Chris Cornell’s Widow Reveals How Bandmate Saved His Life For Years

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Chris Cornell’s widow Vicky tweeted yesterday, “Happy Birthday to Timmy C! One of the most important people in @chriscornell ‘s life – without his love and loyalty we would not have had the last 16 years. There would be no us. Thank you for loving him so much.”

Vicky Cornell told Alternative Nation in 2016, “Chris was dying in Seattle. Timmy C stepped up like a real friend and saved him. He will always be one of the most special people to Chris. If only others had half the balls or the heart of Timmy C.”

Tim Commerford, who played with Chris Cornell in Audioslave, also told Alternative Nation in 2016, “We got together and wrote songs quickly. Then we had some turmoil regarding management. We had a different management company than Chris and that caused a few problems. The next thing you know, it felt like things were falling apart before it even began. We had written a record, but for a second it didn’t feel good. Chris kind of went MIA. Chris is such a different person now. He’s on top of his game and on an all-time high, but at that time he was Seattle Chris Cornell.

He went Seattle on us. I personally went to Seattle. I searched for him and I found him. By finding him, I found myself in jail. Not because he was there, but because I ended up in there. That trip to jail cost me a ton of money. I look back on that and think that was money well spent because that was a big part of why Audioslave actually became a band. It was worth every penny. I found Chris and I dragged him out of Seattle and we became a band that made a lot of records in a short period of time.”

  • Olga Stewart

    What was wrong with Chris ‘going Seattle’?

    That’s where he was born, after all.

    And I thought that he and Vicky were together for fourteen years?

    • Cathy

      I loved the Seattle Chris!!

      • Olga Stewart

        So did I.

      • Kitty Meow

        Me too

  • Cathy

    These articles are so dumb. I loved Seattle Chris and Soundgarden. That wife makes it sound like Seattle ruined Chris. What an insult to him, his Seattle family, friends and fans and Soundgarden

    • PhoenixForce5

      True. There was an open letter a while back by Xana la Fuente who was Andrew Wood’s girlfriend (Wood and Chris were close) and she subtly insinuated that Chris sort of abandoned his friends in Seattle.

      “I have a deep feeling, and a constant voice telling me there were many times it wasn’t “you” saying the words you spoke, but someone else’s. Still, I forgive you. I have to, because I will never get to hear you sing in person again, hear you say “Hi Xana” and see that coy smile, or run around with you in the many parks of Seattle that were our own private playgrounds for years.”

      • Cathy

        I remember that and totally agree with her. When I think of grunge, Soundgarden, MLB and AIC immediately come to mind. That music had deep Seattle roots. Without Seattle and its music scene, I’m not sure Chris would have made it big IMO. Seattle has changed a lot since then.

    • Olga Stewart

      There were things that did ruin Chris.

      But I don’t feel that one of them was Seattle.

      • Cathy

        Things – and people too, Olga

        • Olga Stewart

          Yes, also people.

  • makingconnections

    Just because he got into a dark place in Seattle, doesn’t mean that everything he experienced there was dark.
    Sooner or later this woman is going to get tired of repeating her interpretation of Chris Cornell’s life on the Internet and on any TV show that will have her. It will be a fine day when she gets on with her own life.

    • Olga Stewart

      Well apparently if we feel this way (as you and I do, makingconnections), we are idiots for doing so.

      Also, we can’t read properly.

      Honestly, I’m tired of the put downs and rude remarks when you have a differing opinion from someone else.

      If you don’t agree with someone, fine. Agree to disagree and then move on.

      But don’t be a jerk about it.

      I’m sorry for replying to your comment here about this but I know that you would understand where I was coming from.

      As for Vicky?

      As seems to be popular in online speak these days, ‘I just can’t even..’ where she is concerned.

      I just have nothing left to say about her. And to be honest, I think it’s far better for me to remain that way.

