“I like to think my angst has just manifested itself into pure unadulterated misanthropy.

                                                                                                                                                     – A Psycho Babbles

February 15, 2015

It’s been a few weeks since the death of Chris Cornell, and I can’t lie, this one has been tough. Chris Cornell and Soundgarden have been a constant in my life since 1990. They’re the stalwart friend, always there through thick and thin.

Soundgarden entered my life just as the discontentment, boredom and uncertainty of my teenage years began to manifest itself into the angst that would plague me and my generation for the better part of a decade.

It’s hard to explain angst to anyone who has never experienced it. It’s a constant state of worry. A constant state of yes, no, maybe, I don’t know. But Soundgarden got it! The music was loud, gritty, mean and dirty. They railed against the establishment and gave a voice to our inner turmoil. In the 90’s, when the waters of adulthood got too choppy to navigate, it was Soundgarden, Pearl Jam and Nine Inch Nails that I turned to for direction.

Some of my fondest memories revolve around Soundgarden. One such memory: driving to Lollapalooza in 1992 with a car full of happy idiots to see Soundgarden and Pearl Jam, turning over the odometer on the way. That car, a black Mercury Marquis with a taped on back bumper, would go on to become my “Soundgarden Mobile” when a Badmotorfinger window cling was added to the back window. Witnessing Soundgarden take a stand against censorship that day, by covering Body Count’s “Cop Killer”, just as Ice-T was facing backlash and pressure from his record label for its lyrical content, was inspiring.

(This was a very big deal at the time. If you aren’t familiar with the controversy, please Google it. It’s an interesting read.)

Memories of countless discussions and arguments regarding the meaning behind Soundgarden songs still randomly pop into my head.  Ultramega OK, Louder Than Love and Badmoterfinger were the soundtrack to many nights of just hanging out with friends.

I’ll never forget the first time I heard Chris Cornell sing with Temple of the Dog. I was awestruck. The piercing, intense, dark vocals of Soundgarden were replaced with a penetrating, deep, soulful, sensitivity; a style that would dominate his solo recordings.

I was there in ’91 when they opened for Guns N’ Roses at Madison Square Garden. (Not to anyone’s surprise, Axl was late and GNR didn’t go on until after 11:00pm. When we left at 1:30am, the band was still onstage.)

I was there for the reunion tour in 2010; second to the last row in the amphitheater but I didn’t care. I was there!

And, I there there for the NIN/Soundgarden co-headlining tour of 2014. No way I was missing that.

There are enough memories to fill a book, because for me, Soundgarden was more than just background music. Soundgarden was there when relationships sucked and friends faded away. They were there when friends were taken prematurely. They were there to motivate and inspire me, personally, politically and socially. They were there when I just needed to be alone and wallow in misery.

“Say Hello 2 Heaven”, “Flower”, “Hands All Over”, “Big Dumb Sex”, “Call Me A Dog”, “My Wave”, “Loud Love”, “Slaves and Bulldozers”, “Can’t Change Me”, “Hunger Strike”, “Nearly Forgot My Broken Heart”, “As Hope and Promise Fade”…

I was lucky enough to see Chris Cornell on his solo, acoustic, Songbook Tour. He was amazing and perfect. He was warm and friendly, turning the theater into his personal living room. Of the five times I’ve seen Soundgarden live, they always gave more than 100%.

I mourn Chris Cornell because, even though I’ve never met him, I feel that I’ve lost a friend. His music helped me understand the world around me and my part in it. His music inspired and challenged me.

I mourn for his wife and kids who will never see him again. I mourn for all his fans.

I mourn because I wouldn’t be the person I am today without Soundgarden and Chris Cornell.

R.I.P. my friend.

 

 

The final movie in Mushy Movie Music Month™ is the second Jim Sturgess film on the list. Across the Universe is also the second of three Jim Sturgess films that are in my top ten favorite films of all time. The third is the British horror flick, Heartless, which I really tried to manipulate to get on this list but it just wasn’t feasible. And, I tried! But, I had my own rules to follow so I had to leave it off.

There aren’t words to describe how much I LOVE Across the Universe. Julie Taymor is a creative genius. Based on Beatles songs, the film covers themes of love, war, peace, family, race and politics; with an especially poignant and powerful scene centered around “Let it Be.” Knowing the cast sang all the songs live during filming makes it even better.

I watched this movie, for the first time, with a huge, dumb grin on my face.  When Jude starts singing “All You Need Is Love” on the roof, I may or may not have started tearing up. I may have even choked up when Jude choked up seeing Lucy on the adjacent roof.

And, Max singing the line, “she loves you yeah yeah yeah,” always makes me happy.

Being a Beatles fan, and a fan of the entire cast, I can watch this movie over and over and over again.

 

Just two more videos to go! *sadface*

When I started this monthly project, I knew what the final two movies would be.  Rockstar was actually the first film that came to mind. The end when friends and lovers reunite to the Verve Pipe’s “Colorful” is soooooo sweet!

I cannot listen to this song without seeing Mark Wahlberg and Timothy Olyphant playing onstage and Jennifer Aniston walking…

And, did I mention Timothy Olyphant!!!!!

I love this movie so much. I’m not even sure if it’s a good movie, but it’s a movie that always makes me smile.

 

most were being good for goodness sake
but you wouldn’t pantomine
you are more beautiful when you awake
than most are in a lifetime
through the haze that is my memory
you stayed for drama though you paid for a comedy

i know i can be colorful
i know i can be grey
i know this loser’s living fortunate
cause i know you will love me either way

 

 

 

 

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