In My Time of Dying

I woke up this morning to the news that legendary vocalis dei, Chris Cornell, had passed away following a concert in Detroit. He was 52. I’ve spent the day, like many, playing his music, reminiscing with friends online, and generally mourning the loss of such an awesome talent.


I discovered Soundgarden in 1990 via the Pump Up the Volume soundtrack. Their contribution, a song called Heretic, was instantly memorable and led me to seeking out more of their music, but it was 1991’s Badmotorfinger that sealed the deal.

1991 wasn’t a great year for me emotionally or physically. I was in a spiritual funk and, to be honest, a bit burnt out. I was pretty much five or six years into drug and alcohol addiction and pretty frazzled.

Soundgarden, Alice in Chains, Nirvana, the Meat Puppets, and a host of other bands from that neck of the woods were a staple. Lots of people considered Cobain the voice of a generation, but I always thought Cornell was the defining figure. His lyrics were insightful, his vocals as powerful as any that had ever erupted out of a pair of speakers.

Now, hours later, it seems all but certain that Chris Cornell took his own life. Death is never welcome, but even less so when it is so senseless. There’s a horrible epidemic in this country. Opium in all its many guises has its grip on far too many.

It’s a bloody shame. I feel for his wife, his children, and everyone who loved him.

Chris Cornell will be sorely missed. Though his body will have left us, his music will last forever…

It is fitting that the last song he performed was “In My Time of Dying”, a traditional blues hymn popularized by Led Zeppelin.

“In my time of dying, I want nobody to mourn. All I want for you to do is take my body home. Well, well, well, so I can die easy…”

Godspeed, Chris Cornell. May you rest in peace.

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