For the unlikelihood of Matt, Kim, Ben, anyone related to Chris or associated with Soundgarden who read through to the end of this post, or anyone who's new to my site, know that what I say here along with my previous posts comes from personal observations and inquiries.
I don't hold nor encourage antagonism towards anyone.
This will probably be the last post touching upon anything related to Chris Cornell's passing.
As with all tragedies, life goes on. The show must go on.
The music never dies.
To fans who followed the stories from the night of Chris's abrupt death and recognized the several oddities, you may understand where I'm coming from.
There's no intention to open up old wounds or to dwell deeply into the past. The shock, sadness, anger and confusion had run its course and from the loss of many artists, particularly Chris Cornell, my perspective on life and creativity shifted with great urgency.
Doing what you love while giving value to others, benefiting their lives abundantly.
That being said, this post may come across as insensitive towards Matt, Kim and Ben.
Despite what I've discussed in my earlier posts, I remain sympathetic towards all three of them and there's no doubt in my heart that they continue to grieve from the loss of Chris.
However, there're strong indications that Matt, Kim and Ben were not entirely ignorant of the circumstances surrounding Chris's death.
From the reasons explored here, I remain neutral with the three of them.
Nonetheless a huge fan of Soundgarden for over 10 years now.
I fully support Matt, Kim and Ben retrieving the rights back to their last recordings.
Since Chris's death in Detroit, the conflicting stories in addition to Matt's questionable statement as part of the band's legal response to the recent lawsuit filed against Matt, Kim and Ben, I couldn't fully "stand with soundgarden" as many fans have trended.
#Detroit finally back to Rock City!!!! @soundgarden
-Chris's last tweet May, 17th/17.
#nomorebullshit. A sentiment most of us grow into, coming into a great epiphany, releasing all which does not serve us, no longer holding onto what ails us, taking a stand, walking away, raising our voices and leading a life that they're not in.
The Murderers of Blue Skies have nothing on us!
". . . nobody tells me what to do, nobody tells us what to do. Anyone can do whatever they want, I don't care what it is, including you can fucking burn crosses on your lawn I don't give a shit, you can burn your house down, who cares, I don't. Longs it doesn't catch someone else's house on fire." - Chris prior to Soundgarden performing My Wave; Detroit, May, 17th/17.
That was a man I saw simply taking a stand.
They're still several unanswered questions since the night of Chris's death, yet to be explicitly addressed from the surviving members of Soundgarden.
Regardless, I do respect the band's right to remain quiet.
But I reiterate,
Chris Cornell did not end his own life on the night of May,17th/2017.
Circumstantially, medically and forensically.
(Two part forensic and circumstantial breakdown published Dec, 12th/18.)
WHAT STILL NEEDS EXPLAINING.
- Chris's demeanour on stage.
- The external and internal injuries post-mortem.
- The scene of where he was found dead.
- The stories of Chris's alleged relapse/drug abuse circling after his death.
- Chris's large missing patch of hair he displayed on the back of his head.
The missing patch of hair on the back of his head, far down from his hairline, was NOT a form of male pattern baldness. Chris, to the best of my knowledge and in my strong opinion, did not display typical male pattern baldness (except minor receding) throughout the years of his life, let alone a large patch of missing hair 72 hours prior.
Watch Soundgarden's 2nd to last show on May, 14th/2017 to see that Chris wasn't missing a large chuck of hair on the back of his head.
- Butalbital (Apparently, Chris had no prescription for the sedative.)
- The actual whereabouts of Matt, Kim and Ben after the end of Soundgarden's final show in Detroit.
Personally, the exact whereabouts of Matt Cameron, Kim Thayil and Ben Shepherd remains one of the most burning questions in the wake of Chris's death.
*Did all four of them leave to the MGM Hotel?
*Were they all on the same floor of MGM Hotel?
*Did Matt, Kim and Ben really leave for Columbus, Ohio with Chris staying behind in Detroit?
SILENCE AND AMBIGUITY.
Over a year after the night of Chris's death, Matt, Kim nor Ben had uttered a single word to the public.
However, there were two particular stories published a year apart with journalists speaking on the band's behalf.
