Friday, May 19, 2017

Rusty Cage

I checked my Twitter feed yesterday morning as I sat down to eat breakfast, only to see a couple of tweets about Chris Cornell. While neither mentioned his death, both led me to believe something horrible had happened. A quick check of the news confirmed by suspicions- the Soundgarden, Audioslave and Temple of the Dog vocalist, dead at 52.

I won't pretend to be familiar with his entire body of work. Soundgarden was one of those bands that I liked what I heard of them; I had a couple of their earlier CDs, but never delved into the deep tracks of their catalog. Audioslave- I had heard only two or three of their songs and liked them, but I never searched out their stuff. Chris' solo stuff- same. Although, I will say that his song Seasons, from the Singles soundtrack, is one of my all-time favorite songs. Despite these admissions, I still found myself really down throughout the day. However small that part of his music was in my life, it's still a part that died. Add to that that I've always felt a connection to the singer due to us sharing the same surname; I've never checked my genealogy to see if we're related, but have been asked a number of times if we are related.

Anyway, the singer's musical legacy and his death have been on my mind a lot over the past 24 hours, and I wanted to do a post in his memory. A moment of silence was observed for Cornell prior to last nights Mariners game and at one point during the pre-game show Randy Johnson's relationship with the band was mentioned. As you probably know, the Big Unit now spends his time traveling the world as a photographer, and one of the shoots he has done over the years was from a series of Soundgarden concerts during their 2010 reunion tour. A visit to his website reveals not only does he like shooting rock acts, but nature and things that have to do with adrenaline/speed (race cars, etc.)

The first card I thought about posting was a Johnson card from the Ultra Season Crowns insert set (tie-in to the aforementioned Seasons song), but decided to go with this recent addition to my collection. I can just imagine Randy pounding out Soundgarden's classic Rusty Cage, an up-tempo, aggressive tune that reminds me of the rawness and the fury he exhibited while pitching. Chris's screeching on  songs like Rusty Cage or Birth Ritual (another song off the Singles soundtrack) bring to mind the Big Unit letting out a primal scream after one of his 4875 strikeouts.

If you have never heard Johnny Cash's cover of Rusty Cage, I highly recommend it. Cornell was once asked to do an arrangement for the Man in Black to cover, and couldn't get it. Later, once he heard the recorded cover, he called himself stupid for not seeing how to do such an arrangement.

RIP, Chris. You might be gone, but your voice will continue to be heard. Thank you for your contributions to the world of music; to the world of art.

1 comment:

  1. Damn. Sad way to kick off my weekend. Soundgarden will forever be a part of my college years... and I remember trying to get my students into Audioslave back in the early 2000's. Rest in peace Chris.