Chris Cornell’s Brother Emotionally Opens Up About Listening To Soundgarden Music Singer Left Him

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Chris Cornell’s brother Peter has posted the following on Instagram:

“I remember the first time I saw him do this. I honestly thought he invented crowd surfing. I was always taken by the ease and grace with which this ritual spontaneously transpired. And the look on his face. A combination of fearlessness and who gives a fuck!! The subtleties of genius. I was looking at photos new and old tonight. No particular reason. I don’t sleep well and my mind often searches for reprieve in random areas. Tonight it was photos of my Brother. Maybe in a way it’s a sign of healing.

I looked tonight and the tears mostly hunkered down in the lump in my throat. I never realized how many pictures there are of Chris. The camera loved him. As we all did. Although tonight I kept my emotions mostly in check, I have come to a very real and concrete understanding with myself. An understanding that is completely bolstered when I rifle thru a few hundred pics of Chris; I will never be able to assimilate and reconcile the loss of my Brother. I’m going to stop trying now. It makes no sense. It can’t be real. There is no place for it in my heart, mind or bones. It just shouldn’t be.

I so greatly appreciate the opportunity to share with you. I don’t need to know you to be able to feel you out there in internet world. It makes me so proud of Chris all over again, that he reached your hearts and souls and touched your lives and inspired you the same way he did me. In these late night hours when sleep eludes me, I replay memories like a movie reel. During the time SG was recording Loud Love, they would rehearse at my place. That’s how I got into music and bands. After they would leave I’d plug in all the gear and play.

I remember one night coming home after they had just left my place. Loud Love was finished and they were rehearsing for tour. I sat down to put on the TV and sitting upright on top of the set, so I could see the hand scrawled artwork and title, was a cassette my Brother had burned at the mixing board as they had finished the final mix. He left it there for me. My ears first. On the back he wrote ‘l love you Brother. Goodnight’. I listened in the dark and cried. Me too. I love you Brother. Goodnight.”

I remember the first time I saw him do this. I honestly thought he invented crowd surfing. I was always taken by the ease and grace with which this ritual spontaneously transpired. And the look on his face. A combination of fearlessness and who gives a fuck!! The subtleties of genius. I was looking at photos new and old tonight. No particular reason. I don’t sleep well and my mind often searches for reprieve in random areas. Tonight it was photos of my Brother. Maybe in a way it’s a sign of healing. I looked tonight and the tears mostly hunkered down in the lump in my throat. I never realized how many pictures there are of Chris. The camera loved him. As we all did. Although tonight I kept my emotions mostly in check, I have come to a very real and concrete understanding with myself. An understanding that is completely bolstered when I rifle thru a few hundred pics of Chris; I will never be able to assimilate and reconcile the loss of my Brother. I’m going to stop trying now. It makes no sense. It can’t be real. There is no place for it in my heart, mind or bones. It just shouldn’t be. I so greatly appreciate the opportunity to share with you. I don’t need to know you to be able to feel you out there in internet world. It makes me so proud of Chris all over again, that he reached your hearts and souls and touched your lives and inspired you the same way he did me. In these late night hours when sleep eludes me, I replay memories like a movie reel. During the time SG was recording Loud Love, they would rehearse at my place. That’s how I got into music and bands. After they would leave I’d plug in all the gear and play. I remember one night coming home after they had just left my place. Loud Love was finished and they were rehearsing for tour. I sat down to put on the TV and sitting upright on top of the set, so I could see the hand scrawled artwork and title, was a cassette my Brother had burned at the mixing board as they had finished the final mix. He left it there for me. My ears first. On the back he wrote “l love you Brother. Goodnight”. I listened in the dark and cried. Me too. I love you Brother. Goodnight

A post shared by PETER CORNELL (@the_peter_cornell_official) on

  • Olga Stewart

    Damn it but Peter’s posts about Chris always make me tear up.

    • Cristiann

      Same here … but in a weird way, I think it helps me, you know? Everyone needs to let things out and have a good cry every once in a while.

      Writing and talking things out this way seems to be helping Peter heal … and reading his posts makes us feel less alone in our grief and sorrow. Not just over the loss of Chris, but also over so many other people we’ve lost as well.

  • Eleanor

    My God…I feel Peter’s pain. He writes beautifully about his brother. Hearing from him feels soothing…a family member who can share with us these precious memories. Love you, Peter…Please keep sharing..

  • makingconnections

    I don’t know….I feel supportive of Peter but am concerned that he’s leaving himself open to criticism at this stage. My concern is with Instagram and this site as not being appreciative any longer. I could be wrong. I wish he could find another way of doing his work by sharing his story and knowledge he’s gained the hard way. He has a gift for helping people but I think he’s tapped out this way of sharing. There are other ways that are broader and would actually offer him more opportunities to be a support to others.

    • Olga Stewart

      This is probably why he has made his IG account private.

      And I think maybe he could donate his time towards organizations that deal with meant health?

      That way, he would be working with others to spread the message. And he would be learning even more about this issue.

      • makingconnections

        I don’t know a thing about Instagram or Twitter.
        I do agree with you though Olga, that he could be force for good with the passionate nature that he has and his ability to connect with people. Who knows, maybe there’s an organization that could use his energy and maybe even the arts, besides his music; a play, a book? I feel he’s got potential to share the journey with others in some way that isn’t quite as kooky as this!

