In the fall of 1990 I bought a cassette tape of Louder Than Love by Soundgarden. I admit that I was confused by its sludgy guitars, odd time signatures and dark subject matter. Their music was a big departure from the popular hair metal bands that ruled the airwaves in the 80s. I think I ultimately gave that cassette tape away.
Then in 1991, my brother Nick and I were shopping for some forgettable prog metal in Sam Goody, I think. Our friend John Lewis worked there and was raving about this new stuff coming out of Seattle. He almost forced us to buy this new CD by a supergroup called Temple of the Dog. That was life changing, the scales fell away and much of the music from the past ten years was suddenly irrelevant. It’s a cruel irony that this seminal work came about as a tribute to someone who died too young and from utterly tragic circumstances.
Chris Cornell, you will be sorely missed. I’m sad for all of music and those of you who weren’t around to witness the last great era of rock music.