Jerry Cantrell on Chris Cornell: 'An incredible artist, a wonderful human being'
Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images For The Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame
Alice In Chains guitarist Jerry Cantrell spoke backstage at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony about late Soundgarden singer Chris Cornell, to whom Cantrell and Heart's Ann Wilson paid tribute on Saturday night (April 14th) by performing a cover of Soundgarden's "Black Hole Sun" at the event. Cantrell told reporters, "Chris was a friend for many years and an incredible artist, a wonderful human being. And I've always been inspired by his work ethic and talent, and his band, Soundgarden, they were a big influence on us. It's obviously very sad."
Cantrell continued, "I still don't really know how to really discuss it personally, but I think at this point it's time to maybe focus on the type of man that he was and the type of human being and the type of artist. (He had) incredible depth. Our bands helped each other in the early days. We were all under the same roof, with Susan Silver managing them, Kelly Curtis managing Mother Love Bone and then Pearl Jam, and they jointly managed us. We were all in the same little office above the central tavern, and that was home base. I'm gonna miss him immensely, but I also celebrate his life and his life's work."
Asked how he came to be involved in Saturday's tribute, Cantrell said, "Ann called me and said she was thinking about doing something for our friend, and asked me if I would join her. And anytime she calls, I'm there. And if it's for Chris, of course, absolutely."
An edited version of the Rock Hall ceremony will air May 5th on HBO at 8:00 p.m.
Cornell was found hanged in his room at the MGM Grand Detroit hotel in May 2017, following a Soundgarden show at the city's Fox Theatre. The death was ruled a suicide.
His family has questioned the medical examiner's ruling, saying that he had a prescription for Ativan and that a higher than recommended dosage may have caused him to experience suicidal thoughts.