Perry Farrell paid tribute to his friend Chris Cornell, who died by suicide Wednesday night at the age of 52. The Jane’s Addiction frontman unveiled personal stories about them spending time together on the road and beyond, in a touching interview with Variety.
Farrell said he and Cornell first met when Soundgarden played Lollapalooza for the first time in 1992. Calling Cornell “one of the most talented singers of my life,” Farrell discussed Cornell’s charm and charisma during shows. “He stood there and the girls’ jaws would all be dropped, including my wife and the dancers we were traveling with,” he recalled.
Farrell also relayed a sweet story about running into Cornell at a Toys “R” Us on Christmas Eve several years ago, where Cornell scored an in-demand kids gift. “He says to me, ‘I got the very last Sleeping Beauty Castle. Sold out.’ He was so proud, he was trying to brag to me he got the very last fairy princess castle.”
“It’s such a bummer. There weren’t – and there aren’t still – very many that could sing the way Chris can. Certainly very few rock performers, and even pop performers. People just don’t have it, that’s a God-given talent,” Farrell also noted.
Farrell concluded by advising people to listen to Soundgarden’s “Black Hole Sun,” which he said he always loved. “I don’t know what did Chris in, but I hope he’s in a good place now. He was a super talent and the world should be happy they got to hear him,” Farrell said. Read the full Variety interview.
Linkin Park‘s Chester Bennington was also a friend of Cornell’s. Bennington and Cornell shared the stage when they toured together in the late 2000s. The pair sang with each other while performing a version of Temple of the Dog’s “Hunger Strike” and Linkin Park’s “Crawling” while on tour.
On Thursday, Bennington penned a heartfelt remembrance addressed to his late friend. “I dreamt about the Beatles last night. I woke up with Rocky Raccoon playing in my head and a concerned look on my wife’s face. She told me my friend had just passed away,” he wrote. “Thoughts of you flooded my mine and I wept.”
Expressing his gratitude for the time they had together, Bennington also addressed Cornell’s gifts. “You have inspired me in many ways you could never have known,” Bennington added. “Your talent was pure and unrivaled. Your voice was joy and pain, anger and forgiveness, love and heartache all wrapped up into one.”
— Chester Bennington (@ChesterBe) May 18, 2017
As news spread of Cornell’s untimely death, former bandmates, collaborators, friends, tourmates, peers and famous fans took to social media to share their memories and pay respects to Cornell, including Tom Morello, Jimmy Page, Courtney Love and many more.