upset because Wham was played pretty often in my household and at family get-togethers…that and because after his death emerged stories of all his charitable work. I still didn’t care.
I have just never cared.
On May 18th 2017, however, Chris Cornell died.
That is the only death to really hit me. I’m not old enough to be the most affected person, and yet I still can’t believe it. Music is hugely important to me, and before you sigh or roll your eyes, when I’m influenced by an artist, I am influenced. As a writer, a dreamer, a realist. Music is important to me. And Chris Cornell was a huge, huge influence.
If you know me, you know I get most of my writing inspiration from songwriters. I have one favourite author, who is my only literary influence. Everything else is from some of the few of the artists I listen to.
Chris Cornell is one of those few artists to really help me think and write better. He’s in the top 5.
Obviously, I was way too young for early Soundgarden. But as soon as I was old enough to listen to my own choice of music, I was captivated (gayyyyyy) by their sound. I remember reading about them and listening to them on Kerrang, and I heard Black Hole Sun (obviously) and I was fucking weirded out but I loved it. I had never heard anything as both weird and good as that before.
I heard Fell on Black Days and regarded it a masterpiece. When I was younger, I loved how they sounded. When I got older, I appreciated the talent, and I could connect to the music and lyrics. Soundgarden are one of the bands I turn to when I need to unwind, when I’m stressed, when I hate myself, when life is shit, when I need to distract myself from myself and connect to something else.
I felt these songs in my entire whole soul. My whole soul, girls and boys.
I realised that nobody sounds like Soundgarden. Superunknown is one of the best albums ever, and the greatest grunge album ever recorded, I’ll fight you on this. I never understood why people loved Nirvana so much, sorry. When people spoke of grunge, it was always Nirvana. Sometimes Pearl Jam or Alice in Chains, but I always heard Nirvana.
It’s Chris Cornell. It’s Soundgarden.
I also realised that nobody can do supergroup like Audioslave. No, not even Velvet Revolver. Like a Stone???? Amazing. The title album is also one of my favourites.
I realised that Chris Cornell was a genius. A genius.
And this realisation only became more real the more I listened to him.
One of the great lyricists ever. I wished and still wish I could write like him. One of the best voices I’ve ever heard. One of the greatest songwriters to ever live.
Yes, this is a death to truly affect me, and I wholeheartedly admit this.
Nobody sounds like Chris Cornell.
No one sings like you anymore.