It seems the people closest to Chris Cornell were just as shocked by his death as the rest of us were.
Not that it’s any consolation after the tragedy of losing him to something so horrible as suicide, but the Soundgarden legend’s longtime manager and friend Ron Laffitte has just spoken publicly about Cornell’s heartbreaking passing, calling the whole thing “incredibly bizarre” and “totally out of character”.
Speaking with CNN, Laffitte said: “Nobody saw this coming, his bandmates didn’t see this coming. It’s totally out of character for the Chris that I’ve known and worked with for the last ten years. It’s incredibly bizarre. I have to think that something threw him off the tracks … he must have been out of his right mind.”
Laffitte had last spoken to Cornell on the afternoon of his death, when the pair apparently discussed plans for the powerhouse singer to perform at the 2017 Global Citizens Music Festival in New York this September.
“He was just really excited about this specific idea that we were going to do,” Laffitte said, clearly puzzled. “He said, ‘We aren’t just going to make pop history with this one, brother. We are going to make real history.’ I would say the last couple of months, he was as optimistic and happy as I can ever recall him… He was so excited about all these things and a new record we were going to put out in the fall.”
Laffitte’s sentiments echo that of Cornell’s immediate family, whose lawyer released a statement following the Coroner’s suicide ruling claiming that “The family believes that if Chris took his life, he did not know what he was doing, and that drugs or other substances may have affected his actions”.
Cornell took Ativan for anxiety, with a police report indicating that he’d told his wife Vicky on the night of his death that he’d taken extra pills, although results of toxicology tests are still pending.
The Soundgarden, Audioslave and Temple Of The Dog icon was laid to rest in a beautiful ceremony in Hollywood over the weekend that was attended by countless rock icons.
Watch Cornell’s friends in Linkin Park perform an acoustic rendition of Leonard Cohen’s ‘Hallelujah’ at the ceremony here.
If you or anyone close to you needs help or information regarding mental health, you can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636.