For the highly unlikelihood of Matt, Kim, Ben, anyone related or associated with Chris or Soundgarden who patiently 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, thoughts, feelings and inquiries.
I'm just a single fan with a different perspective. I don't hold nor encourage antagonism towards anyone.
What I express and where I am now is from a place of healing, gratitude and peace.
One of the sole purposes of this post is lay out all that's irked my mind recently.
Also, this will probably be the last post I make touching on anything related to Chris Cornell's passing. As with all tragedies, life goes on. The show must go on.
And the music never dies.
To anybody who's followed the stories from the night of Chris's death, recognized the several oddities and falsehoods, you may understand where I'm coming from.
That being said, I may come across as insensitive towards Matt, Kim and Ben. Despite what I've discussed in my earlier posts, I remain deeply sympathetic towards all three of them, and there's no doubt in my heart that they continue to grieve from the loss of their brother Chris.
Over ten years of my life I remain a huge fan of Soundgarden, and I support them 100% in retrieving the rights back to their music. Their last recordings.
It's not my intention to open up old wounds or to dwell heavily 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.
And personally, writing out anything puzzling always helps with mental clarity and organization.
Most importantly, I want to make it perfectly clear that I'm in no way accusing the three of them of any wrongdoing here. I am however, not in favour of their absolute ignorance with Chris's passing. This was primarily based off their nearly three year silence on what transpired on the night of May,17th/2017.
Since the abrupt loss of Chris Cornell that night, the conflicting stories along with the recent lawsuit filed against Matt, Kim and Ben, I couldn't fully "stand with soundgarden" as many fans have trended.
For the reasons I lay out here, I remain neutral with the three of them.
#Detroit finally back to Rock City!!!! @soundgarden
-Chris Cornell, his 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 that haven't derailed from my mind, yet to be explicitly addressed from the surviving members of Soundgarden.
What I go over here is a statement specifically from Matt Cameron. Matt's statement within the band's legal response to the lawsuit filed by Vicky Karayiannis.
I know and respect the band's right to remain quiet and I hold no expectations of any one of them, let alone anyone associated with Chris or Soundgarden, to address anything I express here.
Again, one of my main intentions here, and for the final time, is to express what's recently irked my mind with Chris Cornell's case.
But I reiterate,
Christopher John Cornell did not end his own life on the night of May,17th/2017.
Circumstantially, medically and forensically; #NOMOREBULLSHIT: Dismissal of the Official Ruling part 2: THE FORENSIC EVIDENCE & THE AUTOPSY REPORT OF CHRISTOPHER JOHN CORNELL. . .
At the end of the day, I'm going to continue immersing myself in music, continue to make music, engage heavily in my vocal exercises, writing and eternally growing all that I want to manifest and share with the world.
Live to Create.
Live to Rise.
Shot by Andrew Catlin.
Another favourite photographer of mine.
WHAT STILL NEEDS EXPLAINING.
- Chris's demeanour on stage, the internal injuries he sustained, the state of the scene of where he was found dead, the stories of Chris's alleged relapse and drug abuse circling around 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 the hairline was NOT a form of male pattern baldness. Chris, to the best of my knowledge, did not display any form of natural balding (except minor receding) throughout the years of his life, let alone a large patch of missing hair 72 hours before the final concert.
Simply do an image/video search!
- Butalbital (Apparently, Chris had no prescription for the sedative.)
- The actual whereabouts of Matt, Kim and Ben after the end of the final show in Detroit.
For me, the exact whereabouts of Matt Cameron, Ben Shepherd and Kim Thayil remains one of the most burning questions in the wake of Chris's death.
*Did they all leave to the MGM?
*Were they all on the same floor of MGM?
*Did they really leave for Columbus, Ohio with Chris staying behind in Detroit?
SILENCE AND AMBIGUITY.
Personally, I always look for direct communication, straight out of the horse's mouth. In the first two stories published a year apart, journalists are speaking on the band's behalf.
Again, over a year after Chris passed, nor Matt, Kim or Ben had uttered a single word to the public.
What perplexed me was the first story published that clearly 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.
And here's a detail I overlooked also from Daily Mail, "His fellow band members have helped police by agreeing to be interviewed, but are 'reeling' at their friend's suicide."
From what I know, there's no documented evidence that Matt, Kim or Ben were ever interviewed. Not by police nor investigators.
Then a year later, a new story emerged. "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 not been one explicit word directly from Matt, Kim or Ben regarding the final show and the nature of Chris's death. Not through published or televised interviews, podcasts or social media posts.
Understandably they lost their close friend, and they're absolutely not obligated to speak to the public. But what was odd to me was that only Chris's widow had been incessantly vocal, and although there have been many problems with her stories, there's been no public confirmation or denial of her claims from anyone close to Chris.
