Rock Icon’s Son Reveals What Chris Cornell Told Him After Kurt Cobain Died


Chris Cornell created the song “You Never Knew My Mind” for Forever Words, an album featuring lyrics written by Johnny Cash, shortly before his death. Cash’s son John Carter Cash discussed meeting Cornell just after Kurt Cobain’s death for the first time in 1994 in a new Independent interview.

“I met him backstage at a Johnny Cash show in the mid 1990’s, after Kurt Cobain died.”

“I walked up to Chris because Soundgarden had changed my life when I was 19 years old in 1989, and I introduced myself, and he said: ‘Your dad has influenced me musically as much as any other artist if not the most.'”

He later said about Cornell’s contribution to the Forever Words album, “The album is an arc of hope, no matter how dark it gets. Sometimes it’s about expressing emptiness, nothingness, loss, like ‘You Never Knew My Mind’… sometimes it’s about expressing the darkness of facing yourself with addiction. Sometimes it’s about having the greatest hope you could ever have. And so, there’s an arc of hope in the whole project, to me.”

Chris Cornell discussed his reaction to Cobain’s death in a 2013 CNN interview.

“If you remember when Kurt and Nirvana were on the cover of Rolling Stone, he was wearing a t-shirt that said ‘Corporate magazines still suck.’ I thought, well that’s great that he wore that and they put that om their magazine, but he also showed up for the photoshoot and did the interviews and agreed wholeheartedly and happily to be on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine.

“So how was it in a sense that he’s not tearing himself apart doing the same thing? We all kind of had that crisis of mind and Kurt shooting himself was probably that to the extreme,” Chris concluded.

After describing the moment of hearing about Cobain’s death as very surreal, Cornell noted that “in a sense, we could all take solace in the fact that we were born from this idea that we played dark, moody music. Our identity in a sense was the band that created a soundtrack for that type of weird awful scenario.”

Cornell told Howard Stern in 2007, “I’d had friends die before that. The way that he did it was kind of a twist, but other than that, I’d been through it before. But it’s a shame, and it’s a shame for his daughter, for one, and it’s a shame for fans. But really it’s a personal thing, and it was a drag. I wish it didn’t happen. And I also think like if he had just kind of hung on for six months, six months later he could’ve been a completely different guy.”