Friday, September 12, 2008

Chris Cornell Broke My Heart

So, I'm sitting the other night enduring the torture that was "Fashion Rocks" on CBS and wondering why I was doing such a maddening thing to start off with.

I was rewarded (I thought) for my pain by the announcement that Chris Cornell was coming up on the show. This was immediately (ok, embarrassingly) followed by my shrieks of "Chris Cornell's on my TV! Chris Cornell's on my TV" like a lunatic.

Then it started. The Apocalypse itself. I had to get up and look out my window to be sure the planets weren't hurtling towards the Earth as the world ended.

I knew... I knew about Timbaland and Chris. I really wanted to ignore that it was truth. But here, was my Rock God, in a Timbaland - I guess, tribute? - introduced by Tyra friggin' Banks on national TV; sandwiched in between a freaked out Timbaland video spot, One Republic and wait for it.... the Pussycat Dolls. I seriously thought the world was ending.

Chris Cornell has long been my favored rock singer. I do truly love Dave Grohl (Foo Fighters) but really, no one has anything on Chris. I squeezed in dismal, concrete, tiny halls to bear witness to his glory during the Soundgarden days. Had my ribs bruised in the mosh pit at Lollapalooza, ages ago when it was still cool, to stand close. I *still* remember the day I heard on the radio that Soundgarden was no more. I blare Audioslave from my car stereo; so proud as a mother to have my 12 y.o. singing along to "Show Me How to Live". No rock singer has his voice, his seemingly easy talent, and his way with lyrics. Did I mention he's beautiful? Okay, that's actually beside the point because his voice is amazing.

And here he was on stage with Timbaland and the - I can't bear to say their name - P.D.'s. On top of it all, he was terrible. His beautiful, soaring voice was mixed so low which was just as well because he sang in a tone that was not much more than a grumble. Not to mention the song was terrible. N. ran in to see what all my fuss was about and he said "That's not very good." So, it was then my duty as a mother to be sure the next day that he knew the real Chris Cornell, not this stranger on the stage. I had to school him in Badmotorfinger and his new favorite song that I mentioned before. He couldn't believe it was the same person.

I understand the need for an artist to stretch their wings; to express themselves in a way that their soul hasn't reached before. I get it. I do. But this? He looked like a deer caught in the headlights of a car certain to bring the end. Either that or it was the glare from the boobs-a-poppin' Pussycat Dolls' mess that threw him off. Either way. Heart. Broken.

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