I’m very sad to read about Chris Cornell’s death. Nirvana and Pearl Jam received more widespread attention, but Chris Cornell’s Temple of the Dog and Soundgarden bands were a driving force in the early days of grunge. And on into his more recent Audioslave and solo days, he remained one of my favorite male vocalists. His voice was extraordinarily powerful and unique, as was his music.
We in the Muruch household have loved Fisher’s music as long as we have loved each other. Fisher’s “I Will Love You” was Editor Vic’s first mp3 download in 1999, the mp3.com link of which was sent to her by then boyfriend Brendan. Husband and wife duo Fisher were kind enough to dedicate the song to us during their 2001 set at Mountain Stage on our 1st wedding anniversary. Here we are about to celebrate our 15th anniversary this winter and Fisher just released their 9th studio album, 3. You probably heard my excited scream when I saw Fisher covered Temple of the Dog’s “Hunger Strike” (one of our recent Throwback Thursday videos).
A lot of sites are posting about Kurt Cobain today, 20 years after his death. Of those I’ve read, I find Time’s the most interesting since it has quotes from members of Soundgarden, Weezer and The Roots about Nirvana. I hadn’t planned to write anything myself for the same reason I didn’t review the 20th anniversary edition of In Utero…that icky feeling of capitalizing on a tragedy. But the significance of today and the memories it evokes are much stronger than any misgivings I felt before, so here we go…
I was a high school freshman 20 years ago and I, along with most of my classmates, was in love with everything connected to Grunge. I dyed my hair black, raided my brother’s and grandfather’s closets for old flannel shirts and traded mixtapes with friends made up of songs by Temple of the Dog, Tool, Pearl Jam and, of course, Nirvana. We all watched their videos on MTV with an almost religious fervor and had excited debates about their music in between (and sometimes during) classes.
Previous generations remembered where they were when Kennedy was shot and we all know where we were on 9/11. But, in between, I always remembered the moment when MTV News announced Kurt Cobain was dead. I was home sick from school that week watching our huge, ancient living room television and that’s where I stayed for days, glued to the news coverage in a way that was unusual in those pre-24-hour-news days. I cried as Courtney Love read her husband’s suicide note to a crowd of his fans.
Across the sea in Ireland the same day, Brendan heard the news on Irish radio. Which in itself is kind of amazing considering it was such a different time in music, in life, then. Long before the internet connected everything and everyone and gave local bands a worldwide audience. It was somewhat of a miracle at that time for the Seattle music scene and subsequently Cobain’s death to make such an international impact. Or maybe it wasn’t. There certainly hasn’t been anything since that sounds like this….