And as far as I know, only his fans have refuted such information. Hell, most of us went after that stupid "autopsy" tv special.
So where were they really? What would you possibly say at that time?
Again, I'm aware that I may come across as insensitive here. Seemingly pointing the finger at three people who lost their best friend and bandmate of 30 years. I'm not expressing utter antagonism towards them. I'm only discussing what I've seen and what doesn't make sense.
While I continue to hold love, respect and support for them as artists and human beings, I just remain on the fence with the 3 of them.
And for me, the BS hasn't solely stemmed from Chris Cornell's widow.
MATT CAMERON'S STATEMENT.
Matt states within their legal response to Vicky's lawsuit that himself, Ben and Kim made a "late night trip" to Columbus, Ohio while "Chris stayed behind at a Detroit hotel."
Proceeding, Matt states, "as was customary. . ."
This newly piece of information I can't bring myself to believe. Firstly, I'm not arguing whether or not Soundgarden or any other band travel separately while on tour. Bands traveling separately on tour isn't uncommon and done so for many reasons.
If what Matt claims to be 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 of Chris's hotel room that night?
The only plane ticket (New York to Detroit) that was photographed and made public after Chris's passing in 2017.
Going back to the first two stories published a year apart in 2017 & 2018, why wasn't Matt's story regarding the band's whereabouts made known IN 2017? If Matt statements on the band's whereabouts were true, then we wouldn't have gotten the stories (The Daily Mail & Detroit Free Press) published with two different accounts.
The concert ended at 11:00pm, and Chris was in his hotel room at 11:30pm. So what exact time was that "late night trip" to Columbus?
This is an account posted in 2018 from a fan that CLEARLY 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. . .") AND according to the fan, they witnessed Matt around midnight.
This obviously indicates Soundgarden, or at least just Matt with the exception of Chris being witnessed, still in Detroit. It also indicates that before Matt, Kim and Ben allegedly boarded their tour bus on their way to Columbus, Chris had already died.
Did the three of them pack all their gear and already enroute to Columbus, Ohio that quickly? Right after the end of Soundgarden's final concert in Detroit at 11:00pm?
What I first noticed with Matt's statement is the absence of approximate times.
While that's not expected, it's still unusual.
Precisely, (Scroll down 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 broke. While Matt states he, his two bandmates and crew "got the news" from a 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!
"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?
Using Google maps, it indicates it takes approximately a 3 hour & 10 minute to a 3 hour & 40 minute drive from Detroit to Columbus. If the band allegedly left Detroit at midnight, then they would've arrived in Columbus at around 3:40am.
How would they have "gotten the news" even if they arrived in Columbus, Ohio at 3:40am?
Remember, the timeline publicly reported indicated Chris was declared deceased at 1:30am.
*Detailed spread compiled by Steven Davis.
Also, the actual first and second call to 911 was made precisely at 12:56:59 am and 01:52:09 am! The second call made 53 minutes later!
As of typing this I asked myself, "who actually made these two calls?"
Question still remains. . .
How did the remaining members of Soundgarden, their tour manager and the rest of their crew allegedly enroute to Columbus, learn of Chris's death when Chris's death wasn't 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.
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.
Basically, what I'm pointing out is 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.* (I have all copies saved.)
MATT CAMERON'S STATEMENT continued & paragraph 23.
More details I have heavy issues believing. . .
". . . 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, my first immediate instinctual reaction upon seeing "a "RIP: Chris Cornell" item," from one Facebook post would 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, with whom you were just on stage with hours ago, was dead?
Read carefully, 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 first? Why call "friends and family" after you "frantically searched news, social media. . ." when Chris's death hadn't been confirmed yet?
According to Matt, all they had to go by was a single Facebook post. I absolutely do not buy this claim.
Also, what time did their tour manager confirm the news of Chris's death?
Remember, a confirmation would have to been made at 4:30am or later on May,18th/17.
I feel reluctance from Matt in his statement, specifically to mention "The MGM" where Chris was staying the night. Simply stating "at a Detroit Hotel" as if to imply he, and rest of the band and crew, had no idea where Chris was staying for the night.
Remember, when the story first broke out of Chris Cornell'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."
That 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." From the Detroit Free Press
So which one of these stories is the truth?
Which story makes more sense?
For me, the initial story from the Daily Mail is more believable.
But sadly, bullshit thrives on time that has long passed.
Language can be carefully used add validity to a story or claim. If interested, read my earlier post regarding the few professionals and their statements on Chris's passing #NOMOREBULLSHIT: YOUR LOGICAL FALLACY IS: THE APPEAL TO AUTHORITY. . .
What I gathered from the entirety of Matt's statement, and from following the stories of Chris's passing from day 1, Matt seemingly goes heavy into appealing to emotion. With the circumstances of Chris's death, the remaining members of Soundgarden are in high, probable favour for an outpouring of sympathy and support from fans. Not arguing against that.