      • Cristiann

        I agree, and I think he could be great at that, but I don’t think he’s ready for that yet. I think he needs more time to grieve privately before he can start becoming an activist for mental health.

  • Olga Stewart

    I see that Peter made his IG account private.

  • Archthel_brandt

    in all of this, and also in being very selfish, i wish the brother and the remaining band members would try and release the Soundgarden album that wasn’t. They’d been working on new material since after King Animal and the successful tour to follow. I hate his death as I do any senseless death. I also hate the circumstances surrounding his death; the fact he was by himself in a hotel following the Detroit gig, the fact there are almost no comments by the band members following the show as to his state of mind, given the fact that it was probably Chris Cornell at his worst, the fact that Chris Cornell was cremated and buried before an active investigation was ongoing in Detroit, the fact he was buried in LA, etc., etc., etc. What I want is less grievance and more insight into what he was going through previous to that show in terms of lyrics and music Chris was putting together for the next Soundgarden record. Perhaps there’s nothing more than was already there, in terms of what was written; the depression, melancholy and obvious sadness. But I want it nonetheless. Quite honestly Soundgarden was the best band in terms of a collective body. Matt’s drumming, Ben’s shark like bass attacks and Cornell’s and Thayil’s guitar tapestries, laid a remarkable foundation for the tasteful vocal assault delivered by Cornell. We don’t get people back from the beyond, once they walk away, are taken or stolen from us, but there has to be some gold leftover from those sessions for King Animal’s follow up. I’d buy or listen to anything Soundgarden crafted well or jotted down in a jam session one impromptu moment. Grief is inherent to those that lost somebody, and we all share in it, but there’s still a unheard body to work to consider, and that’s what I want to know about.

    • Olga Stewart

      I just wanted to say that this was both a very thoughtful and eloquent comment.

      And thank you for posting it.

    • makingconnections

      Isn’t Vicki Cornell the owner of anything musically “Chris Cornell”? I wonder how that involves Soundgarden’s work?

      • Olga Stewart

        They will probably have to negotiate with her as to what they can do with the music.

        • makingconnections

          Thanks Olga…it’s strange isn’t it but I suppose it’s “the law”. It would seem more just if the band you made the music with had at least 3/4 of the rights. Oh well.

          • Olga Stewart

            I just hope that Vicky won’t give them a difficult time about this.

            And you’re welcome. :).

    • Lorenzo Takeout

      I also think your comment was eloquent and thoughtful, but releasing any material is probably a pretty complicated situation.
      We don’t know to whom the authority has been given, although it is probably safe to guess that it is the spouse.
      But even if that authority is split between that person & the band members, one cannot move forward without the other’s consent.
      There are just so many moving pieces involving the record company, management and probably a long list of things to deal with in order to do that.
      And then there is the PR part where it might look to the public, like they were cashing in on his death…
      With all the speculation already in existence about the wife, it might be even worse if she were to do that right now.
      And please know that the “Beverly Hills Chris Cornell” baffled me too and I found the music he did since, to be pretty beneath him, but the real truth is that he had spent most of his life longing for a certain kind of familial love & he fell hook line & sinker into a ready made situation with her family and finally found a girl who was not interested in Soundgarden or “Chris Cornell the rockstar.”
      She was hard to get, shrewd, “a princess,” and a girl with strong family ties, all of which he found very appealing.
      And let’s be honest, we’ve seen that dynamic between people of disparate backgrounds many times throughout history.
      He put her on a pedestal from the start, he said it himself, in fact anytime he had the opportunity.
      Her aloof nature somehow appealed to him very much, so if that made him happy, than we should have been happy for him despite the fact that he was now a guy buying Birken bags.
      There is no real way to know all of these horrible things people are saying, although admittedly her scowl, her attachment to a cell phone in every photo & body language of always being 3 feet ahead of him as he trailed along- were surely unpleasant images.
      But he LIKED IT. He was submissive (I don’t mean in a creepy way) and it was obvious.
      I have gone off the rails here.
      But what I meant to say before going down that hole is that
      her life must be bad enough having thousands of people assume she’s evil because she is merely just another common place material girl with a bitchy resting face.
      Her tendency to whore him out to horrible
      things like a Timbaland collaboration or awkward performances on Italian tv shows were awful as well, but again, he liked something about it, in fact it must have been highly exotic for him.
      He stated very clearly that she is “all business,” so if there is going to be any release of material it will be WELL THOUGHT OUT & strategically timed, but it will happen.
      I also wish the band members would speak, but they have never been that way to begin with.
      And he was no easy camper either from word behind the scenes.
      Yes he was lovely, kind and wonderful, but he was also very withholding and not always a team player.
      Who knows what their home life was like toward the end, we just don’t know, but it’s pretty obvious that it wasn’t great, and I too have wondered what could have made him do something so unexpected, so rash and frankly so angry…
      It has crossed my mind that maybe a fatal wounding sentence was said that night on the phone, something so painful that he wanted to illustrate his agony in return, but that isn’t even fair to say because we just don’t know…
      In any case, I agree that it would be great to hear any unreleased material, even better I wish they would compile tons of rehearsal or out take stuff like with the Beatles (his fave.)
      That would be incredible and we would always be able to go back in time that way and stay in the wonderful confines of 1988 through 1997 (but including his collaboration with Natasha Schneider & Alain Johannes in 99 of course.)
      Over the last few months I’ve found myself in these forums and always seem to go off on a tangent which is kind of ridiculous, but it’s proof that the guy really touched on something with so many people.