      • makingconnections

        It’s discouraging isn’t it Olga? We have all sorts of conversations on here where we disagree to different degrees but aren’t rude. I try not to respond to anyone who insults–it never ends well–but often I do anyway.

        I don’t know why we have to hear the same viewpoint on the internet–how many times has it been, about Seattle, about Ativan, about love–and it’s always an effort to control how fans and the public view Chris Cornell’s life.

        Remember a few nights ago that Kay said she felt the only one that knew what happened that night was Chris Cornell, and she suggested it would have been a dark and lonely time for him. I believe that truth should be respected and who saved him in Seattle years ago is of very little consequence. He’s deserving now of respect and peace and such appreciation for the gift his music is to us.

        Vicki Cornell has shown us that it’s impossible to take ownership of someone’s memory and legacy. She should quit trying.

        • Olga Stewart

          I do agree with Kay in that Chris was the only one who knew both what he was thinking and feeling that night.

          No else did.

          So no matter how much this narrative is both shaped and moulded, that is the one thing that they will never know. And because of that, they can’t really make up a story about it.

          Well, they could try. But like previous attempts, I don’t think it will be successful.

          Yes, it is discouraging.

          As I told Trovoid on another article comment thread, I have a long list of users on here who I have blocked. Either because they were being royal jerks or because they are spammers (who frequently seem to target my comments for their spam).

          I suppose I should try to be tougher by ignoring them. But given my anger issues from the past, it’s better for me to not see these people. Hence, I block them.

          This poor man suffered in life.

          He shouldn’t have to suffer in death. And so, he deserves peace, understanding, and respect.

          So that’s what I always try to keep in mind when I comment on here.

          • makingconnections

            Good words Olga. Thank you for pointing the way.

          • Olga Stewart

            You’re welcome and thank you.

          • Damian Karamazov

            “This poor man suffered in life.”

            Give me a freaking break. How did he suffer? By being worth over $60 million; being married to the love of his life (his own words, over and over through the years); by having three beautiful children who adored him; by being surrounded by great friends, adoring fans, massive fame, wealth, success, and critical praise?

            Oh, what a horrible, insufferable life Chris Cornell led. Have you any idea what problems regular people go through? Kids born deformed or with terminal illnesses… homeless people… immigrants… people that grow up in the hood.

            Chris Cornell was an amazing singer / songwriter, and an amazing person. He’s my favorite artist. I love the guy. But you sound so silly and melodramatic. Chris didn’t suffer in life (more than anyone else I mean). He might have had some depression, everybody goes through that.

            He could have manned up like anybody else would, but he chose the easy way out.

            Please, stop making a martyr and a saint out of the guy. It’s an insult to people who have really suffered throughout history.

          • makingconnections

            Well, you’ve stated your opinion strongly. I don’t believe we know what our personal lives,our marriages and our mental health feel like to each other–not really.

            These conversations are always started because of Vicki Cornell’s latest Internet or T.V. PR effort, usually the same stories over and over. Many of Chris Cornell’s fans wish that she would stop the repetitive interpretation of his life and the invasive exposure of his health, as she sees it.

            We largely wish for her to let her husband rest in peace, so that his memory isn’t tampered with by people like you, who seem to feel free to judge others.

          • Olga Stewart

            Objection duly noted.

          • Olga Stewart

            As for the easy way out?

            Have you had a knife at your wrist wanting to push it in?

            Have you hit yourself hoping to get the bad things out of you?

            Have you ever been beaten by a belt?

            Have you ever had a mug thrown at you?

            Have you ever almost been punched in the face?

            All of these things have happened to me.

            And at one point in my life, the pain was so much that I wanted to end my life.

            Which is ironic because I am married, I have a roof over my head, food to eat, have friends, and money in my pocket.

            But according to you I am silly, pathetic, melodramatic and selfish.

            You don’t know me.

            And based on what I have typed here, you probably wouldn’t want to.

            And that is all right because judgmental, rude, insensitive and rude cretins like you aren’t worth my time.

            Lastly, unless you have been in someone else’s shoes, then you have no right to judge.