The first story published states, "The group were whisked off together to the MGM Grand Hotel in a mini-bus." and "The guards, who were dressed in blue, accompanied the band to the hotel and they arrived within minutes." -The Daily Mail, published May, 18th/2017.
Additionally within the same article from The Daily Mail, "His fellow band members have helped police by agreeing to be interviewed, but are 'reeling' at their friend's suicide."
To this day, there's no documented evidence that Matt, Kim nor Ben were ever interviewed by police nor investigators.
Then a year later, and perplexing, was a second story. "Thayil and other Soundgarden members were already en route to Columbus for the band's next date when they got word that Cornell had died back in his Detroit hotel room." -Detroit Free Press, published, Oct, 25th/2018.
Besides the above two stories published within 2017 and 2018, there's been no explicit word directly from Matt, Kim nor Ben regarding Soundgarden's final show and the nature of Chris's death.
Not through published nor televised interviews, podcasts or social media posts.
Understandably, they lost their close friend and are not obligated to speak to the public.
What was odd though was that only Chris's widow had been incessantly vocal, and although there were many problems with her multiple stories, there was no confirmation nor denial of her claims from anyone close to Chris.
And as far as I know, many fans have refuted the information from Vicky.
Hell, most of us went after that stupid celebrity "autopsy" TV special "featuring Chris."
So where were Matt, Kim and Ben really?
What really happened to Chris that night?
Reading further may seem accusatory, pointing the finger at three people who lost their best friend and bandmate of 30 years.
The sole intention here is to explore what's been publicized and what doesn't make sense.
While I continue to hold love, respect and support for them as artists and human beings, I can't bring myself off the fence with the three of them.
As blunt as this may be, the bullshit hasn't solely stemmed from Chris Cornell's widow.
A Personal Perspective: Tension at the last gig.
Why exactly was Soundgarden on tour without any new music to promote? Weren't they working on a new record? Was the band on tour by their choice?
With their last show in Detroit, there was tension and little chemistry between them. Particularly, Ben looked incredibly stiff and seemingly anxious for the concert to end. Ben also didn't look entirely thrilled throughout their final tour, bored most of time and perhaps not wanting to be on the road at that time just as Chris supposedly.
Before Soundgarden performed "Been Away To Long" in the following video, Chris turns around from the mic and walks back, but stops when he realized there was no guitar present and tuned for him to play. His body language translates "oh okay, there's no guitar for me." He turns around and proceeds back up to the microphone while staring intently at Kim for seconds and then says, "Featuring Kim Thayil on guitar. . ."
As it appeared, Kim did not expect the introduction and turns away from the screaming audience with his arm up, Kim's body language seemingly saying, "Oh God, don't do that, don't look at me. . ." Chris with an annoyed tone in his voice then says, ". . .apparently I don't have a back up guitar in its tuning its like to much to ask for."
"Been Away To Long" doesn't feature Kim as in "Beyond The Wheel."
After Chris again turns away from the audience, Ben approaches Kim towards the end of the video. Ben glances over his shoulder at Chris for a second before turning back to Kim, Ben's body language and by his facial expression (from what I can see at best) as his mouth moves seemingly translates to, but not literally, "Yeah don't mind him, he's just an asshole."
MATT CAMERON'S STATEMENT.
Matt states within the band's legal response to Vicky's lawsuit that himself, Kim and Ben made a "late night trip" to Columbus, Ohio while "Chris stayed behind at a Detroit hotel."
Proceeding, Matt mentions "as was customary. . ." This detail, "as was customary" in my strong opinion, is to implant the notion that Chris always traveled alone from his three other bandmates.
There's no argument here whether or not Soundgarden or any other band travel separately at times while on tour.
Bands traveling separately on tour isn't uncommon and done so for many reasons.
Except in this case, the claim that Chris stayed behind in Detroit following the concert that night is suspect to have been concocted.
Again, this is due, among other reasons to follow, to the initial story published by The Daily Mail, "The group were whisked off together to the MGM Grand Hotel in a mini-bus." and "The guards, who were dressed in blue, accompanied the band to the hotel and they arrived within minutes." . . . "His fellow band members have helped police by agreeing to be interviewed, but are 'reeling' at their friend's suicide." -The Daily Mail, published May, 18th/2017.
