Not another one…will miss you Chris

I haven’t written anything here in quite a while, but I am coming back out of the shadows because I am so saddened to hear of Chris Cornell’s death. While his death was ruled a suicide, his family thinks that it may have been related to an accidental overdose of anti-anxiety medication.  Either way, the world has lost another highly talented musician due to personal struggles.  I know from personal experience how hard suicide can be on a family, and my heart goes out to his wife and children.

Every time the world loses one of the musicians who has struggled with depression, anxiety, and substance abuse, and whose expression of life through music has provided comfort to me in my darkest times, I can’t help but feel several things very deeply:

  • The loss of a family member (I have found there is something that connects all people that struggle with depression and anxiety that just can’t be fully explained; it’s just a shared recognition of going through the same things);
  • The sobering realization that it could have been me in the past and could, one day, be me in the future;
  • Anger at the world / creator /  evolution for all of the suffering caused by mental illness; and
  • A soul-sucking loss of inspiration (hearing people express their struggles while making it through is inspirational, but when they succumb to the struggles the it’s hard for the inspiration not to transform into despair).

There’s no way around it — this just fucking sucks.  Chris joins a group of several other giants from the Seattle music scene that helped to define Gen X  have met untimely deaths from personal struggles.  All My Favorite Grunge Musicians are Dead.  Is Grunge Cursed?  nails it:

…while Mick Jagger and Keith Richards defy the upper limits of mortality, grunge’s icons aren’t making it halfway.  Turns out Kurt and Lane Staley were just the early warning signs.  Scott Weiland had a delayed reaction.  Cornell polished it off.

There’s still Dave Grohl.  Highly-functioning, creative, fatherly, energetic.  And Eddie Vedder.  Constantly touring, writing, and playing.

Hope there isn’t another shoe waiting to drop somewhere.

Yeah, no shit.

I was formed in the 1990’s, with all 4 years of high school, 4 years of undergraduate studies, and 2 years of graduate studies occurring during that decade.  Grunge music provided one of the most important channels in the soundtrack of my coming of age.  Sometimes angry, sometimes brooding, sometimes dark, and sometimes beautiful, the music often expressed a general dissatisfaction with the state of the world, and sometimes with life itself, with which I have a deep and solemn understanding and connection.

I always thought that Chris was the best singer from the grunge area.  His voice could change from a soft vulnerability to a scratchy growl in an instant, a perfect match for the music and what it expressed, to some extent, the times.

What’s worse is that this happened during May, which is mental health awareness month (and week).  May is not over — check this out for a few things that you can do to get involved.  If this makes you feel like donating to help people who struggle from depression, Nuci’s Space here in Athens GA is a good choice, as they specialize in helping artists and musicians.

A random thought — Seattle music was known for heroin.  Thank the universe I didn’t try that when I had the chance.  Luckily, I was more scared than I was tempted (scared more of how much I would like it, not scared of what it would do to me).  I’m quite sure I wouldn’t be writing this right now if I had.  I’ve made a lot of bad decisions in my life, but that was probably my best one.

As you should have expected, here are a songs, one from each of his two main bands, one from solo work, and two collaborations.  I went for solo live music where I could because it showcases his ability to create mood with voice.  I usually say enjoy, but that just doesn’t fit this time.  Listen, marvel at that voice, and pay respect.  RIP, Chris.  I never met you, but I feel like I knew you and your music is a friend.

“Fell On Black Days” — Soundgarden

Whatsoever I’ve feared has
Come to life
Whatsoever I’ve fought off
Became my life
Just when everyday
Seemed to greet
Me with a smile
Sunspots have faded
And now I’m doing time
Cause I fell on
Black daysWhomsoever I’ve cured
I’ve sickened now
Whomsoever I’ve cradled
I’ve put you down
I’m a search light soul
They say but I can’t
See it in the night
I’m only faking
When I get it right
Cause I fell on
Black days
How would I know
That this could be my fateSo what you wanted to
See good has made you blind
And what you wanted to
Be yours has made it
Mine
So don’t you lock up
Something that you
Wanted to see fly
Hands are for shaking
No not tyingI sure don’t
Mind a change
But I fell on black
Days
How would I know
That this could be
My fate

