Why did Chris Cornell kill himself

Cause of death

Chris Cornell committed suicide on May 18, 2017 at the age of 52 after a Soundgarden concert in Detroit. Police found his body in a room at the MGM Grand Hotel. A police report traces the final hours before Chris Cornell's death. The "Detroit News" describes the events to which colleagues from the American ROLLING STONE refer.

According to Cornell's widow Vicky, Cornell called her shortly after the concert in Detroit and sounded dazed. The 52-year-old said on the phone that he had "One or two more Ativans" taken. After the Soundgarden gig at the Fox Theater, the musician drove to the MGM Grand Hotel at around 11.30 p.m. His bodyguard Martin Kirsten accompanied him to the room to repair a computer there. Cornell is said to have received the Ativan from Kirsten. When he called his wife, he said repeatedly how tired he was and then abruptly hung up. A short time later, Cornell was dead.

The autopsy report

As forensic medicine confirmed a few days later, the Soundgarden singer hanged himself. The Michigan (Wayne County) authority released Chris Cornell's autopsy report, including the results of the toxicological examination. Accordingly, the Soundgarden singer died by suicide - and the use of medication had no effect on the suicide. Forensic doctor Theodore Brown emphasizes in his report, however, that he takes a “view” that he cannot have any certainty.

Seven drugs were found in the singer's blood. Including, as reported, a high dose of the benzodiazepam Ativan. Also listed in the toxicological report are butalbital, pseudoephedrine, norpseudoephedrine, caffeine and naloxone. With the exception of caffeine, these are all drugs, sedatives or digestive aids. So Chris Cornell did not use drugs shortly before his death. He had been considered clean for many years.

Cornell's widow emphasizes the influence of drugs

Chris Cornell's widow, Vicky, announced after the musician's death that she blamed Ativan's side effects for causing the suicide.

Forensic doctor Brown states in his report that the dose in Cornell's blood of 200 NG / ML is higher than the average daily dose of 30-50 NG / ML. Statistically, however, only a dose of 300 NG / ML could potentially trigger suicidal thoughts.

Statement to ROLLING STONE

Vicky Cornell sent the US-ROLLING-STONE a statement after the autopsy report was published. In it, she reaffirms the influence of the substances found in the blood that would have had a fatal effect after Chris Cornell's years of abstinence:

"Many of us who know Chris well noticed that he wasn't himself during his final hours and that something was very off. We have learned from this report that several substances were found in his system. After so many years of sobriety, this moment." of terrible judgment seems to have completely impaired and altered his state of mind.Something clearly went terribly wrong and my children and I are heartbroken and are devastated that this moment can never be taken back. We very much appreciate all of the love we have received during this extremely difficult time and are dedicated to helping others in preventing this type of tragedy. "

“Many of us who knew Chris well noticed that he was not himself during his final hours and that something was absolutely wrong. From this report we learned that various substances were found in his body. After so many years of sobriety, this terrible judgment seems to have completely affected and changed his state of mind. Something obviously went terribly wrong and my children and I are shaken and devastated that this moment can never be undone. We very much appreciate all the love we experienced during this extremely difficult time and we want to help others prevent such a tragedy from happening. "

Complicity of the doctor?

The family sued former doctor Chris Cornells in November 2018 for alleging complicity in the musician's suicide. The lawsuit was filed in the Los Angeles Court on November 1. The relatives accuse the medic of having prescribed psychotropic drugs to Cornell between 2015 and 2017 without any examinations. This included large amounts of a strong sedative. The drug got the artist too "Dangerous and impulsive behavior that he could not control and that cost him his life" driven, it says in the Scriptures. The doctor had neither seen nor spoken to Cornell personally during this time. So he is complicit in the suicide.

According to documents available to the news portal "The Blast", Dr. Robert Koblin the allegations. The doctor defends himself and says that Cornell was well aware of the risks of the drugs. He refused to consider the possible negative effects of the substances. According to Koblin, Cornell would be aware of the side effects of such drugs "Very well aware" been, but wanted "Not informed" become. The doctor also claims that he did everything possible to educate the singer about the risks of the drugs he was consuming. Cornell is one"Addiction-prone person" been.

What is Ativan?

Ativan is an anti-anxiety drug from the benzodiazepine group. In addition to reducing anxiety, the drug has an epilepsy preventive, calming and sleep-promoting effect, as well as a muscle-relaxing effect. In addition to fighting epilepsy, it is often used for short periods to cure severe sleep disorders. The substance takes effect after just a few minutes.

