For the highly unlikelihood of Matt, Kim, Ben, anyone related to Chris or associated with 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 and inquiries.
I don't hold nor encourage antagonism towards anyone.
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 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 anybody who's followed the stories from the night of Chris's death and recognized the several oddities, 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 sympathetic towards all three of them, and there's no doubt in my heart that they continue to grieve from the loss of Chris.
Over ten years of my life I remain a huge fan of Soundgarden. Additionally, I support Matt, Kim and Ben in retrieving the rights back to 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.
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.
For the reasons I lay out here, I remain neutral with the three of them.
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.
#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 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.
Regardless, I do respect the band's right to remain quiet. I hold no expectations of anything I lay out here to be addressed.
Again, my main intentions here, and for the final time, is to express what's recently irked my mind with Chris's death.
But I reiterate,
I wholeheartedly believe Chris 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. . .
Another favourite photographer of mine.
WHAT STILL NEEDS EXPLAINING.
- Chris's demeanour on stage, the external and internal injuries he sustained, the scene of where he was found dead and the stories of Chris's alleged relapse/drug abuse circling before and 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 before the final concert.
Watch Soundgarden's show from May, 14th/2017 to see that Chris isn'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 the final show in Detroit.
Personally, 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 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.
When the death of Chris was known on May, 18th/17, there were two particular stories published a year apart with journalists speaking on the band's behalf.
Over a year after Chris passed, Matt, Kim nor Ben had uttered a single word to the public.
What perplexed me was the first story published that 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, here's a detail I overlooked also from that same article in the The 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 nor Ben were ever interviewed. Not by police or 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. What was odd to me though was that only Chris's widow had been incessantly vocal, and although there were many problems with her stories, there's been no 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 celebrity "autopsy" TV special.
So where were Matt, Kim and Ben really? What could they possibly say from that final night?
Now, 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 can't bring myself off the fence with the three of them.
As blunt as this may come, the bullshit hasn't solely stemmed from Chris Cornell's widow.
MATT CAMERON'S STATEMENT.
Matt states within their legal response to Vicky's lawsuit against the remaining members of Soundgarden 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 sometimes while on tour. Bands traveling separately on tour isn't uncommon and done so for many reasons.
Except in this case, I don't think Soundgarden travelled separately. I believe the claim was concocted long after the tragedy.
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 death in 2017.
Going back to the first two stories published a year apart in 2017 & 2018, why didn't Matt make his story regarding the band's whereabouts 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 a year apart with two different accounts.
The concert ended at 11:00pm, and Chris was supposedly 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 being 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 my 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!
"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, 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?
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 12:56:59 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 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.
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, is that my first immediate and 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 an hour 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 would you first "frantically searched news, social media. . ." and call "friends and family" when Chris's death hadn't been officially confirmed yet?
Matt states he had ". . .called Kim who was on the other bus. . . " and then called unspecified ". . .friends and family. . . " yet oddly doesn't make a call to Chris first after seeing a single Facebook post.
Also, what time did their tour manager confirm the news of Chris's death?
A confirmation and the knowledge of Chris's death would have to been made at 4:30am or later on May,18th/17.
So that makes the single "a "RIP: Chris Cornell" item," posted on Facebook story a lie.
There's reluctance from Matt in his statement within paragraph 22, specifically not mentioning "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 their crew, had no idea where Chris was staying for the night. This is interestingly what I know from psychology as Distancing Language.
Again, 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 to 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. . .
Another thing I see, and I say this bluntly, is Matt seemingly goes heavy into appealing to emotion within paragraph 23. With the circumstances of Chris's death, the remaining members of Soundgarden are in high, probable favour for an outpouring of sympathy, support from fans and little question regarding the details in his 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 suggests there was no possible way for them to have learned of Chris's passing, 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 at midnight, they would've arrived in Columbus at around 3:40am May, 18th/17 without stopping. To add to that, a fan witnessed Matt and the band's tour bus in Detroit LEAVE at around midnight. Chris had died in Detroit before midnight of May, 17th/17.
I absolutely believe now wholeheartedly that Matt, Kim, Ben and maybe some of the crew members, already knew of Chris's death long before the public was made aware. Also, I most certainly believe the claim of the surviving band members and crew en route to Columbus, Ohio was made to create an alibi.
An alibi created a year later within the Detroit Free Press, published, Oct, 25th/2018.
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 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 or 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."
Again, there's no doubt in my mind 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. That is, the remaining band mate's grief upon the truthful discovery and possibility of Matt, Kim and Ben's knowledge of Chris's fate that final night.
Overall, the problem I have with Matt's statement, (paragraph 22 & 23) 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.
". . . our crew, assistance and friends who hugged, wept and attempted to console each other for many hours."
Words and details used for strong validity, rather than keeping his statement short, simple and most importantly, his claim made on the night of the final gig.
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 sobriety of 12 years and 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.
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 I believe was 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.
What I've expressed earlier here may come across has harsh, though I believe I was objective to the best of my knowledge. Personally though, 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 through their admiration will never arouse suspicion.
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, write and eternally grow all that I want to manifest and share with the world.
Live to Create,
Live to Rise.
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.
Being famous can be brutal. 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 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.
Opportunities, finances and reputations all instantly thrown to the fire. I 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 the entirety of Soundgarden and other artists I've admired growing up, 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 city, on stage at the Jack Singer with his follow-up to Higher Truth; a beautiful soulful record.
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 in 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 stands 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. . . "
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, 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.