It has only been a few days since Chris Cornell’s passing of suicide following a performance at Detroit’s Fox Theatre and a few of the singer’s close friends are revealing much about him in his hours before his passing.
Detroit artist and musician Kevin Morris — a friend of Cornell’s and onetime roadie for the singer’s bands Soundgarden and Audioslave.
Morris, who talked to Cornell six to seven times a year including at the beginning of what now has become the 52-year-old frontman’s final tour, happened to be at Cornell’s show on Wednesday.
According to PEOPLE, Morris said that while he was in “utter shock” at Cornell’s death, the signs that something was wrong with his friend were there at the show.
“The whole performance you could tell something wasn’t right,” Morris recounted. “Into the second song he started getting disoriented or something. I just figured he wasn’t feeling well.”
“Everybody felt there was something going on,” Morris continued. “Like he wasn’t with us. Like he was on a cloud. It was like he was really fighting to get through the show.”
Cornell was found dead at MGM Grand Detroit on Wednesday night. Medical examiners have ruled that Cornell died of suicide by hanging, but his family have since spoken out saying they believe that the side effects of the prescription drug Ativan may have led him to thoughts of self-harm.
“He’s been clean for years,” Morris said. “He talked to his wife right before and right after the show… He was working very hard to make everyone happy. He loved Detroit. What was troubling him I don’t think we’ll ever know. I think he was a little nervous about playing in Detroit, the music capital of the world, and he took a little too much of the Ativan.”
Morris got the news of Cornell’s death in the middle of the night: “I’d just laid down to go to sleep and my sister called around 1 a.m,” he said. He’s since been in touch with Cornell’s wife, Vicky.
Meanwhile, Detroit photographer Ken Settle, who was also at the show recounted Cornell’s last sighting was “more joyous” than he’d seen before.
“He’d always been, back in the early days especially, kind of a brooding performer, more introspective, sometimes looking down at his guitar most of the time with his hair in his face. At this show, it was the opposite of that,” Settle said.
“His voice was great. He was hitting all of the high notes,” Settle added. “The artistry of the band. This was not a retread. There was still a creative force. They weren’t just putting it on cruise control. It was one powerful band. That spark, the energy and the artistry was still there.”
Still, in hindsight, Settle said there were signs — including the band’s decision to close out their show with a Led Zeppelin song woven in with one of their own. It’s title, In My Time of Dying.0comments
“It’s a very odd choice to weave that in and now it does make you wonder,” Settle said. “There is so much that does point to a person who perhaps knew what was coming up, which is so sad. It makes me look at my pictures to search his eyes to see if there is a clue, something he’s saying that people were missing.”