 

 

“I Am The Highway”

Pearls and swine bereft of me.
Long and weary my road has been.
I was lost in the cities, alone in the hills.
No sorrow or pity for leaving, I feel, yeah.I am not your rolling wheels – I am the highway.
I am not your carpet ride – I am the sky.Friends and liars don’t wait for me,
‘Cause I’ll get on all by myself.
I put millions of miles under my heels;
And still too close to you, I feel, yeah.I am not your rolling wheels – I am the highway.
I am not your carpet ride – I am the sky.I am not your blowing wind – I am the lightning.
I am not your autumn moon – I am the night… the night.Yeah!
I am not your rolling wheels – I am the highway.
I am not your carpet ride – I am the sky.

Well,
I am not your blowing wind – I am the lightning.
I am not your autumn moon – I am the night… the night.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

 

 

“Dead Wishes” — Chris Cornell

Staring in the mirror with two borrowed eyes
Looking for the part of me that’s still alive
Waiting for my chest to fall… and rise
Standing on the corner With my shirt tucked in
Summer turns to autumn winter turns to spring
And it all flies by… like a speeding train
Dead wishes on a broken chain
White roses in a dead man’s dream
Down and out with everything to lose
If these long dead wishes
Ever do come true
Waiting for the night to come and chase away
All the flies hovering around my head
With my memory for a pillow
And all my regrets for a bed
Standing on the corner now I’m passed surprise
Yelling out a warning to some passer by
I stand just as God made me
And I lie down in disguiseDead wishes on a burning lake
White roses from my soul to keep
Down and out with everything to win
If my long since sunken ship
Ever does come in(Round and round we all fall down
And that’s how ancient mountains crumble)

Time keeps moving slower
Like falling from the sun
Come and knock me over
I keep getting up
Throw a line down to me
Keep hanging on

Standing on the corner don’t apologize
You don’t have to bow your head or raise your eyes
Or pretend that you don’t see me

Dead wishes on a broken chain
White roses in a dead man’s dream
Down and out with everything to lose
If these long dead wishes
Ever do come true

(Round and round we all fall down
And that’s how ancient mountains crumble)

 

“Right Turn” — Alice and Chains featuring Chris Cornell

Inside always trying to get back inside
But it’s so hard to penetrate pig-thick skin
I’m ’bout as low as I can get
I’d leave but I can’t forget
Still I wonder why it ain’t right, mmm it ain’t right, oooh
Ain’t right, mmm it ain’t right, yeah’
Bout as low as she can get
She’ll leave me but she won’t forget
And she wonders why she ain’t right, she ain’t right
Ain’t right, she ain’t right
Now we’re as low as we can get
Can’t leave and can’t forget
We ain’t right, we ain’t right
Not right, we ain’t rightWell it’s hard to believe that somebody tricked you
When you can see you were only high
It’s all up to you so you gamble
Flat on your face and into the fire

 

“Say Hello 2 Heaven” — Temple of the Dog

Please, mother of mercy
Take me from this place
and the long winded curses
I keep here in my head
Words never listen
and teachers, oh, they never learn
but I’m warm from the candle
though I feel too cold to burn
He came from an island
and he died from the street
and he hurt so bad like a soul breaking
but he never said nothing to me
So say hello to heaven, heaven, heaven…
So say hello to heaven, heaven, heaven…New, like a baby
Lost, like a prayer
The sky was your playground
but the cold ground was your bed
I said poor stargazer
She’s got no tears in her eyes
but smooth like a whisper
She knows that love heals all wounds with time
Now it seems like too much love is never enough
Yeah, you better seek out another road
’cause this one has ended abrupt
So say hello to heaven, heaven, heaven…
So say hello to heaven, heaven, heaven…
I never wanted to write these words down for you
with the pages of phrases of all the things we’ll never do
So I blow out the candle
and I put you to bed
Since you can’t say to me now
how the dogs broke your bone
there’s just one thing left to be saidSo say hello to heaven, heaven, heaven…
So say hello to heaven, heaven, heaven…
Advertisements
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s