If what Matt states is true regarding Chris ". . . with the plan to fly on to Columbus." the next day, where was Chris's plane ticket for Columbus, Ohio within the released photographs from Chris's hotel room that night?
The only plane ticket (New York to Detroit) that was photographed (MGM Grand Hotel room #1136) made public after Chris's death.
Why didn't Matt make his story regarding the band's whereabouts known in 2017? If Matt's statement on the band's whereabouts were true, there wouldn't have been two stories (The Daily Mail & Detroit Free Press) published a year apart with two different accounts.
The concert ended at 11:00pm, and Chris was supposedly in his hotel room by 11:30pm.
What exact time was that "late night trip" to Columbus?
This is an account posted in 2018 from a fan who states they saw Matt and his tour bus, but not Chris, leave around midnight.
Chris died before midnight according to the forensics and public record from Data.Detroit.Gov. (Scroll down to view "Phone Records. . .") Again, according to the fan, they witnessed Matt around midnight.
This indicates that Soundgarden, or at least just Matt witnessed by the fan, still in Detroit.
It also indicates that before Matt, Kim and Ben allegedly boarded their tour bus on their way to Columbus, Ohio, Chris had already died.
Did the three of them pack all their gear and already en route to Columbus, Ohio that quickly? Right after the end of Soundgarden's final concert in Detroit at 11:00pm?
Precisely, (Scroll down the post linked and view **Phone Records; Detroit Police Department 911 calls to service.) resuscitation attempts by Detroit EMS failed to revive Chris,
DOA: "Dead on Arrival."
The fan states they got the news of Chris's death at 4:30am the next day, May, 18th/2017 when the news of Chris's death was made public. While Matt states he, his two bandmates and their crew "got the news" from a single Facebook post while on the road:
"As are buses were headed to Columbus in the early morning of May, 18th , we learned that Chris had been found dead in his hotel room in Detroit after midnight." Specifically, I was scrolling through my Facebook page and saw "RIP: Chris Cornell" item. . ."
The news of Chris's passing wasn't made until later, not early in the morning of May, 18th/2017.
To reiterate, Chris died before midnight in addition the fan witnessing Matt and Soundgarden's tour bus leave around midnight.
"As are buses were headed to Columbus. . ." strongly implies the band were allegedly on the road headed to Columbus when they "got the news."
How is that exactly?
Using Google maps, it indicates it takes approximately a 3 hour & 10 minute to a 3 hour & 40 minute drive from Detroit to Columbus without stopping. If the band allegedly left Detroit at midnight, (as indicated by the fan leave around midnight) they would've arrived in Columbus, without stopping, at around 3:40am.
How would they have "gotten the news" of Chris's death if they arrived in Columbus, Ohio at 3:40am?
The timeline publicly reported indicated Chris was declared deceased at 1:30am.
Again, before the public was made aware.
*Detailed spread compiled by Steven Davis.
Also, the actual first and second call to 911 was made precisely at 12:59:47 am and 01:52:09 am. A second call made 53 minutes later.
Question still remains. . .
How did the remaining members of Soundgarden, their tour manager and the rest of their crew allegedly en route to Columbus, learn of Chris's death when Chris's death was not made public after 4:00am in the morning of May,18th/2017?
Specifically refer to "Date & Time Completed" at the top left of Steven's compiled breakdown below.
Document completed by " Reporting Officer Alonzo Tolefree" at 4:20am on May, 18th/2017 and statement form completed by "Inv. Charles Weaver." at 4:35am on May, 18th/2017.
At 4:35am, the interview with Martin Kirsten ended.
Overall, the press likely received the news at the exact time of 4:30am or a bit later.
Just as the fan above stated, "My mom text me at 4:30am when the news broke."
*Steven's compilations are from the official documented reports of Chris's death and the investigation made public.*
". . . Information Shared with the Public (full reports and images for personal review)
MATT CAMERON'S STATEMENT continued & paragraph 23:
Distancing language is phrasing used by people to "distance" themselves from a statement,
either to avoid thinking about the subject or to distance themselves from its content. Distancing
language is often a means of self-deception, but distancing language used orally may indicate that person is lying - Distancing Language.
