Yesterday the world was shocked and saddened to learn that Soundgarden and Audioslave frontman, and solo artist in his own right, Chris Cornell had died at age 52. While his family is contesting whether or not drugs were involved with his officially reported suicide, it is very clear that the entire music world has lost a legendary, loving man, who was performing the music he loved right up until the end.
In an attempt to honor his legacy, last night in Indianapolis Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist Josh Klinghoffer covered Cornell’s infamous solo track “Seasons,” which is part of Cameron Crowe’s iconic grunge film Singles. In a somewhat ironic twist, new, unreleased music from Cornell is out today via a reissue of the Singles soundtrack, and Crowe shared the story of how Cornell inhabited his film’s character, Cliff Poncier, to create an entire cassette of music. Some of those songs, dubbed the Poncier EP are being released with the reissue.
As for the cover, which you can watch above, the Chili Peppers were playing in Indianapolis last night, and at one point during the set, Klinghoffer came out alone under a single spotlight to perform a very moving cover that is very true to Cornell’s emotional, roiling original. I feel this cover also reveals the beauty of this song and Cornell’s songwriting — no shots at the Peppers but it stands in such contrast with the bombastic playfulness of most of their own music that surely, it hit even deeper.
It was a moment of catharsis and shared grief for everyone at the show, and even watching it now, it represents just how deeply Cornell’s influence went — even to a band as disparate as Red Hot Chili Peppers. It makes me think of Cornell’s own comments about Kurt Cobain’s suicide, made back in 2007, that if Cobain could’ve somehow held on, things would’ve gotten better.
Read our tribute to Chris Cornell here.