Since it’s my birthday, and since I’m on vacation, I’m going to indulge myself in celebrating my forever #mancrushmonday Chris Cornell.
My ultimate birthday indulgence started when Temple of the Dog, the Seattle supergroup made up of members of Soundgarden and Pearl Jam, announced that they would be reuniting for a short tour. One glance at the tour dates showed that they would be in Los Angeles, one of my favorite cities in the world, on my birthday. There was no question. I had to be at that show.
I am what they call a diehard Soundgarden fan. They’re my favorite band, and have been since I was a teenager. People ask me all the time why I’m so obsessed with them. My answer: Soundgarden is the band that lead me to my musical awakening. It was hearing “Spoonman” on the radio when I was 13 years old that made me realize how powerful music can be. I made it my mission to uncover every piece of music Soundgarden had made, which lead to my discovery of Temple of the Dog.
A band born out of the death of a Seattle songbird, Andy Wood, frontman of Mother Love Bone, Temple of the Dog’s eponymous album shook me to my core with its heartwrenching lyrics and incredibly powerful music. It was music that should never have been made. Andy by all rights should have shot to stardom with his contemporaries. It’s that sentiment, as well as the love and loss that made that music as beautiful as it was. It showcased the incredible songwriting talent of Cornell, music he wrote to help him grieve the loss of a dear friend. To see it live would fulfill a lifelong dream of my own. So off to LA I went, and on my journey, I reflected on why it was so necessary for me to go, and recalled another time where my Soundgarden and Cornell obsession sent me on another journey, one that would change my life.
I never got to see Soundgarden perform live in their heyday, so when I found out that they would be headlining Lollapalooza back in 2009, off to Chicago to see them live for the very first time. By pure chance, I met music journalist in the crowd who was covering the festival. I saw that media wristband on her wrist and immediately thought “What is that, and how did she get it!” At the time I was puttering around with my music blog, but it was at that concert, watching this woman take amazing photos of a band that I loved with a super cool looking camera, that made me realize that I could be more than a blogger who with an addiction with music. I realized I could be a writer, a journalist, and I could write about all the things that I loved, starting with music.
That moment opened so many doors to me. It lead me to where I am today, and was the starting point to wherever I will end up in the future. If it wasn’t for that moment, I wouldn’t have started writing for the Examiner. If it wasn’t for that moment, I wouldn’t have started this very website, and I wouldn’t be working with my best friend every day. I wouldn’t have had any of the amazing adventures that this new career path has afforded me.
So today, on my birthday, on a day where I will experience something I never thought possible, I reflect on the crazy journey I’m on. Seeing Temple of the Dog on my birthday 13 years after that fateful discovery, is coming full circle.
So on this day, I celebrate Chris Cornell and the men he makes amazing music with. Thank you for creating music that spoke to me all those years ago, and thank you for continuing to create and to inspire. My life wouldn’t be the same without you.