            Here ends the comment which I am sure you will both roll your eyes at and laugh at.

            I wouldn’t expect anything less from you.

          • makingconnections

            This guys a troll–don’t worry about his opinion, Hell, he found Soundgarden boring a few years ago. Maybe he’s a Russian practicing up to impact our next election….no, he’d not be so obvious…he call himself Jimmy Joe James or something.

          • Olga Stewart

            I’m not worried.

            He’s even blocked.

            That’s how little he matters to me.

            And at least with a Jimmy Joe, I’d get some humour out of the situation.

          • makingconnections

            They are apparently getting started on impacting our election Olga! The name would probably be Jimmy MacNeill.

          • Olga Stewart

            Ha ha!

          • PhoenixForce5

            Damian Karamazov you have a very poor understanding of mental health issues so I suggest you just stop commenting. Depression doesn’t care if you are rich or poor, if you have a massive house, worth millions. It doesn’t care. Period. When it grips hold of you, it doesn’t let go until its consumed everything you hold dear. Just look at it this way, you’re lucky you can’t fathom what it was like for Chris to feel so low that he took his own life. Consider yourself lucky that you cannot ever relate to the decisions he made that day. Some of us can. And until you find yourself in that place, brought so low… thinking there is no way out then you can whine about it.

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  • Kitty Meow

    Chris “went Seattle” and Tim went to jail. Sounds more like a personal problem than a Chris problem. And why does Vicky say without Tim there’d be no her and Chris… I think he’d still be here if not for her. They had to “drag him outta Seattle”… too much control. Jeez. We love Seattle. I miss Chris. I hate domineering people. Especially the manipulative ones who hide it from the public.

    • Olga Stewart

      I suppose they thought if he wasn’t rescued, that perhaps something bad could happen to him.

      Well they got him away from there and something bad still happened.

      He passed away.

      So maybe it would have been better to let him have his time in Seattle?

    • Cathy

      I’ll refrain from what I really want to say but some people can really F with someone’s head. I think we know who messed up Chris…unfortunately he was easy to manipulate

  • Bruno Sílvio Martins

    Tom Morello also posted a happy bday message to Timmy with this line: “Timmy in a glowing moment of friendship & love once saved Chris Cornell’s life.”

    So I guess there are people out there who actually knew Chris and share the same stories. Who knew?

  • Damian Karamazov

    All the people who posted before me are a bunch of idiots who know nothing about Chris Cornell, and who lack basic reading comprehension skills. I am just a fan who has followed Cornell’s career since 1990. I have no inside information. However, the story which Chris’s widow alludes to is well known, and has been mentioned by Chris himself multiple times in interviews. After the recording of the first Audioslave record, Cornell disappeared on his new bandmates and slipped back into drug use. Cornell himself has “bragged” that he was a “pioneer” in the abuse of Oxycodine and other opiates. Matt Cameron has also stated that in the late 90s, Cornell became a drug addict. Tim Commerford apparently went on some sort of one man mission to find Chris and drag him out of that lifestyle. What exactly happened, I don’t know. The jail thing is news to me. However, Chris himself has verified this story, and during the Audioslave years, he thanked the band multiple times for “saving [his] life”. Timmy C. deserves to be lauded, as without his efforts, Cornell would have been dead around 2002, and he would have never met Vicky or had Toni and Little C. You illiterates don’t seem to realize that the one referring negatively to “Seattle Chris” and Chris going “Seattle on us” is Timmy C., not Vicky. Tim is obviously making a reference to the “late 90s” post-Soundgarden Chris Cornell who was escaping from reality by using opiates. Is that the “Seattle Chris” that you idiots like? Tim is not referring to the Chris you knew in Soundgarden, obviously. Anyhow, all of you who have it in for Mrs. Cornell: get a grip and grow the hell up. I’m sure Vicky Cornell is not perfect, and I’m sure her relationship with Chris wasn’t perfect. Every relationship has its issues. None of us know what went down in that last phone conversation. I’m sure she’s no angel. However, you clowns seem to think she drove him to suicide or had him murdered or something. If you’ve followed Chris’s career, you know many of his songs dealt with suicide and depression long before he met Vicky, and his songs actually became quite optimistic and full of joy and vitality AFTER he met and married her. Various people who knew Chris have said that Cornell had suicidal ideations since at least the 90s. Apparently, he slipped back into drug use and went back into that dark place and decided to end his life. That’s the tragic truth. Stop blaming the guy’s poor widow, she’s been through enough. Cornell is my favorite singer / songwriter ever, but he wasn’t a perfect man, and he CHOSE to end his life in a very stupid, impulsive, and selfish decision. Accept the truth you fools!

