I previously spoke here of Corn, Christ and Osiris. It appears to have come home to roost in this week's celebrity self-death.
Do note that the suicide of May 17th detailed below was followed immediately by the Richard Rojas/Times Square attempted suicide-by-cop incident of May 18, 2017. See here.
Across social media, there have been many reactions to the suicide of Chris Cornell. From Zach Bauer's "Corn-ell. 17 (1+7=infinity) Maize, May" to others pointing out "Chris Cornell" = "Christ" + "Corn." You do not need me to repeat all of those. But certainly, the syncs are there.
On May 17, 2017, Chris Cornell was found dead in the bathroom of his room at the MGM Grand in Detroit, Michigan, after performing at a show with Soundgarden at the Fox Theatre. The cause of death was determined to be suicide by hanging. Cornell was 52 years old.
The problem is, no one really knows what run-of-the-mill depression is. You'll think somebody has run-of-the-mill depression, and then the next thing you know, they're hanging from a rope. It's hard to tell the difference. ~ Chris Cornell
When interviewed after Cornell's death, his wife Vicky has questioned whether he would intentionally take his own life. She stated that during a phone conversation, her husband was "slurring his words; he was different. When he told me he may have taken an extra Ativan or two, I contacted security and asked that they check on him. What happened is inexplicable and I am hopeful that further medical reports will provide additional details. I know that he loved our children and he would not hurt them by intentionally taking his own life."
Chris Cornell (born Christopher John Boyle; July 20, 1964 – May 17, 2017) was known for his role as one of the architects of the 1990s grunge movement. He was an American musician, singer and songwriter, best known as the lead vocalist, primary songwriter and rhythm guitarist for Seattle rock band Soundgarden and as lead vocalist and songwriter for the group Audioslave. He was also known for his numerous solo works and soundtrack contributions since 1991, and as founder and frontman for Temple of the Dog, the one-off tribute band dedicated to his late friend Andrew Wood.
In an interview on VH1's Celebrity Rehab with McCallum, former Alice in Chains bass player Mike Starr said that he spent time with Staley the day before he died as Starr's birthday was April 4. Starr claimed that Staley was very sick but would not call 911. The two ex-bandmates briefly argued, which ended with Starr storming out. Starr stated that Staley called after him as he left: "Not like this, don't leave like this". Since Staley is believed to have died a day later, on April 5, Starr expressed regret that he did not call 911 to save his friend's life; Starr reported that Staley had threatened to sever their friendship if he did. Starr was the last known person to see Staley alive. The interview ended with Starr apologizing to McCallum for not calling 911, but McCallum was insistent that neither she nor anyone in her family blamed Starr for Staley's death. She also told Starr: "Layne would forgive you. He'd say, 'Hey, I did this. Not you.'" With that said, Starr still blamed himself for the death of Staley. Starr kept this story a secret until his appearance on Celebrity Rehab in August 2009. Starr was found dead on March 8, 2011 as a result of prescription drug overdose. During this same interview, McCallum also claimed that Staley had attempted rehab 13 times, although it is not clear whether any of these attempts were during his reclusive years.
Shortly following Wood's death, former roommate Chris Cornell of Soundgarden wrote two songs, "Reach Down" and "Say Hello 2 Heaven", in tribute to his late friend. Cornell then approached Gossard and Ament about releasing the songs as singles before collaborating on an album. Adding drummer Matt Cameron, future Pearl Jam lead guitarist Mike McCready, and future Pearl Jam lead singer Eddie Vedder, they formed Temple of the Dog in 1990 to pay tribute to Wood, releasing one self-titled album in 1991.
Soundgarden explained that the lyrics for "Jesus Christ Pose" concern the exploitation of religion for personal benefit. The song is a criticism of how public figures use religion (particularly the image of Jesus Christ) to portray themselves as being "better" than others, or as "martyrs". Chris Cornell specifically mentioned Jane's Addiction's frontman Perry Farrell as an influence on the song, explaining, "It became fashionable to be the sort of persecuted-deity guy." In an interview, Cornell explained the term "Jesus Christ Pose":
"You just see it a lot with really beautiful people, or famous people, exploiting that symbol as to imply that they're either a deity or persecuted somehow by their public. So it's pretty much a song that is nonreligious but expressing being irritated by seeing that. It's not that I would ever be offended by what someone would do with that symbol."
His second marriage was to Vicky Karayiannis, a Paris-based American publicist of Greek heritage. The couple had a daughter together, Toni, born in September 2004, and a son, Christopher Nicholas, born in December 2005. Cornell converted to the Greek Orthodox Church through her influence.
Like the sun we will live to rise,
Like the sun we will live and die,
And then ignite again,
Like the sun we will live to rise, (Oh yeah)
What if the one thing that I missed,
Was everything I need to pass the test,
And if I fail what happens then,
Can I still count on you as a friend
Were in sync but not alone,
You hold on,
And their gone