It took me a few days to wrap my head around the death of Chris Cornell last Thursday. This is an excerpt from a longer post originally published at Scholars and Rogues.
I’m a child of the ‘90s. My best friend has been an insatiable music fan since we were kids and introduced me to many of the bands I love, though my collection long ago surpassed his in the amount of physical space it takes up. (Sorry, dude, but it’s true.) The quarter note tattooed on the inside of my right wrist is just the surface indication of a deep-rooted, all-consuming obsession. I am a music person.
Just before my 14th birthday, Kurt Cobain died. Just past the beginning of my sophomore year of high school, Shannon Hoon from Blind Melon was gone, a drug overdose taking his life the way it would Bradley Nowell of Sublime six months later. Shortly before I graduated from college, Layne Staley was found dead in his apartment. The day I gave my notice at my last writing job in the D.C. area, Scott Weiland died from a heroin overdose. On the eve, literally, of starting my first job back home in western New York in more than a decade, David Bowie left this mortal coil after a secret fight with cancer. Three months later, Prince was gone.
With the exception of Bowie, these men had histories with substance abuse, public struggles with all-too-personal demons that wouldn’t give up. Bowie, of course, was no saint but had seemingly stopped his partying ways decades before. Chris Cornell was, by all accounts, sober for more than a decade. When the initial report suggested he died by his own hand, something about hanging and being found with a band around his neck in a hotel bathroom in Detroit just hours after a Soundgarden concert, it didn’t make sense…
Read the rest here.