Johnny Cash’s son John Carter Cash discussed Chris Cornell recording “You Never Knew My Mind” for Forever Words in a new Independent interview.
“Steve Berkowitz [co-producer on Forever Words] was there when Elvis Costello wrote ‘I’ll Still Love You’ sitting at the piano, again looking at those words for the first time. And some people took longer and were very careful about it. Chris Cornell took a few weeks to sit back and come up with ‘You Never Knew My Mind’.
“I knew that he would be excited to be a part of it. But it had to connect to his life, and my dad wrote those words in 1967 when he was in a divorce with his first wife Vivian. Chris had been through the same, so my dad’s words connected deeply.”
That emotional outpouring opened the door for Cornell to do the same, he suggests. There were two lyrics – “You never knew my mind” and “I never knew your mind” – and Cornell edited them together before reaching the last line, “I never really knew your mind”. “By then, you understand emotionally what he had gone through,” John Carter says. “It’s an epic.”
“They’re all so different and so wonderful in different ways,” he says with another smile. “The one I can barely even talk about without feeling like I’m gonna cry is ‘You Never Knew My Mind’, because I got to know Chris. He connected.”