Hollywood stars remember Chris Cornell
“Chris was as melodic as The Beatles, as heavy as Sabbath and as haunting as Edgar Allan Poe,” Tom Morello, Cornell’s Audioslave bandmate, said during his eulogy. “The demons he wrestled with were real, but he harnessed those demons and rode them like a mother-flipping chariot of lightning strapped with Marshall stacks to make some of the greatest rock ‘n’ roll of all time.”
Linkin Park singer Chester Bennington and guitarist Brad Delson performed Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” for the crowd of mourners, including Brad Pitt, Pharrell Williams, James Franco, Christian Bale and numerous members of rock royalty, many of whom were moved to tears.
Four large portraits of Cornell were on display on a dais where Morello, actor Josh Brolin, Pearl Jam bassist Jeff Ament, film producer Eric Esrailian and Cornell’s Soundgarden bandmates Kim Thayil and Matt Cameron delivered eulogies under overcast skies at Hollywood Forever Cemetery.
They all spoke of the rocker’s compassion and his delight in his three children. Cameron said he and Cornell had “so many normal dad conversations” about the Cornell kids: Christopher, Toni and Lily.
“Losing my brother and artistic soulmate will always pale in comparison with you three kids losing your dad,” Cameron said. “Let it be known that I am here for you and will forever be in your lives.”
Linda Ramone opened the service with word that Cornell was buried next to her late husband, punk rocker Johnny Ramone, whose headstone features a statue of him playing guitar.
Cornell’s grave marker, decorated with bouquets of flowers and several red roses, reads, “Voice of our generation and an artist for all time.”
Cornell’s music played before the hourlong service, and afterward as guests visited his grave site in the cemetery’s Garden of Legends section.
Among those paying respects were Dave Grohl of Foo Fighters; Krist Novoselic from Nirvana; Lars Ulrich and James Hetfield of Metallica; Dave Navarro and Perry Farrell of Jane’s Addiction; singer-songwriter Joe Walsh; guitarist Nile Rodgers; rocker Courtney Love and Bush’s Gavin Rossdale.