The passing of Chris Cornell (lead singer of Soundgarden & Audioslave) has been on my mind a lot. It was a real shock when I heard the news, I literally couldn’t believe it.
From what I knew, he’d been through hell and come out the other side… But obviously he hadn’t. I still remember the day I heard about Kurt Cobain’s death, which in some ways was kind of expected. But with Cornell it wasn’t.
I was 18 in my first year of uni when I first heard Soundgarden. One of my mates gave me taped versions of their albums (yep, tapes!). I’d rock out to them in my car and pump them through my silver beatbox in my bedroom (yep, I said beatbox!).
It was about that time that I started going to The Big Day Out (music festival). In 1994 Soundgarden headlined and blew me away. And ahem, Chris Cornell was pretty easy on the eye. Just my type with those green eyes and that long wavy hair.
In those days, we’d all buy tickets to the side gigs too and I was due to see Soundgarden play at the Prince of Wales bandroom. About two weeks before the gig, I had a pretty serious car accident – a head-on collision at 70kms. The other driver turned in front of me while I was going through an amber light. And the result wasn’t pretty. My car was a write-off and I was a mess. In short, I broke my collarbone and hit the steering wheel with my face and my chest, there was blood everywhere. Somewhere there are horrific shots of me looking like I’d been in the ring with Jeff Fenech!
Anyhoo, back to my point, I couldn’t go the side gig and was pretty devastated. But at least I got to see them at the festival.
I read a powerful article about Cornell’s passing and how depression can literally reach anybody, and that hit home big time for me. I never expected to experience it myself, but I did. I suffered a pretty serious reactive depression prior to having Ava and for a number of years after she was born.
It was during pregnancy when I fractured both (yes BOTH!) my hips. It remained undiagnosed for 6.5 months and I couldn’t walk during that time. I have since had a hip replacement on one hip and an osteotomy (don’t ask!) on the other hip. Including a cesarean I had four operations in four years – not so much fun!
It’s a VERY long story, but if you have time you can find it in four parts here:
I know I’ve definitely come out the other side (and I seriously hope I’ve kicked its skinny arse off the face of my earth!), but it really is true – everyone is touched by it at some point in their lives, whether directly or indirectly.
It’s bloody tough and can be a very long road. And the lyrics from Soundgarden’s song ‘I Fell On Black Days’ take on a very different meaning now.
RIP Chris. You will be missed, L xo