When I was in college, I had various jobs. One of my better jobs was working security at Giants Stadium in New Jersey. I was not one of the people who patrolled the parking lot or asked you to stop smoking or drink up in the seats. For most of the time I was there, I worked backstage or at the rear entrance or backstage. It was an easy job, filled with interesting experiences and people. It was on one of my days working the rear gate that I encountered Chris Cornell.
I did not get to spend much time with him. Chris Cornell and Kim Thayil had come to a concert and were not on our list. Unfortunately for them, no one at the gate who was in charge recognized them. I was a noob, so I didn’t try to talk too much, the older guys did not like young people who gave too much lip. But I recognized Cornell and Thayil from their appearances on MTV and I mentioned that to my supervisor. That was enough to get my supervisor on his radio asking about these two long-haired fellas. When they were confirmed as on some list, we let them through.
Now here is what I most remember. Cornell thanked and shook hands with each person there. Even though we were mostly indifferent to him and perhaps even slightly dismissive. It was a classy move and it always left me with the impression that he was a nice guy.
I was sad to hear this morning that Chris Cornell had passed away. He was a very talented person and I am glad I have my memory of my brief encounter and a heck of a lot of music to remember him by.
Plus this amazing scene from the Cameron Crowe film Singles. Look at all the beautiful hair.