Howard Stern has frequently discussed the death of Chris Cornell over the last 2 years, and he continued the discussion in his book Howard Stern Comes Again, contemplating why people died by suicide and overdoses. Stern had previously questioned how Cornell could have died by suicide, but his story in his book explains how it’s difficult for him to contemplate these kinds of deaths. You can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, and find a local Narcotics Anonymous meeting at NA.org.
“I once read somewhere that no one can sit and contemplate their own death for very long. It’s just too painful and overwhelming. You can’t stay focused on it for more than a few moments. I bring up death often in my interviews, especially when it involves artists who died before I got the chance to talk to them. Prince. Kurt Cobain. Chris Farley. Whitney Houston. John Lennon. Since I never had the opportunity to know them, I like to hear from people who did. Several died by either suicide or overdose. I always want to figure out why. Why were they in so much pain? Why did they feel like death was their only option? Were there signs? Could they have been helped?
Take Chris Cornell. When he killed himself, that just rocked me. He had such a beautiful spirit. He’d been on the show a few times over the years, and I got a great vibe from him. Granted, it was only in that artificial studio setting, but I really felt like we had developed a friendship. Chris was so smart and self-aware. As he says in this section, he had seen what happened to Kurt Cobain and the pain it caused his family. In my mind, if anyone would have avoided that same ending, it was Chris. While there is sadness over the next few pages, there is also joy. It is an opportunity to celebrate these creative geniuses. What a privilege that they walked the earth for as long as they did. What an honor we got to experience their brilliance at all.”
Howard Stern discussed Chris Cornell and his death on his show in March, according to a MarksFriggin.com recap.
He said they’ll have Chris Cornell doing ”Black Hole Sun” too [on an upcoming weekend music series]. He played some of that performance from 2007.
Howard said that is one of the best songs ever written. He said he didn’t kill himself either. He said no way. He said there’s no way someone who can sing like that and looks like that is going to kill themselves. He said it’s impossible. He said it had to be Fred who did it.
Howard said he can’t even tell you how good this Saturday show is. He said Tom Petty died and Miley Cyrus came in and did a performance for them. He said she did a cover of ”Wild Flowers.” He played some of that.
Howard Stern also discussed Chris Cornell’s death on his show in May 2017, questioning how he could die by suicide.
“I’m kind of with the family on this, he just didn’t strike himself as a guy who would kill himself based on everything I’ve read. He was in Detroit, [Soundgarden] were on tour.”
“The wife and family is claiming he was on a medication of some kind [Ativan], and I was talking to somebody I know who is a little familiar with medications. Someone said to me right away, I wasn’t even talking about Chris Cornell, and they said, ‘Oh, that’s the one that makes you want to kill yourself if you OD on it.’ So I don’t know, the family is claiming that, I’m sure the drug manufacturer is saying that’s a lot of horse shit, but who knows.”
Stern later said, “The best song that Chris Cornell ever wrote was ‘Pretty Noose.’ Am I right about that? And Pretty Noose, the guy hung himself.”
“‘I don’t like what you got me hanging from.’ You don’t think this guy was depressed? What a song, what a talent.”
He also discussed Cornell’s good looks, “I also think Chris Cornell is a really good looking dude.”
“To be a rock star, to be that good looking, he could sing anything this fucking guy.”
“He couldn’t have killed himself.”
He also said, “That’s why I can’t even wrap my head around it, a guy having that much going on and killing himself, I just can’t buy it. I mean it’s crazy to think how many singers from the 90’s Grunge scene are gone. Kurt Cobain of course, Layne Staley from Alice In Chains, Shannon Hoon from Blind Melon is dead, Scott Weiland from Stone Temple Pilots.
But Eddie Vedder is still here, Billy Corgan, and Courtney Love. All those guys are dead, and Courtney Love survived. Who would have thought that? Everyone always thought Courtney Love was fucked up, but she’s still alive.”
He also joked, “Great looking people should never be sad. I should be sad, you should find me hanging from a belt. Really, what do I have? I look like Ichabod Crane.”
He later said he didn’t think Cornell ‘really meant’ to commit suicide, when playing a clip of Cornell discussing Kurt Cobain’s suicide.
“He talked about his love of music, this is why I can’t believe he’s gone, or committed suicide willingly, like he really knew what he was doing. Because back in 2011, you can hear how excited this guy is about music.” He then played a clip of Cornell discussing his love of music.