CHRIS CORNELL BOX SET HAS EVERYTHING

The hits, the odd collabs, and even that Timbaland thing.

November 26, 2018

© Ron Elkman/USA TODAY NETWORK

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Chris Cornell was a legend in so many ways, but the thing I remember most about him is just what a great person he was.  I had the opportunity to interview him multiple times over the years, and he was always quick with a disarming smile, and he always remembered my name.  One of his people probably told him a minute before seeing me, but whatever...

The most memorable chat with him took place in a gym.  A completely empty basketball court, except for two stools in the center for Chris and I, and a guy shooting video.  I'd love to know where that video is, btw.....anyway...it's just Chris and I, sitting side by side on those stools, our conversation echoing off the walls.  I was pretty intimidated at first, but once you started talking to Chris, you forgot about everything else.  He made it easy.  I was just sitting there with a buddy.

After about thirty minutes that seemed like three, we were done with the interview part.  He was gonna play acoustic next, so I got up to leave the gym and he goes, "Where you goin'?"  I said, "well, you're playing...I don't think you want me sitting right there."  He smiled and said, "sit down."

So I did.  And.....

Wow.

Chris motherfucking Cornell starts playing, and singing, a literal FOOT away from me.  I wasn't sure what to do with my eyes.  Do I look at him?  I don't wanna make him feel weird, but if I don't look at him, is that rude?  Like, I don't want to look all disinterested, either.  Didn't matter, as I had no choice but to stare at him.  He looked back at me from time to time, too.  Our knees even touched a few times as he sang, that's how close we were.

I was in awe that this was happening.

Too soon it was over, the guy from the sound booth comes out and tells us we're clear, I tell Chris how amazing that was, and he smiles and says a quiet "thank you."  We hug, say goodbye, and I left the gym to go back to my normal, boring life.  That was the last time I got to see him.  

Thanks for the memories, man.

RIP, Chris.

Read about his amazing box set, Chris Cornell, here