Soundgarden Learned Of Chris Cornell's Death Via Social Media

William Lee | 02-09-2020

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Soundgarden revealed in a recent legal filing that the band members learned of the death of late frontman Chris Cornell via social media, even though the singer passed away while on tour with them.

The members of Soundgarden (Kim Thayil, Matt Cameron and Ben Shepherd) filed a legal response last Tuesday (Feb. 4) to the lawsuit filed against them by Chris' widow Vicky Cornell.

In the response, they wrote, "The Band interrupted its April 2017 studio session in Seattle to begin a national tour starting on April 28, 2017. (Cameron Decl. 21.) On May 14, 2017, the Band played in Kansas City, Missouri. After the show Cornell flew home to New York City. On May 17, he flew to Detroit, Michigan to join other Band Members for a Soundgarden concert that night at the Fox Theatre. Following the concert-as was customary-Thayil, Cameron, and Shepherd (the 'Surviving Band Members' or 'Remaining Partners') made the late night trip in the Band's tour buses to their next concert destination in Columbus, Ohio, where the Band had a concert on May 19. Cornell stayed behind at a Detroit hotel with the plan to fly on to Columbus, as was his normal practice because Cornell was unable to sleep on buses. As their buses were headed to Columbus in the early morning of May 18, the Surviving Band Members learned that Cornell had been found dead in his hotel room in Detroit after midnight (tragically, Cameron first saw a 'RIP: Chris Cornell' item on his Facebook page, called Thayil who was on the other bus, who then woke Shepherd, and they and their crew frantically searched news, social media and called friends and family, until they received the awful confirmation from their tour manager).

"Thayil, Cameron and Shepherd were utterly devastated to lose their beloved friend, brother, and comrade, and were in a state of shock. As they pulled their buses to the roadside, embraced each other, and struggled with what to do next, their tour manager advised them not to go back to Detroit as it would be swimming with police, press, and other media, and there was nothing positive that could be achieved. They also had a throng of highly-distraught crew and tour team members already in or headed to Columbus who needed support. So they organized a vigil in a conference room at their Columbus hotel, where they were accompanied by their crew, assistants and friends who hugged, wept and attempted to console each other for many hours.

"Following Cornell's death, the Surviving Band Members canceled the remainder of the Band's U.S. tour. They all attended Chris Cornell's memorial service in Los Angeles where Cameron and Thayil found the strength to give eulogies. Since then, the Surviving Band Members
have offered consistent support to Cornell's widow, Vicky Cornell (then Vicky Karayiannis), and Cornell's three children."

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