Additional details suspect of duplicities.
". . . We and our crew frantically searched news, social media and called friends and family, until we received the awful confirmation from our tour manager."
First of all, and what I believe to be general with others, is that my immediate reaction upon seeing "a "RIP: Chris Cornell" item," from one Facebook post would likely be to CALL Chris's cell phone, the MGM Grand hotel were he was staying the night, or possibly Chris's bodyguard Martin Kirsten. One of the three!
They were friends and bandmates for over 30 years, not strangers. Also, did anyone else on that tour bus try calling Chris first?
1. Why would you first spend time searching the internet to confirm if your friend of 30 years, also with whom you were just on stage with an hour ago, was dead?
Read again, Matt states ". . . We and our crew frantically searched news, social media and called friends and family, until we received the awful confirmation from our tour manager."
2. I reiterate, why not call Chris himself, the hotel or Martin Kirsten? Why would you first "frantically searched news, social media. . ." then oddly call "friends and family" when Chris's death in actuality wasn't announced as a reality?
*UNBELIEVABLY*, Matt also states he had ". . .called Kim who was on the other bus. . . " in addition to have called unspecified ". . .friends and family. . . " yet oddly doesn't think to make a phone call to Chris after Matt allegedly saw a single Facebook post?
Also, what time did their tour manager allegedly confirm the news of Chris's death?
From where did their tour manager confirm the news of Chris's death?
A confirmation and the knowledge of Chris's death was from the time of 4:30 am,
Matt's single "a "RIP: Chris Cornell" item," Facebook post story is a lie.
The seemingly reluctance from Matt in his statement within paragraph 22, specifically not mentioning "The MGM" where Chris was staying the night, is one example of Distancing Language.
Stating, "at a Detroit Hotel" to imply he, and rest of the band and their crew, had no idea where Chris was staying for the night.
Again, when the story first broke of Chris's death, The Daily Mail reported on May, 18th/17, "The group were whisked off together to the MGM Grand Hotel in a mini-bus." and "The guards, who were dressed in blue, accompanied the band to the hotel and they arrived within minutes."
The Daily Mail story was up for the remainder of 2017.
Then late into the following year, specifically on October, 25th/18, "Thayil and other Soundgarden members were already en route to Columbus for the band's next date when they got word that Cornell had died back in his Detroit hotel room." - Detroit Free Press
So which one of these stories is the truth?
Which story makes more sense?
Personally, the initial story from the Daily Mail is more believable.
But sadly, sometimes bullshit thrives on time that has long passed.
AGAIN, #NOMOREBULLSHIT: Appeal to Emotion.
Language can be carefully used to add validity to a story or claim. If interested, read my earlier post regarding the medical professionals and their statements on Chris's death. #NOMOREBULLSHIT: YOUR LOGICAL FALLACY IS: THE APPEAL TO AUTHORITY.
As blunt as this may be, Matt appears heavily to be appealing to emotion within paragraph 23. Appeals to emotion include appeals to fear, envy, hatred, pity, pride, and more. It's important to note that sometimes a logically coherent argument may inspire emotion or have an emotional aspect, but the problem and fallacy occurs when emotion is used instead of a logical argument, or to obscure the fact that no compelling rational reason exists for one's position. Everyone, bar sociopaths, is affected by emotion, and so appeals to emotion are a very common and effective argument tactic, but they're ultimately flawed, dishonest, and tend to make one's opponents justifiably emotional.
Words used to emphasize the devastation from Chris's death and to elicit sympathy; utterly, state of shock, struggled, highly-distraught, beloved friend, embraced, hugged, wept, console
all seem, personally, to be unnecessary within his statement.
Matt does not express any inquiry into the nature of Chris's death nor express concern on whatever Chris may have been going through prior to his death.
Understandably, the remaining members of Soundgarden are in high probable favour for an outpouring of sympathy and support from fans.
Though, little question from fans regarding the likely inconsistencies in Matt's statement.
