Chris Cornell Collaborator Reveals His Mental State Near End Of Life


Johnny Cash’s son John Carter Cash said Chris Cornell was in a ‘good space’ when he was working with him on “You Never Knew My Mind” for Forever Words. “You Never Knew My Mind” is one of the last songs Cornell recorded. Below is a Greensboro article excerpt:

Cornell chose “You Never Knew My Mind,” a piece Cash wrote in 1967 around the time he divorced his first wife and mother of their four children, Vivian Liberto, before he and June Carter married the following year.

Cornell also experienced the dissolution of a marriage (to first wife Susan Silver), something that John Carter Cash said came through in his setting of his father’s lyrics. Long before Cash recorded his lauded version of Cornell’s song “Rusty Cage” on his 1996 album “Unchained” with producer Rick Rubin during his late-in-life career renaissance, Cornell was a Cash fan.

“When Johnny Cash covered ‘Rusty Cage,’ it was the first time I received compliments (about) my lyrics,” Cornell said several years ago to the Hartford Courant. That was because, he suggested, “You can’t always make out the words I sing with Soundgarden.”

“I knew he was one of my dad’s favorites within the music industry,” said Cash. “He respected my father as much as anyone in that realm of music, so I knew he’d be part of it. He told me backstage in mid-1990s how much he loved my dad.”

The song delves into the heartbreak of people who grow apart: “You didn’t see me well enough to recognize the signs/ You didn’t want to know it’s over/ You never looked close enough to know/ You never knew my mind.”

“It took him (Cornell) a long time to come back with the original demo of ‘You Never Knew My Mind’,” Cash said. “It laid me down when I first heard it because it connected so deeply with his own pain and angst and honesty … . But his whole body of work is about connecting with the pain. He was in a really good space when he wrote that song. It still lays me down and brings me near to tears when I hear it and sometimes takes me all the way there.”