Ativan has significant side effects. Above all, if the patient is discontinued for too short a period of time, so-called paradoxical effects can occur, which trigger increased aggression. In addition to tiredness and dizziness, the previously fought fears can come back more intensely. Cornell's widow suspects that the drug overdose may have triggered suicidal ideation.

Medically, studies cannot prove a connection between suicidal ideation and the use of Ativan. Cornell may have suffered such severe psychosis that he only considered taking this step.

Savior of the Rock

ROLLING STONE editor-in-chief Sebastian Zabel remembered one of the greatest rock stars of the 1990s after Chris Cornell's death:

Clapper, feedback shimmer, then a bitchy guitar riff, deep bass drone and the crystal clear, erotically charged singing of the handsome man: "And you stare at me / In your Jesus Christ pose". I always understood, "I'm your Jesus Christ pose," and that wasfair enough. Because the beautiful man who stands around in the desert in the video for the song with a bare torso, waving curly hair mat and that redeemer pose, was Chris Cornell, head of the band Soundgarden, innovator of rock and here in the form of his life.

Back in 1991, Soundgarden began to conquer the mainstream. Just a month before “Badmotorfinger”, the album from which “Jesus Christ Pose” was taken, “Nevermind” was released. Cornell and Kurt Cobain were both from Seattle, invented the sound they called grunge, but didn't have much to say to each other. Cobain made fun of the elder; there is a shaky video recording in which he apes Cornell's singing style. Nirvana came from indie punk, Soundgarden from Led Zeppelin. And what made Nirvana the biggest band of the nineties, Soundgarden largely lacked: the feel for pop. Both Cobain and Cornell were depressed.

On the way to "Black Hole Sun"

The child of divorce Cornell sat behind the drums and since the early 80s, initially also with Soundgarden, which he founded in 1984 together with bassist Hiro Yamamoto and guitarist Kim Thayil. The first Soundgarden album, "Ultramega OK", was released in 1988 - a year before Nirvana's debut - on the ultra-mega-correct underground label SST, whose motto "Corporate Rock Still Sucks" was on the bumper of every dented van between Detroit and Seattle. Barely a year later they switched to corporate company A&M, but on “Louder Than Love” there was at least “Big Dumb Sex”, the song with the pithy “Fuck you” chorus. But it was only with “Badmotorfinger” and “Jesus Christ Pose” that the promise of renewed hard rock, a metal band for hipsters, hotter, more beautiful, more elegant than a lava flow, was fulfilled.

Chris Cornell raised his beautiful head two more times: A few months before the smart, feedback-filled six-minute "Jesus Christ Pose" (where the rest of the time he nailed a mirror in which he could see himself -quite freudian, isn't it?) Cornell founded the band Temple Of The Dog with members of Mother Love Bone and Pearl Jam, a temporary side project that referred much more clearly than Soundgarden to his love for classic hard rock and metal motifs. Their only album is a fine-nerved pastiche, elegantly shimmering rock that didn't really exist at that time. The work with the colleagues of the later much more successful band around Eddie Vedder (who by the way also works a little on “Temple Of The Dog”) may have rubbed off. With “Black Hole Sun” in 1994 Soundgarden created one of the most beautiful hard rock ballads, a croaking, feather-light, yet bassy-heavy brace-blues monster that has stood the test of time. ("Superunknown", the accompanying album, probably not in full length.)

Cornell's eternal longing

Less than a year later, Cobain shot himself. And grunge was over quickly. Also with Soundgarden. Chris Cornell did not become the new rock messiah, did not fill the void that Cobain had left - quite a few (especially in the music industry) had hoped so. Nobody kept up at all. Pearl Jam got big, but Vedder wasn't an idol. The noughties came, Cornell had now formed a new band, Audioslave, with musicians from Rage Against The Machine. They sounded a bit like Cornell's eternal longing, the hard rock dreams of the seventies, and did not survive the noughties.

Cornell recorded solo albums and a James Bond song, he reformed Soundgarden and played at Lollapalooza. But of course all of these were just aftermath of a great moment in the early 1990s, when Cornell stood like the savior of classic rock music in the desert sands. The fact that the song was allowed to end in a feedback improvisation after an insane number of minutes also made the difference to the others. Both to those from mainstream radio and to the neighbor from Seattle, who mercilessly mimicked his rock pose in his own bathroom.

You can talk about it again in Heaven now.


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