Why Chris Cornell Will Always Live On Through His Fans


Photo by Dustin Halter for Alternative Nation.

Jaye English just sent word to me that limited copies of Photofantasm Soundgarden: Nudedragons to King Animal are available on Photofantasm.com. Photofantasm is a book documenting Soundgarden’s reunion from 2010 until the release of King Animal and its ensuing tour, with all net proceeds going to charity. The book is full of photos from fans, and quotes from members of Alice In Chains, Guns N’ Roses, Alter Bridge, System of a Down, and Nirvana. The project was very much a labor of love from Soundgarden’s fans, I even contributed some photos to the book. Taking another look at this project made me reflect on the loss of Chris Cornell, and the impact he has had on fans like me and the many others included in the book.

Chris’ loss has been tough on me. I haven’t written anything editorially on his passing because it is tough to put into words. The majority of the faces on the banner when I launched Alternative Nation under the name ‘Grunge Report’ in 2009 are now dead. I have written about Chris’ life and career every day for the last 8 years, since I was 17 years old, and his music has gotten me through the toughest times of my life for longer than that. It’s surreal and brutal to be writing the headlines I’ve been writing about his death every day for the last two weeks, it feels like an extended bad dream.

I’m still in shock, especially because of the way he died. As much as Scott Weiland’s death broke my heart, it was something I had feared for years due to his struggles and was prepared for. With Chris, he seemed like he had overcome his battle with darkness, which made his music even more triumphant. While his music is still incredible, it is just heartbreaking to listen to it now and not only know that he is dead, but the way he died. I didn’t know Chris personally, but from the conversations I’ve had over the years with those who knew him best, he had a beautiful soul. I’ve experienced a tough loss in my life where the death was under terrible circumstances, so I really feel for Chris’ family and friends. In time, the great memories will make you smile, but it’s always bittersweet.

The loss has been very tough on the fan community. Chris had a very loyal fanbase, including Jaye English who put Photofantasm together, Rose Hurt who has told touching stories about how Chris’ music helped her fight cancer, and how she got to meet Chris, Jeff Ansari who has done great work over the years with his website Jeffgarden.com. While Chris himself may be gone, his music lives on in our hearts.

Jaye sent us the following, “In light of Chris Cornell’s devastatingly sad news, there has been a renewed interest in the heartfelt and historic book Photofantasm Soundgarden. In the wake of this tragedy we’ve received an influx of inquiries about the book that was released in 2015 with over 300 contributors in 30 countries. All net proceeds go to charity.

The book is a loving tribute and now memorial in honor of Chris Cornell and Soundgarden. Due to the correspondence we’ve received, we want fans to know there are still limited copies available at www.Photofantasm.com

Chris (and the band) had signed many fan copies acknowledging he “loved the book” see attached image (this photo by @JeffGarden) and website along with other reviews from his brother Peter Cornell, Rolling Stone, Duff McKagan (GNR), and others.”