Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

The rock world pays tribute to Chris Cornell

(Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
(Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

The musical world has been filling up this week with tributes to Soundgarden and Audioslave singer-songwriter Chris Cornell, who died on Wednesday night from what authorities are calling a suicide. (Cornell’s family is disputing that claim, asserting that his death was linked to prescription anxiety medicine, instead.) Many of these appreciations cropped up in the sets of Cornell’s fellow artists, including performers at Ohio’s Rock On The Range, where Soundgarden was scheduled to play last night. (The band has understandably canceled the rest of its current tour.) Live, Bush, and Corey Taylor (of Slipknot and Stone Sour) all played songs from Cornell’s various bands, covering music originally played by Audioslave, Soundgarden, and the short-lived Temple Of The Dog.

The tributes weren’t just confined to Ohio, either; Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Josh Klinghoffer covered Cornell’s solo effort “Seasons” during a concert in Indianapolis, while Ann Wilson of Heart offered up a rendition of “Black Hole Sun” on Jimmy Kimmel Live!. The outpouring of love for the grunge legend is touching to see, even if the various covers serve as a bittersweet reminder of the impossibility of anyone else really matching the impact of Cornell’s iconic voice.

Meanwhile, Cornell’s old Audioslave bandmate, Tom Morello, offered up his own non-musical ode to his friend, posting a poem paying tribute to Cornell.

You’re a prince, you’re a snare, you’re a shadow

You’re twilight and star burn and shade

You’re a sage, you’re a wound shared, you’re masked

You’re a pillar of smoke, you’re a platinum heart

You’re a brush fire, you’re caged, you’re free

Your vision pierces, you do not see

You are pieces strewn on the hillside

You’re open armed, you’re armed, you’re true

You’re a revealer of visions, you’re the passenger, you’re a never fading scar

You’re twilight and star burn and shade

You’re the secret veiled, you’re the secret revealed, you’re surrounded no more

You’re not there, now you’re always here

You’re a handsome groom, a loving father, a haunted stairwell

You’re the clear bell ringing, the mountains echo your song

Maybe no one has ever known you

You are twilight and star burn and shade

[via Pitchfork, Uproxx, and Rolling Stone]


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