Their position inspires high probable sympathy from:
1. Chris Cornell, the frontman of Soundgarden, dead.
2. The current lawsuit filed against the surviving members of Soundgarden. The lawsuit filed for royalties from the band's own intellectual property.
3. Loyal fanbase.
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 suggests there was no possible way for them to have learned of Chris's passing, midway to Columbus, Ohio.
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 at midnight, they would've arrived in Columbus at around 3:40am May,18th/17. To add to that, a fan witnessed Matt and the band's tour bus in Detroit LEAVE at around midnight.
It occurred to me a bit after Chris's passing, and as heavy as this may seem, Matt, Kim and Ben already knew of Chris death long before the public was aware. Additionally, I doubt the surviving band members wouldn't bother leaving for the next city.
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."
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.
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 or any form of commotion that took place at the MGM Grand Hotel where Chris had died that night!
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, . . ."
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."
Again, there's no doubt in my heart that the band were in shock and devastated at the loss of Chris.
I am not questioning whether or not the band's grief was legitimate.
The problem I have throughout Matt's statement, besides the fact it's been almost three years for seemingly simple and innocent details to be shared with the public, are elements of convince-not-convey. An abundance of words and details used for validity, rather than keeping his statement short and simple.
Although this is a lawyer derived statement, I also find that there's unnecessary details as to "how they coped" with the news, ". . . our crew, assistance and friends who hugged, wept and attempted to console each other for many hours." Details to me that come across as fillers to a underlining story.
Matt's statement is within a 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 passing? Why mention any of that at all?
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 12 year sobriety onward?
Matt in full view of the back of Chris's head.
-The Fox Theatre; Detroit, Michigan. May,17th/17.
I noticed that Matt is the only one frequent on social media, through screenshots shared of his posts. Besides that, I don't follow nor engage with him.
SOUNDGARDEN'S LAST RECORDINGS & Our Universal Artistry.
"ROAD LESS TRAVELLED"
"AT OPHIANS DOOR"
"STONE AGE MIND"
"AHEAD OF THE DOG"
The songs of what was to be Soundgarden's latest, but not their final record, will be heard momentarily. I believe the lawsuit will end in their favour.
I'm looking forward to hearing those songs.
Every album super badass, especially Ultramega OK for me. (Not the re-issue though, sorry guys.) I've envisioned myself at Paramount Theatre, pressed up against the stage, my arms leaning on the edge, shoulder to shoulder in a tight crowd of a screaming audience in '89.
But damn though, I was only 2!
As I keep on rowing through life, music continues to be my savior.
For fellow musicians, singers, song-writers, authors, the self-employed, for 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, truth and bravery regardless of being in the limelight.
It's not always peachy though, especially when there's a sense of zero control of our own livelihoods. It's a struggle, a battle but worth it in the end.
Being famous for sure has its downfalls. Compared to us Jane & John Does, the spectators, the admirers, the wannabes and the millions of us who work and fight to come into our highest admirable selves, have it much easier when we allow ourselves to speak our personal truths.
Sometimes at worst, being on the receiving end of verbal ridicule
"When you are lowkey, you actually will be happier" -Ralph Smart.
No matter what, freedom is our human birthright.
The famous, whether from absolute modesty to complete infamy, sometimes have a lot at stake. I do empathize a bit with some celebrities. A peep of their personal truths, a tiny rip in their contract, can end it all.
Their careers, opportunities, finances and reputations all instantly thrown to the fire. I believe sometimes also, their physical lives too.
There's also a choice to abide by the terms, remain idle, speechless and even lie were its 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 the entirety of Soundgarden and other artists I've admired growing up, is the darkness they've conquered. Their uniqueness and human honesty with what 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, on stage at the Jack Singer with his follow-up to Higher Truth. One of the most beautiful soulful records I've listened to.
Then I'd see Soundgarden a year later, live for the first time with their new album.
I launched Nuageux Avec Pluie Occasionnelle (Cloudy with Occasional Rain,) two years ago with a damn explosive obligation to be his voice. Through my broken heart, mental agony and the utter denial I went through, I found solace, guidance and embraced a surge of confidence.
As I've shared from Fight Depression, I wholeheartedly believe Chris had full intentions to live despite all of his hardships. His humanism, intelligence, a strong hold on his 12 year 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 stands out. The silence considering Chris's powerful voice and in the band's name itself: SOUNDGARDEN.
That's what Soundgarden is known for right? Their SOUND!
"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. . . "
Silence reveals so much while
time continues to long pass.
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, The higher truth, - HIGHER TRUTH, Chris Cornell.
Finally Chris, and with all of my heart,
Rest in Beautiful Power!
Say Hello 2 Heaven.
Your song for Andy and rightfully for you too.
And I promise,
no more bullshit.