Death of a grunge god
Soundgarden were my chosen teen-angst / best-band-to-bake-to of the 90s. Superunknown did not leave the kitchen tape deck often. I’d listen to Chris Cornell’s screeching banshee voice while stirring chocolate cakes, as if it were a sexy, sacred hymn.
Birthed in Seattle in the mid 80s, Soundgarden were a pioneer of the grunge and alternative rock movement. This flowed on though the 90s with Nirvana and Pearl Jam. Pearl Jam are still kicking on: Eddie Vedder is like, “I’m still alive”.
So when I heard of the suicide of Chris Cornell, the four-octave frontman of Soundgarden and later Audioslave, I googled “early Soundgarden”, and was confronted with this image.
I immediately wanted to blank it from my mind and shield it from others. But with 8.3 suicide deaths every day in Australia, (data gathered by Australian Bureau of Statistics in 2015), it would seem that keeping things quiet and taboo, is so not working for us.
As we can see from Chris Cornell and Kurt Cobain, no amount of fame, financial wealth or talent, can make us immune to the sometimes hard reality of existence. Bringing difficult things into the light of day, and sharing with friends and family does help.
Austrian writer Vicki Baum who wrote, “There are shortcuts to happiness, and dancing is one of them”, also wisely noted that, “Fame always brings loneliness. Success is as ice cold and lonely as the North Pole”. So let us dance together, and be merry.
Looking forward to choreographing some grunge for this week’s Cassettes dance classes.