Seat­tle in mourning as it hon­ours its lost ‘ son’ Chris Cor­nell

Weekend Herald - - WORLD -

Grief- stricken Chris Cor­nell fans left flow­ers at memo­ri­als across Seat­tle for the mu­si­cian whose force­ful, som­bre songs helped ce­ment the city’s place in rock his­tory.

One of the lo­ca­tions where peo­ple gath­ered was the Sound Gar­den art sculp­ture at a Seat­tle park, for which Cor­nell’s band Soundgar­den was named. “It’s re­ally sad that he could never find peace in his life,” said Chad White, who came to the art dis­play with his young son Ig­natius to hon­our Cor­nell.

A bench near the cen­tre of the sculp­ture was cov­ered with flower ar­range­ments, one of which in­cluded a note, “Say ‘ hello’ to Heaven”, a ref­er­ence to a song writ­ten by Cor­nell for a mu­si­cian friend who died decades ago.

KEXP, Seat­tle’s pop­u­lar in­de­pen­dent ra­dio sta­tion, paid trib­ute to Cor­nell all day.

The sta­tion played non- stop songs from Soundgar­den, Cor­nell’s other bands and his solo work, as well as artists who cov­ered Cor­nell’s ma­te­rial and those who were in­flu­enced by him.

“Seat­tle’s son, Chris Cor­nell, has passed away,” DJ John Richards told lis­ten­ers.

The city’s Space Nee­dle went dark for an hour in trib­ute to Cor­nell.

Cor­nell was born and raised in the city and was part of a close- knit group of artists who formed the foun­da­tion of what would be­come the grunge scene that ex­ploded in the early 1990s by com­bin­ing the bom­bast of early 1970s heavy metal with the ag­gres­sion and at­ti­tude of punk rock.

“He was a huge in­flu­ence, one of the great­est singers ever to come out of Seat­tle, maybe the great­est sin­gle voice,” said Charles R. Cross, a Seat­tle- based mu­sic jour­nal­ist and au­thor who knew Cor­nell per­son­ally.

“I don’t even know what to say. I’m just shocked,” he said. “We don’t know the full story. The dark­ness I knew. But it’s a dev­as­tat­ing loss.” Author­i­ties say Cor­nell hanged him­self in a Detroit ho­tel room on Thurs­day fol­low­ing a Soundgar­den con­cert. The band had re­u­nited in 2010 af­ter years on hia­tus.

The group formed in Seat­tle in the 1980s at a time when the city was far off the beaten path of the musical main­stream and there were few venues for smaller artists to play orig­i­nal ma­te­rial.

Soundgar­den, Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains and Mud­honey were among the most high- pro­file bands to come out of Seat­tle and dom­i­nated the pop cul­ture land­scape of the early and mid- 1990s.

Pic­ture / AP

Flower trib­utes have ap­peared around Seat­tle.

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