  • Damian Karamazov

    All the people who posted before me apparently know very little about Chris Cornell, and lack basic reading comprehension skills. I am just a fan who has followed Cornell’s career since 1990. I have no inside information. However, the story which Chris’s widow alludes to is well known, and has been mentioned by Chris himself multiple times in interviews. After the recording of the first Audioslave record, Cornell disappeared on his new bandmates and slipped back into drug use. Cornell himself has “bragged” that he was a “pioneer” in the abuse of Oxycodine and other opiates. Matt Cameron has also stated that in the late 90s, Cornell became a drug addict. Tim Commerford apparently went on some sort of one man mission to find Chris and drag him out of that lifestyle. What exactly happened, I don’t know. The jail thing is news to me. However, Chris himself has verified this story, and during the Audioslave years, he thanked the band multiple times for “saving [his] life”. Timmy C. deserves to be lauded, as without his efforts, Cornell would have been dead around 2002, and he would have never met Vicky or had Toni and Little C. Many of you apparently don’t realize that the one referring negatively to “Seattle Chris” and Chris going “Seattle on us” is Timmy C., not Vicky. Tim is obviously making a reference to the “late 90s” post-Soundgarden Chris Cornell who was escaping from reality by using opiates. Is that the “Seattle Chris” that you guys like? Tim is not referring to the Chris you knew in Soundgarden, obviously. Anyhow, all of you who have it in for Mrs. Cornell: get a grip and grow the hell up. I’m sure Vicky Cornell is not perfect, and I’m sure her relationship with Chris wasn’t perfect. Every relationship has its issues. None of us know what went down in that last phone conversation. I’m sure she’s no angel. However, the commentators here seem to think she drove him to suicide or something. If you’ve followed Chris’s career, you know many of his songs dealt with suicide and depression long before he met Vicky, and his songs actually became quite optimistic and full of joy and vitality AFTER he met and married her. Various people who knew Chris have said that Cornell had suicidal ideations since at least the 90s. Apparently, he slipped back into drug use and went back into that dark place and decided to end his life. That’s the tragic truth. Stop blaming the guy’s poor widow, she’s been through enough. Cornell is my favorite singer / songwriter ever, but he wasn’t a perfect man, and he CHOSE to end his life in a very stupid, impulsive, and selfish decision. Accept the truth!

    • Bruno Sílvio Martins

      Although I don’t agree with the selfish part (mental illness is a bitch), everything you said deserves a fucking applause.

      • PhoenixForce5

        Damian Karamazov still doesn’t make sense why she can’t accept that it was indeed suicide. You said it yourself, he’s written about it multiple times but Vicky keeps saying it wasn’t suicide… really? She was married to the guy. She didn’t have any inclination he had issues? Dude, people who knew him for lesser time than that have said he was prone to depression. Her narrative doesn’t fit with the data especially when the toxicology report came back that the drugs in his system were therapeutic levels.

    • Patricia McDonald

      Agree with everything except the last line. We don’t know if it was something he choose or if it was because of drugs or untreated mental illness,causing suicidal ideation, which can completely overwhelm your thoughts.

  • Gabi Sermoneta

    Touching story of what appears to be a beautiful friendship.