This morning, news broke that Chris Cornell passed away last night after a show in Detroit. The Soundgarden/ Temple of the Dog/ Audioslave frontman meant a world to the alternative rock and grunge music scene, with a voice that carried distinct individuality across decades and genres. As the tributes begin to pour through the Internet, a message from Warren Haynes pulls at our heart’s strings as we, too, now wonder what Cornell’s voice would have sounded like in a Gov’t Mule record — which Haynes says was once a possibility in the Shout! recording sessions.
Read the note below:
Damn! Another great loss-way too soon. Great singer, great songwriter, great front man. After not really connecting with most of the music that immediately preceded it I thought it was a breath of fresh air when the scene came along that was bands like Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, Nirvana, and Alice in Chains. This music was real-being created by people with something to say who were gonna say it regardless of what the current state of the music business and audiences thought. Just turns out that it was so strong that they changed everything by doing what felt natural without second guessing how it would be received and by giving a voice to a whole cross-section of people who were looking for theirs. That’s true art!
I didn’t really know Chris. We communicated via email at one point because he was on my short list of singers that I reached out to during the making of Shout! I was very excited that he was interested and that he was even thinking of writing lyrics for one of the songs to create a “real” alternate version which I was very excited about as I’ve always dug his lyrics. As happens so often in the music business, life prevails. He received some bad news involving a family tragedy and wasn’t able to do it and I will always wonder what it would have sounded like.
“Say Hello to Heaven”. Maybe not be the interpretation he intended, but fitting. -WH