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Chris Cornell Death Tragedy May Reflect History Of Drug & Alcohol Abuse

chris cornell death | Just Believe Recovery PA

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Chris Cornell, 52, lead vocalist for the rock bands Soundgarden and Audioslave, died last night after a concert at the Fox Theatre in Detroit. Tragically, reports say that Cornell committed suicide by hanging in his MGM Grand hotel room.

A reporter for The Detroit Free Press, who attended the concert, wrote about Cornell’s performance, saying “it was clear that something wasn’t right.” He was reported to be staggering, weak, and not mentally present. He missed blocks of lyrics, and his vocals lagged and didn’t always sync with the music. Still, the show wasn’t terrible, and fans appeared to enjoy it.

He was also “visibly agitated” and walked off the stage for several minutes before the song “Been Away Too Long,” forcing the band to start over and play music to “fill the gap.” Cornell then complained into the mic that he didn’t have a backup guitar.

At one point, things turned really dark. Cornell stated to the crowd: “You can burn crosses on your lawn, I don’t give a (profanity). You can burn your house down. Who cares? I don’t. As long as you don’t catch someone else’s house on fire.”

His last tweet was a shout-out to Detroit:

#Detroit finally back to Rock City!!!! @soundgarden #nomorebullshit

Cornell’s History of Substance Abuse

Chris Cornell spent two months in rehab in 2002, and had publicly stated times that he had been a daily drug user since age 13 (per Rolling Stone) and that he had battled drug and alcohol addiction as an adult, particularly the prescription painkiller oxycodone.

His substance abuse, however, appeared to be mostly a thing of the past when he married his second wife Vicky Karayiannis in 2005. He is also survived by three children, Christopher and Toni from his second marriage, and Lillian Jean from his first marriage to Susan Silver.

Cornell told Rock N Roll Experience in 2007:

“It was a long period of coming to the realization that [being sober] is better.”

“Going through rehab, honestly, did help… it got me away from just the daily drudgery of depression and either trying to not drink or do drugs or doing them.”

Of course it is too early to know if drugs or alcohol played a role in his death. But he was acting strangely at the concert prior to his suicide, so clearly some kind of mental illness was responsible.

From Been Away Too Long:

“Going straight
I only ever really wanted a break
I’ve been away for too long
No I never really wanted to stay
Going straight
I only ever really wanted a break
I’ve been away for too long
No I never really wanted to stay
I’ve been away for too long”

~ G. Nathalee Serrels, M.A., Psychology



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