Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Eddie Vedder delivers tribute to Chris Cornell in London

photo: Paul Lorkowski / Chris Cornell Facebook

Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder paid tribute to his fallen friend, the late Chris Cornell of Soundgarden, during a June 6 solo performance at the Eventim Apollo in London, UK.

Cornell died in a Detroit hotel room on May 17 following a Soundgarden show in the city.

The two members of the Seattle music community shared a long friendship in the years following Vedder’s 1990 arrival in town to audition for Pearl Jam. Cornell enlisted the rocker to join him on a duet of “Hunger Strike” for his Temple Of The Dog album tribute to Mother Love Bone singer Andrew Wood, who died earlier that year of a heroin overdose; the project also featured ex-MLB and future Pearl Jam members Stone Gossard, Jeff Ament, Mike McCready and Matt Cameron.

Currently playing shows on a solo tour of Europe, Vedder reportedly shared his thoughts on the Cornell tragedy for the first time publicly during the first of two nights in the UK capital, according to a transcript shared on a Pearl Jam messageboard.

“Sometimes it's hard to concentrate these days,” Vedder began. “I was thinking about the history of this building and the Bowie history. So I started to think about that and my mind began to wander. It's not a good...So I haven't really been talking about some things and I kind of... now it feels like it's conspicuous because I lost a really close friend of mine, somebody who...

“I'll say this too,” he continued. “I grew up as 4 boys, 4 brothers and I lost my brother two years ago tragically like that in an accident and after that and losing a few other people, I'm not good at it, meaning I'm not...I have not been willing to accept the reality and that's just how I'm dealing with it.

“So I want to be there for the family, be there for the community, be there for my brothers in my band, certainly the brothers in his band. But these things will take time but my friend is going to be gone forever and I will just have to... These things take time and I just want to send this out to everyone who was affected by it and they all back home and here appreciate it so deeply the support and the good thoughts of a man who was a ... you know he wasn't just a friend he was someone I looked up to like my older brother.”

“About two days after the news,” Vedder revealed, “I think it was the second night we were sleeping in this little cabin near the water, a place he would've loved. And all these memories started coming in about 1:30am like woke me up. Like big memories, memories I would think about all the time. Like the memories were big muscles.

“And then I couldn't stop the memories. And trying to sleep it was like if the neighbours had the music playing and you couldn't stop it. But then it was fine because then it got into little memories. It just kept going and going and going. And I realized how lucky I was to have hours worth know if each of these memories was quick and I had hours of them. How fortunate was I?! And I didn't want to be sad, wanted to be grateful not sad. I'm still thinking about those memories and I will live with those memories in my heart and I him forever.”

At the conclusion of his tribute, reports indicate Vedder received a standing ovation from the London crowd.

Cornell’s passing was ruled a suicide by hanging by The Wayne County Medical Examiner's Office.

An autopsy later revealed the singer had several prescription drugs in his system when he was found in the bathroom of his room at the MGM Grand Detroit, including Naloxone (Narcan), Butalbital (sedative), Lorazepam (Ativan), Pseudoephedrine (decongestant) and barbiturates, and it appears the rockers had taken 4 (1 mg) Lorazepam tablets.

“Many of us who know Chris well, noticed that he wasn’t himself during his final hours and that something was very off,” said Cornell’s widow, Vicky. “We have learned from this report that several substances were found in his system. After so many years of sobriety, this moment of terrible judgement seems to have completely impaired and altered his state of mind.

"Something clearly went terribly wrong and my children and I are heartbroken and are devastated that this moment can never be taken back. We very much appreciate all of the love we have received during this extremely difficult time and are dedicated to helping others in preventing this type of tragedy.”

Cornell was laid to rest during a private memorial service at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Los Angeles on May 26.

See also:

Soundgarden: Chris Cornell toxicology reports released
Chris Cornell’s widow issues statement regarding Soundgarden singer’s death investigation
Chris Cornell’s brother posts tribute to the late Soundgarden singer
VIDEO: Guns N’ Roses perform Chris Cornell tribute in Ireland
Search Soundgarden at hennemusic