Many Soundgarden fans didn’t like the idea of Chris Cornell documentary, which is set to premiere in 2021, and the more we learn, the more we agree with them.
Unlike Pearl Jam’s Twenty, which was a lovely tribute to all the past and present band members, archive footage, Like A Stone documentary, will include a lot of dramatization. The leading role of the late artist goes to Lauchlin MacDonald.
The actor is also set to play Tommy Lee in the 2024 film Mötley Crüe: Life of a Röck Star. So, why is this so disappointing?
For starters, let’s see who’s behind the scene, then we’ll move on to more cast members while trying to make sense out of all this.
The movie is directed by Peter Berg, while Brad Pitt and Cornell’s wife are listed as producers. Drena De Niro will portray Vicky Cornell, so it will be a full-on sweet yet dark romance.
That is not what most of us had in mind when we first heard that there would be a documentary about Soundgarden, Audioslave, Temple of the Dog, and Alice Mudgarden musician.
The vital missing part is Susan Silver, the real power behind the Seattle scene, who managed Cornell’s bands and Pearl Jam and Alice in Chains. Some know her as The Queen of Seattle, and 30 years after grunge, it’s clear why.
Vicky Cornell is not of friendly terms with other members of iconic Soundgarden. So, the question is: how much of actual old footage will we get to see? And will other band members get to talk about what the tragic star meant to them?
For someone who was mocking everything glamourous in a rock n roll, Cornell’s documentary sounds like any other Hollywood movie. The reason is simple: the fans want music and inspiring words, not every single detail of the late star’s love life.
Besides, there’s Brad Pitt, and De Niro’s daughter, so it’s genuinely as Hollywood as it gets.
The Soundgarden musicians at war
Though Cornell took his life in 2017, the war between his widow and the rest of the group is alive and kicking.
Apart from lawsuits flying around, Matt Cameron, Kim Thayil, and Ben Shepherd also accused Vicky Cornell of taking over the social media accounts of the band.
One might think that the biggest issue is money, but it’s only a part of it. The war on unreleased demos and cashing in on Cornell’s name has been shaking the music world in the past few years.
The whole thing is public, and to give support to Susan Silver’s daughter, Eddie Vedder’s wife only made things even more awkward.
Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam and Chris Cornell were so close that Vedder called him his older brother. When he came to Seattle, after Cornell’s roommate of Mother Love Bone, Andy Wood, overdosed, Chris, made Eddie’s life easier. Their bond lasted until the very end.
Eventually, it all goes back to Susan Silver. She did make careers of three out of four most memorable Seattle bands and battled with Cornell’s demons for decades.
Unlike others, the 90s grunge bands held together. And the documentary might not get the seal of approval from Alice in Chains or Nirvana.
In fact, many see Vicky Cornell as the new Courtney Love, but that’s nothing but pure misogyny at its finest. He made a family with her, and so did Kurt Cobain.
The death of Cornell is still haunting fans
If you do a quick Google search for Cornell’s death, you’ll enter the conspiracy theories.
Just days ago, Reuters posted that Cornell, Avicii, Bennington, and Bourdain did kill themselves. There was no third party involved. Nor were they working on a child sex trafficking documentary.
But it isn’t enough to stop the rumors. Almost three decades without Kurt Cobain and people are still talking about possible motives for his murder. The simple fact that he was a depressed addict does not sit well with millions of fans.
With the Corbin Reiff’s Total F*cking Godhead: The Biography of Chris Cornell, released a month ago, fighting conspiracy theories is impossible.
The tragic truth is that the talented and charismatic rock legend started abusing drugs and alcohol when he was a child. Really, he was an addict when he was 13!
His life was more than music; it was depression, lots of relapses, trips to rehabs. Exhausting tours and even more sadness, since many of his friends and coworkers OD’ed during his rise to fame.
Flashbacks to Montage of Heck
We live in the golden age of movies inspired by rock gods. And that’s the problem.
Instead of focusing on art, we’re trying to recreate certain events. Do we need another documentary about a rock icon? No.
What fans genuinely want, and not just from Soundgarden, is more live footage, performances, demos, unreleased songs.
Perhaps a more in-depth insight into what the band members were listening to or reading while making a particular song.
And we certainly don’t need to see more romanticization of unhealthy relationships. And speaking of mental health, the only person actually doing something helpful is Lily Cornell Silver.
Her series Mind Wide Open is on Instagram. It is about the global mental health crisis, so check it out. She has famous guests, and yes, Eddie Vedder visited her.
This war between families, because Soundgarden was also Cornell’s family, does no one a favor. Especially not his kids, and you don’t need further proof that to look Paula Yates and Bob Geldolf’s daughters to understand that enormous pressure.
With that in mind, we will watch Like A Stone. It’s Chris Cornell, the voice of a generation, and one of the most considerate guys in the business. Besides, his voice was mesmerizing and unforgettable!