Chris Cornell Tribute: Stone Gossard Speech

I Am The Highway: A Tribute to Chris Cornell
Forum, Los Angeles, 16/01/2019

“I’ve been thinking about this night a lot, first I want to say, I think we are all here for the same reason. I think it’s to share, and to grieve, but mainly it’s to celebrate. To celebrate Chris’ artistry and hear his incredible music, in this great building that’s had so many bands in it. The way I see it, Chris was a blues man. He had the blues, and he turned those feelings into songs, and they made us vibrate and made us move. And I want to express my gratitude to you and and the universe for creating this amazing and complicated guy.

After Andy Wood died, Chris [Cornell] invited Jeff [Ament], Mike [McCready] and Eddie [Vedder] and I to make the Temple of the Dog record. And that act of kindness and his generosity and selflessness turned a tragic loss into something that we got joy from, and that millions of people felt across the world. Stories and songs about love and loss, a record the whole world fell in love with.

So here we are now, with this loss. This pain, this anger. Families need healing, bands needs healing. Friendships and relationships shattered, and all of our lives still tumbling along without our leader. A sensitive and gifted Irish boy from north Seattle who changed us all. Even if we could not change him. So the question is, what do we all do? What would Chris have us do? I think this concert is the step towards the right direction. Thank you all who made this happen. Those who donated time, energy, and hard work to put this thing on. A lot of people did this for free tonight.

I also want to take one step to recognize the folks that aren’t here tonight. But that we love and miss. Chris’ mother Karen [Cornell]. His father Ed Boyle. His brothers Peter and Patrick. His sisters Suzy, [Maggie], Katy, and Greta and our blood brothers Mike [McCready], Ed [Vedder], and Eric [Garcia]. We miss you all and love you dearly.

Now the most important thing I’d like to do is introduce you to his eldest child. The daughter of Susan Silver, our compatriot in music and art and community from the very beginning, whose vision and perseverance helped create the music scene in Seattle that went on to change the world. Thank you Susan. [Lily’s] humanity and sensitivity has been self evident from the time I met her as a baby through all her 18 years. And like her father, she’s a singer and an artist an intellectual, and has wisdom beyond her years. Ladies and Gentlemen, I’d like to introduce Lily Cornell Silver.”

Stone Gossard