Eddie Vedder and Chris Cornell famously collaborated in Temple of the Dog and remained the top voices of the grunge scene for decades. But were Chris Cornell and Eddie Vedder Friends?
Here is what I learned:
Eddie Vedder was a close friend of Chris Cornell. The two shared a brotherly love for each other, with Vedder thinking of Cornell as his older brother. Their friendship ended in 2017 with Cornell’s death from suicide.
Vedder seems to be still struggling with processing his former bandmate and friend’s death. Vedder described his experience following Cornell’s death on The Howard Stern Show:
“I’ve had to be somewhat in denial. I don’t even feel like I had a choice. I was just terrified of where I would go if I allowed myself to feel what I needed to feel or what I was instinctively wanting to feel or how dark I felt like I was gonna go?”
Vedder hasn’t entirely dealt with this tragedy but remains close to Cornell’s eldest daughter, Lily Cornell Silver. According to Vedder, Lily is like a big sister to his daughters Olivia and Harper.
Let’s explore their history and friendship.
Chris Cornell & Eddie Vedder (1992)
Photo credit: mystery.tour pic.twitter.com/61TsGfMtxz
— Agnes (@AgaAgnes666) January 10, 2021
Were Eddie Vedder and Chris Cornell neighbors?
Eddie Vedder and Chris Cornell were neighbors for a brief time. Cornell was the first person Vedder interacted with after moving to Seattle in 1990. Shortly after, they worked together on Cornell’s tribute project, Temple of the Dog.
Temple of the Dog was a one-off tribute project dedicated to the memory of the then-late singer of Mother Love Bone, Andrew Wood, who passed away from a heroin overdose in 1990.
Eddie reflected on the times when he had just moved to Seattle and did not know many people.
Vedder had also just completed vocals for a track called “Hunger Strike” that Cornell wanted to replace because his deep voice did not match the track’s tone.
The duo hung out together when they were neighbors, went on hiking adventures, mountain bikes, chased the dogs in the rain while drinking, having the best time.
But Cornell’s death in 2017 brought a difficult time for Vedder. It took a long time for him to speak about Cornell’s passing finally.
This is what Vedder said in the beloving memories of his lost friend:
“It was fine because then it got into little memories. It just kept going and going and going. And I realized how lucky I was to have hours worth of … you know if each of these memories was quick and I had hours of them. How fortunate was I? And I didn’t want to be sad, wanted to be grateful, not sad. I’m still thinking about those memories and I will live with those memories in my heart and I will love him forever.”
Chris Cornell and Eddie Vedder 1992 pic.twitter.com/b55imroP1b
— Classic Rock In Pics (@crockpics) September 18, 2021
Were Chris Cornell and Eddie Vedder in a band together?
Chris Cornell and Eddie Vedder were part of the band Temple of the Dog, which Cornell formed in 1990 to commemorate his lost friend, Andrew Wood. It was never intended to be an ongoing project, although Cornell and Vedder did perform the song “Hunger Strike” together as recently as 2014.
Soundgarden/Audioslave frontman Chris Cornell used to be roommates with Mother Love Bone’s lead singer Andrew Wood.
As I mentioned above, Andrew died on March 19, 1990, of a heroin overdose.
Cornell started Temple of the Dog to provide a way to let out his feelings for his departed friend. The band was soon joined by Eddie Vedder.
The recording sessions for Temple of the Dog took place in 1990 at London Bridge Studios in Seattle, Washington.
The band earned critical appraise from music critics, but Temple of the Dog largely went unnoticed when the album was released in April of 1991.
But neither Soundgarden nor Pearl Jam was huge yet. However, by the summer of 1992, both bands were popular and gave new life to the Temple of the Dog album, which the label reissued.
The entire purpose of music is to channel your inner feelings, which is exactly what Cornell did when he decided to start Temple of the Dog.
But another popular name that comes to mind is Layne Staley, the late singer of Alice in Chains.
Up until his final days, Staley was emotionally and physically crippled by his drug addiction. But were he and Eddie Vedder friends? Read my recent article to learn the truth about the relationship between 2 of grunge’s most iconic singers.
Just click that link to read it on my site.
The mother of the now-deceased legendary singer Staley once stated that Layne’s music was all about warning young people about the dangers of drugs. He wanted to alert the teens to stay away from it because he was going through hell.
