If you are reading this, it's likely you know the Soundgarden/Audioslave frontman was found dead in his hotel room after performing to a sold-out audience at the Fox Theater in Detroit on May 17th. Within 24 hours, the local Medical Examiner's Office ruled the cause of death as "suicide by hanging", words that made his sudden death just more disturbing to an already shocked music community.
Details from police reports have been released indicating that he jammed a carabiner to the top of the bathroom door and secured a red elastic exercise band around his neck. Cornell's family believes he may have been under the influence of an overdose of Ativan, for which he was taking for anxiety, as he had not expressed any suicidal thoughts or depression. At the time of this writing, a full investigation will move forward pending a toxicity report. Cornell will be buried during a private service on Friday at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Los Angeles, yet plans for a public memorial are being planned. The surviving members of Soundgarden have yet to make a statement.
In the end, the outpouring of pure sorrow through posts on social media reminded me that those who love music – and I mean truly passionate as if it was the air they breathe – are linked to those who create it. We look to musicians for inspiration, escape and hope. Music can excite, entertain and heal. We not only mourn the artist who created it but for the messages and the emotion they have given us along with the music that will never be. If music is indeed the soundtrack to our life, it is a reminder of how much time we have left in our own lives when those who create it are gone. When George Harrison and John Lennon died, so did a piece of my childhood. With Freddie Mercury, it was my teens. And now as those who are within our peer group slowly pass, part of our own mortality goes with them.
Metal Filings will feature an extended set of Chris Cornell’s music on Wednesday, May 24, 6-8PM EST. It will be available for streaming the following day.
Check out her show Metal Filings on Village Connection Radio every Wednesday, 6-8pm EST, or on demand at the Metal Filings Archive.