Paragraph 23: " I was utterly devastated to lose my beloved friend, brother and comrade, and was in a state of shock. As we pulled our buses to the roadside, embraced each other, and struggled with what to do next, our tour manager advised us not to go back to Detroit as it would be swimming with police, press and other media, and there was nothing positive that could be achieved. We also had a throng of highly-distraught crew and tour team members already in or headed to Columbus who needed support. So we organized a vigil in a conference room at our Columbus hotel, where we were accompanied by our crew, assistance and friends who hugged, wept and attempted to console each other for many hours."
1. ". . . As we pulled our buses to the roadside, . . . " This is another detail that strongly suggests there was no possible way for them to have learned of Chris's death, allegedly midway to Columbus, Ohio.
Once again, the news of Chris's death wasn't made public until 4:30am May, 18th/17. If the band and their crew allegedly left Detroit for Columbus, Ohio at midnight, they would've arrived in Columbus at around 3:40am May, 18th/17 without stopping.
Additionally, the fan (referenced above) witnessed Matt and the band's tour bus in Detroit leave around midnight.
Chris's death took place before midnight in Detroit on May, 17th/17.
With certainty, Matt, Kim, Ben and perhaps their crew members, already knew of Chris's death long before the public was made aware. Also, a strongly possibility of the surviving band members and their crew en route to Columbus, Ohio was a story made to create an alibi.
An alibi created a year later within the Detroit Free Press, published Oct, 25th/2018.
Why wait nearly two years later since Chris's death for the "Columbus trip" story to be known?
2. ". . . our tour manager advised us not to go back to Detroit as it would be swimming with police, press and other media, and there was nothing positive that could be achieved."
Matt's claim of their tour manager advising the band not to go back to Detroit, in my strong opinion, is to reinforce the notion of their absence away from Chris death.
A question I asked myself after the emergence of the Detroit Free Press published in 2018, was why the band and their crew didn't turn around and head back to Detroit?
Supposedly after "learning" of Chris's death while allegedly on the road to Columbus, Ohio.
Nearly three years later, and still not a single shred of evidence of what Matt stated regarding Detroit ". . .swimming with police, press and other media, . . ."
To this day, there's been no eyewitness accounts, images or videos posted of Chris Cornell greeting fans and signing autographs. No press, police, ambulance, media nor any form of commotion that took place at the MGM Grand Hotel where Chris had died that night!
And who can forget the mysterious CCTV footage of Martin Kirsten, Chris's bodyguard, heroically kicking down two doors of Chris's hotel room the public has yet to see?
3. "We also had a throng of highly-distraught crew and tour team members already in or headed to Columbus who needed support. So we organized a vigil in a conference room at our Columbus hotel, where we were accompanied by our crew, assistance and friends who hugged, wept and attempted to console each other for many hours."
Personally, there's no doubt in my mind that the band were in shock and devastated from the loss of Chris.
I'm not questioning here whether or not the band's grief was legitimate. That is, the remaining band mate's grief upon the truthful discovery and the liklihood of Matt, Kim and Ben's knowledge, before the news broke out to the rest of the world, of Chris's death that night.
Additionally, the band's knowledge of the circumstances surrounding Chris before his death.
Matt's statement is within the band's legal response to Vicky's lawsuit against Soundgarden. Why explain now in minor detail of the band's whereabouts in the wake of Chris's death?
Had Vicky not filed a lawsuit against the surviving members of Soundgarden, would we eventually know the details of their whereabouts after the final concert?
Would they share what was really going on with Chris on that final night?
Would they clear up all the speculations? Did Chris really succumb to suicide despite the contrary?
Did Chris really "fall off the wagon", or did he continue to maintain his sobriety of 12 years and onward substance free?
Personal commentary examining Matt's statement here some may find mean spirited. However, it's a lot more callous to seemingly take advantage of sincere sympathy and support, knowing very well the majority of people giving that love and support through their admiration, will likely never express doubt.
Matt in full view of the back of Chris's head.
-The Fox Theatre; Detroit, Michigan. May,17th/17. Image taken by Paul Lorkowski.
