Reasoning with Madness
"This is a barbaric yawp, and it will be sounded over the roofs of the world."
Soundgarden was the first band I ever saw live.
They opened for Guns N Roses in Tampa, FL in 1991 on the Use Your Illusion Tour. I was 14 years old. They were loud, wild, young...and at the time I was too dumb to realize how great they were, but I quickly learned.
The second time I saw Soundgarden was on the Down on the Upside Tour in Salem, OR in 1996. It was their final tour before breaking up for a decade. It was a decent show, but you could tell they were exhausted. It didn't surprise me that they broke up after that.
I saw them for the third and final time at the Schnitzer in Portland on their reunion tour after they released King Animal. It was one of the best concerts I've ever seen. Total redemption.
I can't begin to explain how much that band meant to me. Their earlier work is incredible, but Badmotorfinger and Superunknown are easily two of my favorite albums ever. Ive listened to them more times than I can count and dive into one of them at least once a month. Both are absolute timeless rock albums front to back.
They were the soundtrack to my rebellious youth and helped make me the lifelong musician I'll always be. They changed how I listened to and understood music and taught me how to understand time signatures, meter and alternate tunings. They were one of the first bands to teach me to think outside the box.
Cornell's lyrics seem to come from another plane of existence and always mean something different every time I listen to them and evolve with my own growth. I was never a huge fan of the "supergroup" with Rage, Audioslave, but I may have been one of the first DJs to in Eugene to play them on the radio. I rocked the "Cochise" single the day it landed on my desk way back at the college station I worked at. That song is a mother!
Cornell's influence on my life is and forever will be profound. May his demons lose their scent on his beautiful, mysterious troubled soul.
Rest in Peace Chris Cornell. Say Hello to Heaven.
Who Am I?
I am Ahab.