Seattle Icon Reveals Why Chris Cornell’s Death Was ‘Car Crash’ And Different From Layne Staley


Heart’s Nancy Wilson discussed Chris Cornell and Layne Staley in a new Rolling Stone article.

Rolling Stone asked, “‘The Dragon’ is a track on the new album that Nancy, you wrote in the Nineties about Alice in Chains singer Layne Staley after he overdosed. Chris Cornell was another close friend of yours from that era. How did you process that loss?”

Nancy responded, “I always loved him. All those guys, the Alice in Chains guys, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam and Chris always … I always thought he was lofty. He was quiet. He would just always be aloof. I thought, “Maybe he’s just not wanting to be a big friend,” you know? And then later when we went to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and we were kind of hanging out more again, he was like, ‘I was always such a huge fan of yours. I didn’t know what to say.’

[Turns out] he was clammed up around us, and I thought he was just being snooty. When he did the induction speech, it just made me cry. It was so beautiful how he really felt and how inspired he was. Now “The Dragon” – that song – is also about him. It’s about various addicts I’ve known in the past that you see it coming. I didn’t see it coming with Chris Cornell, though. That was just … that was a car crash for me.”

She later said, “Ever since we were kids, our Dad had a reel-to-reel Sony two-track, so we would do comedy music. We’d make up songs, do things on high speed/low speed, fill up the two-tracks with all kinds of chaos, hysteria … but we’d play stuff for Chris, and he’d be like, ‘… Yeah.’ He didn’t quite get the joke. But you know, group humor it doesn’t always fly with everybody. He was a pretty serious guy.”