*At the 3:00 minute mark of Robin Robert's (ABC News Good Morning America) interview with Vicky is where the screen capture of Paul's shot was taken from.*
It appears that only Matt is frequent on social media from screenshots shared of his posts. Besides that, I've personally never followed nor engaged with him.
LIVE TO CREATE, LIVE TO RISE.
"ROAD LESS TRAVELLED"
"AT OPHIANS DOOR"
"STONE AGE MIND"
"AHEAD OF THE DOG"
The songs of what was to be Soundgarden's latest, and what I believed not to be their final record, will be heard. I believe the lawsuit will end in their favour.
I'm looking forward to hearing those songs.
For fellow musicians, singers, song-writers, authors, the self-employed, all starving artists and all human beings who seek to live a glorious life, myself included, (I tell myself this all the time!) strive for authenticity.
It's not always peachy though, especially when there's a sense of zero control over our own lives. It's a struggle, a battle but worth it in the end.
The famous sometimes have a lot at stake. I do empathize a bit with some celebrities.
A peep of their unpopular personal stances, a tiny rip in their contract, can end it all.
Opportunities, finances and reputations all instantly thrown to the fire. I also believe, sometimes, their physical lives set aflame too.
There's also a choice to abide by the terms, remain idle, speechless and even lie were it's necessary. Ensuring protection and safety for themselves and for those they love.
Justified or not, that's another story.
CHRIS CORNELL & THE HIGHER TRUTH.
“If I think about the evolution of my life as it appears in songs for example, Higher Truth is a great example of a record I wouldn’t have been able to write, and part of that is in essence because there was a period of time there where I didn’t expect to be here,”
“And now not only do I expect to be here, and I’m not going anywhere, but I’ve had the last 12 years of my life being free of substances to kind of figure out who the substance-free guy is, because he’s a different guy. Just by brain chemistry, it can’t be avoided. I’m not the same, I don’t think the same, I don’t react the same. And my outlook isn’t necessarily the same. My creative endeavors aren’t necessarily the same. And one of the great things about that is it enabled me to kind of keep going artistically and find new places and shine the light into new corners where I hadn’t really gone before. And that feels really good.” - Chris Cornell, 2015.
As spectacular a lyricist and musician Chris Cornell was along with his raw, raspy, bluesly, piercing loud, high, deep and sensual 4 octave vocal range, and let's all agree here, a gorgeous man, I don't hold him up as a martyr or saint. What attracts me to his artistry, along with other artists I admire and respect, is the darkness they've conquered. Their uniqueness, honesty and their human experiences they share, finding myself resonating with some aspects of their lives.
From the warm night of Sunday, July 24th 2016, I knew I was going to see him again in Calgary. In my home city on stage at the Jack Singer with his follow-up to Higher Truth; a beautifully emotional record.
Chris @Jack Singer Concert Hall: Sunday, July 24th/16.
The first and last photo I took of him.
Then I'd probably see Soundgarden a year later, live for the first time with their new record.
I launched Nuageux Avec Pluie Occasionnelle (Cloudy with Occasional Rain) three years ago with a damn explosive obligation to be his voice. Through my broken heart, mental agony and the utter sadness I went through, I found solace, guidance and embraced a surge of confidence.
As I've shared from my post Fight Depression, I wholeheartedly believe Chris had full intentions to live despite all of his hardships. His humanism, intelligence, a strong hold on his continuous sobriety, his philanthropy, poetry and his music represented life. He would live the rest of his life continuing to make music; as a solo acoustic guy and with Soundgarden.
All that was placed upon Chris Cornell in the wake of his death continues to be heavily contradicted.
The irony continues to stand out.
The silence considering Chris's powerful voice and in the band's name itself: SOUNDGARDEN.
"There's no time to keep it low
I've been deaf now I want noise
You stay down
But I won't be quiet
I'll hammer on until you fight. . . "
Make a promise if you can, You know, You'll only break it, Make a promise if you dare, Go on right ahead, And let's see where it gets you,
But I'll take the truth, The higher truth, The higher truth, I want the truth, The higher truth, HIGHER TRUTH, Chris Cornell.
Chris, with all of my heart,
Rest in Beautiful Power!
Say Hello 2 Heaven.
Your song for Andy and rightfully for you too.