For anyone who just can’t process what has happened. Obviously I’m talking about Chris and Manchester. Eddie didn’t want to talk about the ‘obvious’ as he sort of admitted. It felt like that if he would say ‘Chris’ out loud, he would just have a complete breakdown right there and then. Or using his own words: ‘I’ve been trying to keep it together for the last couple of days.’
I've never been to one of his solo shows, only to various Pearl Jam shows throughout the past 25 years. And I always imagined Eddie singing just for me (how selfish…) by closing my eyes while listening to his songs. So, last night, I did the same thing. Throughout each song I would close my eyes for a bit and just listen to his voice. I just can’t think of any superlatives to describe it, but his voice must be from outtaspace, so mesmerising!
Throughout the show he ‘fucked’ up some parts as he said himself, forgetting lyrics and feeling like he had an ‘out of body’ experience. But that just showed me he’s as human as a human being can or should be. And after each ‘fuck up’ he would pull himself together again, and performed even better than I’ve ever seen anyone perform in my whole history of a long list of concerts I’ve been to in the past 28 years…and I’m not exaggerating! And he followed through right until the end.
Just before Eddie started to perform, someone next to me asked which song I would love to hear, and I said ‘Last Kiss’. And my wish was granted! As soon as Eddie started playing the first few notes, I went all teary and couldn’t stop. There’s one sentence in the song that touches me to me the very core as sung by Eddie, ‘Oh where Oh where will my baby be… the Lord took her away from me…’
Another magical moment (one of many!!) was when the Red Limo String Quartet from Utrecht played along with ‘Come back.’ Looking at the stars in the background and listening to Eddie’s voice, I felt weightless like I was flying through the sky. The strings completely ‘elevated’ this song. I’m so happy that Eddie asked them to join him throughout the tour (which he only decided that day). (Photo by Raymond van Olphen)
I don’t think this show can be topped, not even by the Dutch ‘Toppers.’ ;-) Both Eddie and Glen made a bit of fun of them, being grateful that a famous opera singer chose to go their show instead of the ‘Toppers’ show last Saturday night. But still, the Toppers united thousands and thousands of people who honored the 1 minute of silence for Manchester, the videos on Youtube were breathtaking. That goes way beyond your own taste of music or entertainment…
Glen being sick and all, still stood by his friend singing and playing along and even fulfilled Eddie’s request to get back on the stage to sing Glen’s own song 'Song of good hope' which they hadn’t rehearsed. A spur of the moment decision which Eddie really needed and finally brought him to tears as well, it was heartbreaking.
I just love the power of art, to be able to process and express your feelings with an outlet that’s so empowering for other people too. Painting, singing, dancing, playing music, theatre, going to a museum, you name it. I can’t believe that governments are just ignoring the fact that art and culture bring out the best in people, can unite them and provide them with a platform to able to deal with this ‘big hard world’ as Eddie and Glen were singing at the top of their lungs at the end of the show.
This memory will linger on for a long time…
I am still in awe. Love you Eddie!
Keeping track of the news during the day and seeing all the messages being posted on social media, mostly messages of disbelieve, wondering about the cause of death, I really felt part of a ’collective grief’. And then suddenly it hit me, Eddie must be devastated too, being one of his mates...Followed by a quite selfish thought, or maybe it wasn't selfish at all as I was sincerely thinking about what Eddie must go through right now...Anyway, I just realised that this will ‘put a cast over Eddie Vedder's tour’ as someone carefully described in the Eddie Vedder Europe 2017 Facebook Group while posting this awesome picture of Chris, Eddie, Jeff and Glen:
Someone else even questioned if this news would break up Pearl Jam (even before the reason of his death was revealed). Well, I can’t see that happening at all, I believe it’ll give them more fuel to keep on doing what they’re enjoying the most: making music from the heart. Probably their only way to handle this devastating loss.
I just realised as well, that Kurt took his live one week before the Nirvana concert I was so eager to attend (and had waited in line for a whole night in the cold to get a ticket). Well, I still hope that we can share our collective grief with Eddie and Glen next week. I'm sure they'll follow their heart in making this tough decision.
All of this confirmed my thoughts that he was in good shape and feeling well and that it must have been a sudden death due to a heart attack or seizure as I mentioned before. Fortunately, I had some distraction as I had to pick up the kids from school and head off to swimming lessons late afternoon. But still, Chris' death kept on going through my mind, still trying to process it.
Right after dinner my friend (who broke the news to me) send me another message. ‘Rumors are he committed suicide...’ I somehow wasn't surprised at all and suddenly that eerie feeling was gone. Still don’t understand why though.
Obviously, speculating about his reasons to take his own life by using 'Dr. Phil' psychology just doesn’t cut it. We’ll never know his true feelings or reasons. Maybe only by reading his lyrics, which we’ll all look at in a different perspective from now on. And maybe his last tweet was a final cry out…
Coincidentally (well, I don’t believe in coincidences...), this morning, my sister-in-law texted me as I was writing this blog and asked if my husband had told our kids how their brother committed suicide. As my niece had told her that morning that my daughter once told my niece that my brother-in-law jumped in front of a train. And yes, we’ve told our kids how he died, as the truth will come out eventually. They’d better hear it from us than from someone else…And that just made me think about how Chris’ wife Vicky told her kids about how their dad had passed away…That’s probably the most heart-breaking part. How can someone be so depressed and leave three kids behind…Life really sucks sometimes…And I’m sure a lot of people can relate to this...
I'll have to pull myself together again, as my life goes on, taking care of my family and doing things in life that I enjoy like expressing my feelings about music and culture through this blog. And hopefully, the rest of the fans can do the same thing, as life is worth living for! And may music keep us united!
R.I.P. Chris Cornell
P.s.: Below you’ll find some pics that I’ve added to make sure these memories won’t be forgotten: a compelling story of Eddie, Chris and the ‘uke’, a beautiful painting of Chris, painted by a Pearl Jam fan in trying to process his feelings and who inspired me to process my own feelings by writing this blog. Unfortunately, my whish to see Eddie and Chris perform 'Hunger Strike' live, won't come true anymore. However, this evening someone posted his director's cut of Temple of the Dog Alpine Valley video footage of PJ20, see below as well (many thanks!).
In addition, I’ve included some pictures of his last solo tour in Australia which I attended in October 2007 (at the time I was living in Australia). Still a vivid memory. Unfortunately, not my own pictures. However, these pictures exactly captured Chris how I remember him standing upclose (many thanks to Faster Louder for archiving these pictures).
Geniet mee met Jetty van Kooij en deel ook jouw culturele belevenissen om deze herinneringen in leven te houden!