Eddie Vedder & Chris Cornell in Mountain View, California, 2014. 📷 Tim Mosenfelder. pic.twitter.com/1LLRsP4tTI
— Rock N Roll Pictures (@RockNRollPics) October 22, 2020
Who is a better singer, Eddie Vedder or Chris Cornell?
Chris Cornell had a much more powerful voice than Eddie Vedder, with a higher range. But Eddie and Chris were both incredible singers, with Vedder having a strong baritone range and a poet’s mind for lyrics. Cornell instead went for power with a breathtaking upper register.
But really, they are so different, it’s not a fair comparison.
In the music industry, multiple factors must be considered when comparing two artists against each other. But you will still be able to see a few sites which keep attempting to draw comparisons to give a concrete answer to their fans.
Rolling Stone opened a poll asking readers to pick the best lead singers of all time. And Eddie Vedder landed 7th spot, and Chris Cornell landed 9th spot.
“i will love him forever” – Eddie vedder talking about Chris Cornell pic.twitter.com/3GObiLN9Vr
— eddie vedder archive (@vedderarchive) May 18, 2021
Was Eddie Vedder at Chris Cornell’s funeral?
Eddie Vedder did not attend Chris Cornell’s funeral in May 2017, for which the singer received intense criticism from Cornell’s millions of fans and Cornell’s mother-in-law.
Vedder was in such pain from Cornell’s death that despite wanting to be there for Cornell’s family, he found himself unable to muster the strength.
A private ceremony was organized when the iconic singer Cornell passed away.
Near and dear ones came together to mourn the death, including Cornell’s wife, children, mother, and a wide variety of people from the art world.
Among the famous names, Dave Grohl, Tom Morello, Perry, Ferrell, Chester Bennington, Brad Pitt, and Christian Bale came to pay their final tributes.
But the singer’s gravesite sorely missed Vedder’s presence, and Cornell’s fans took it quite harshly. Vedder later talked to Alternative Nation and said:
“I want to be there for the family, be there for the community, be there for my brothers in my band, certainly the brothers in his band. But these things will take time, but my friend is going to be gone forever and I will just have to … These things take time and I just want to send this out to everyone who was affected by it, and they all back home and here appreciate it so deeply, the support and the good thoughts of a man who was a … you know he wasn’t just a friend, he was someone I looked up to like my older brother.”
Chris Cornell now rests peacefully in his grave at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery in the Gardens of Legends section.
Jeff Ament & Eddie Vedder with Chris Cornell. 📷 Danny Clinch. pic.twitter.com/WPKE0C5HJZ
— Rock N Roll Pictures (@RockNRollPics) August 31, 2021
How did Chris Cornell and Eddie Vedder meet?
Chris Cornell met Eddie Vedder in 1990 when Vedder traveled from San Diego to Seattle to audition for Pearl Jam. Pearl Jam’s Stone Gossard and Jeff Ament were already working on the Temple of the Dog project with Chris Cornell and made the introduction.
So sadly, were it not for Andrew Wood (of Mother Love Bone, Gossard, and Ament’s previous band) passing away, Eddie might never have joined Pearl Jam or met Chris Cornell.
Vedder first mailed a tape to Gossard and Ament. On the strength of that tape, they invited him up to audition in person. He got the job shortly after the audition.
He visited the Temple of the Dog rehearsals and told Cornell that he was a “Hunger Strike” fan.
Cornell’s voice wasn’t entirely well-suited for the baritone parts of that song. So Vedder grabbed the mic and just started singing the low parts, and history was born.
This was Cornell’s greatest decision. Not only did their voices complement each other, but it also brought an unbreakable bond that Cornell missed after Wood’s death.
Eddie Vedder and Chris Cornell met each other when Vedder moved to Seattle. From there, the duet went on to work together for multiple projects, including Temple of Dog, Pearl Jam, etc.
Vedder enjoyed the company of Chris more than any other band member. They both camped and hiked together, having the best time of their lives.
Unfortunately, Chris’s death cut this sweet journey short.
Of course, Cornell committed suicide. But his widow claims that it was the combination of prescription drugs in his system that led to suicidal behavior and that he would never have killed himself otherwise.
So, in a way, Cornell later met the same fate as Kurt Cobain.
But the pre-internet rumor mill made it seem like Nirvana, and Pearl Jam hated each other. Was that true? Read my recent article to find out the truth about whether Eddie Vedder and Kurt Cobain were friends.
Just click that link to read it on my site.
Photos that require attribution: