Chris Cornell & Jeff Gorra (2005)

May 18.

Dear Chris, well, I had a dream the other night. You were in a bar in the corner, on a chair. It’s 2023. And it’s May, which means, honestly, it’s a tough few days for many of us.

Dear Chris, I haven’t written for Artist Waves all year. I’ve done a bunch of reels and scattered some social activity here and there, but nothing consistent. It’s only because I started a new gig that I am very grateful for (and that this platform helped me land). I found a way the two can now coexist and this here felt like the appropriate written doorway back in. Now I caught a blessing in the wind.

Dear Chris, things have patched up and there is promise the world may be graced with unreleased Soundgarden music in the near future. It’s always surreal to hear your voice deliver new lyrics. It’s awe-inspiring. It’s bittersweet.

Dear Chris, speaking of rock music, Foo Fighters have a new record coming out. 2023 also has new Smashing Pumpkins, Queens of the Stone Age, Iggy Pop, Metallica, and Greta Van Fleet to name a few. Next, Blink 182 is back proper. G n’ R is touring stadiums, and Aerosmith is going to embark on a “Peace Out” tour with The Black Crowes in tow. In addition, I feel like you would have really enjoyed a relatively new-ish group called Turnstile.

Dear Chris, previously unreleased Linkin Park music was unveiled,. It’s tough to hear Chester’s voice, too. We both know rock music will always blanket the earth, eternally.

Dear Chris, please extend our love to Taylor. Next Wednesday Foo Fighters play their first official (non-tribute) show in this new era. I will see them Friday. I’m kinda nervous. In any case, I remember him rocking a drum kit with an image of you on the bass. And how cool was that when he moderated that SiriusXM Town Hall session with Soundgarden.

Dear Chris, “We’re dreaming and we’re real. We’re broken and we’re healed. Give in to what you feel over what you see.”

Dear Chris, I said “we’re healed.” But are we?

Dear Chris, let me tell you something you already know. Your fans are some special people. In fact, we’ve united in ways the past few years that I can’t explain in a letter. Maybe we just gave in to what we feel.

Dear Chris, btw… dude… there was a fucking pandemic between the last time I wrote like this and now. WTF just happened? However, through all the fear and uncertainty, I call tell you one thing is for sure – these past three years have only reinforced a truth, a higher truth. I think people only want to be the most sincere versions of themselves. We should each settle for nothing less because to be yourself is all that you can do.

Dear Chris, don’t lose any sleep tonight, I’m sure everything will end up alright.

Dear Chris, this photo above – I gotta picture of a photograph (please tell him hello, too). This is a 5×8 drug store print out from 2005. It’s from about two years before I started working for your team. We crossed paths by chance prior to an Audioslave show.

Dear Chris, a year into the pandemic, I finally had the chance to travel and pay a visit to my folks. Getting creative with their time at home, they rearranged a few rooms in the house. This photo remained on the wall of my childhood bedroom, however. It greeted me right away as I walked in. I grabbed it with both hands, and… well, it was a tough moment. I stared at it for so long. Something just hit different given the circumstances. I looked over my left shoulder and there was my mother. She’d quietly entered in and observed. Subsequently, I took that photo home with me.

Dear Chris, Although there are other photos in the collection, there’s a real innocence to this one. It’s strong over my shoulder now in my home studio. It’s not filtered, edited, or in any sort of adequate resolution. Moreover, it’s the only photo I’ll place in this letter.

Dear Chris, Audioslave released “Like A Stone” 20 years ago now. It has reached over 1 billion views on YouTube. It’s often covered by artists all over the world. I love your body language in the video and the way you tap your foot. What a masterpiece.

Dear Chris, while we’re talking anniversaries, here’s another to recognize. 2023 = 35 years of Ultramega OK.

Dear Chris, you’re brothers in Audioslave were inducted into the Rock and Roll hall of fame this year. Rage Against the Machine made it. We’re going to get you there. It may not mean much, but on principle, we’re going to get you there. By the way, if Soundgarden gets in, then by default, is Audioslave hall of famers? Given all four of you would’ve gotten the nod. Yes. The answer is yes.

Dear Chris,… we just miss you, man.

My vow to keep the promise comes in the form of honoring what you have done and continue to do with your generous gift – carry it back in my hand. You still reach down and pick the crowd up, always.

With Loud Love,