Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Great Article on Chris Cornell

It is time to move on from the death by suicide of Chris Cornell. It is pretty much all that I have been writing about here since the day that I found out, which makes it the better part of a week now. It was shocking, depressing, and tragic, and there is much more that I could write about it. After all, in some ways, this death was indeed actually more of a shock, and had more of an impact on me in several ways, that Kurt Cobain's suicide.

However, I feel that it would perhaps not be healthy to fixate on it more than this, and so it is time to say goodbye to Chris Cornell, and to accept his death now. I think that it what I was trying to do these last few days, was just simply accept it, because something about it felt wrong, and it was hard to put my finger on just what it was.

After reading this article, though, there was greater illumination. Rich Larson, the author of this piece, really hits the nail on the head with some things! He seems to have a solid idea about why this particular death by another grunge God, if you will, felt different than the others, and felt somehow worse.

The death of other grunge stars was not exactly shocking. The signs were there. The drug abuse was there, as well. Once we understood the behind the scenes reality of Kurt Cobain, his suicide seemed not so much shocking, as inevitable. The death of other rock grunge icons, which Larson notes, also was not all that surprising. We did not know Andrew Wood too well at the time, but once the story was better understood, his death, too seemed inevitable. Then, Kristen Pfaff of Hole, very shortly after Cobain. Then, Blind Melon frontman Shannon Hoon. Layne Staley died in a car in the desert of an overdose, as well. And there were other stars struggling with substance abuse, most famously Scott Weiland.

Weiland died a few years ago, but although sad, that was not exactly unexpected. If anything, it was a surprise that it had not happened earlier, truth be told. 

This latest death of Cornell's, however, came completely unexpected. No one saw it coming, because if anything, Cornell seemed to be relatively stable, as far as rock stars were concerned. He had indeed aged gracefully, and looked like a man at least 10-15 years younger than he actually was. He seemed comfortable in his own skin, and in producing the music that he was producing, and he was prolific, too.

The tour that Soundgarden was on was expected by some to be followed by a solo tour later in the year, and Soundgarden was trying to complete a new album. There was even talk that Temple of the Dog might produce some new music, and even whispers that Audioslave might reunite, sooner or later. 

And then, just like that, he was gone. Just a memory, and people were talking about him exclusively in the past tense, already. Gone too soon.

A search for meaning, for something to grasp onto some better understanding of not just what happened, but why it happened, as well, followed. From a personal standpoint, I remember reading something years ago about Kurt Cobain's suicide (if memory serves correctly, it was viewed by some as confirmation that something was rotten on the inside about the whole Seattle grunge thing. Surely, some will dismiss Cornell's suicide in the same context, as well.

However, you really have to wonder why he did it. Maybe, like his family believes, it was the result of the anxiety drugs that he took, and which some suggest actually makes depression and suicidal thoughts even more pronounced. The fact of the matter is that Cornell seemed to have everything. He was a good-looking and enormously successful man, with fame and fortune and a beautiful family. He had traveled the world, living what many people would have viewed as a dream life, and was very well-respected among his peers. Unlike many other rock stars, you never heard about him having serious problems with substance abuse. On the surface, this certainly does not make sense.

Yet, he would up taking his own life. It brings back a lot of memories of when Cobain shot himself back in 1994, except that Cornell was indeed starting to approach being an elder statesman of rock, like Larson suggests in this article. But depression is real, and it can kill - even such a success story as Chris Cornell. This is something that hits home to me, as well, because there are times when I feel enormously grateful for all that I have been blessed with in life, to the point of bursting, almost. But then, there are also times when depression hits, and nothing seems to be right, and there is a crushing loneliness that, you are half convinced, nobody else in the world can possibly understand. It is difficult for those who are strangers to serious depression to begin to understand, and what makes this tragedy even sadder to me is the certainty that some will judge him extremely harshly for what was really a disorder. 

But this article below brings some of that meaning into focus, and I highly recommend it. It is a statement on my generation's music, and why it always seems to be linked hand in hand with self-destructive tendencies. And more than that, it is a call to try and get help, to try and recognize the signs of depression and suicide before something tragic happens. 

Please take a look at this article by clicking on the ling below:

It’s not what you think by Rich Larson, May 20, 2017:

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