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Big Chris Cornell fan but perhaps didn't get into him till his latter career era and not so big on the back catalogue of Soundgarden. This isn't the longest book in the world by any stretch of the imagination, however, it took me an absolute age to get through cause just over 50% of the book goes through the formation and life and times of Soundgarden's first time through the mill rather than the stuff a lot fans who were not sound garden fans loved about Chris Cornell. The latter half of the book, I though moved really quick on the other hand and crammed a lot in that I'd have loved more detail on. As I started to enjoy Corbin Reef's account of what happened during the life of Chris Cornell, the book was over and left me wanting more. Ironically this perhaps mirror's the life of the person the book is about and how it tragically ended.
If you're an early Chris Cornell Soundgarden person, defo the book for you and you can tell Reef writes with passion, regret, dismay and portrays genuine grief during sections regarding his own perspective on what happened. If you're an Audioslave, Songbook tour kinda person, you'll read it but it'll be a bit of a slog.
As I mentioned, found it a real effort the first half of the book for the most part. There was some good stuff in the first half don't get me wrong but it was quite slow until the point when Soundgarden was coming to it's end. Nonetheless, feels like a must buy for any fan of Chris Cornell. The less is more word choice/ count used to describe how it ended for Chris was also quite powerful too.
Corbin Reiff announced in 2018 that he was working on this book, and that it would come out in 2020. I was so looking forward to it, that it was hard to wait for 2 years. I wanted to love this book, and it's not awful, yet I was still disappointed. Reiff admitted that he wasn't able to procure many interviews, people that he had lined up for them backed out due to all the lawsuits flying around. So there are no interviews with Chris' parents, brothers and sisters, other family members, kids he grew up with, ex-girlfriends, people he was in his first bands with, the Soundgarden guys, the Audioslave guys, his first wife. Reiff said he decided to focus on Chris' music, but in that case, it can hardly be called a "biography". It's more so a "career retrospective". Reiff focused on old interviews that Chris gave, but I feel Chris could be guarded in interviews, and careful about what he said. Reiff states that as a young man, Chris fell so in love with Susan Silver that it scared him. Yet when married to his second wife, Chris said the marriage to Susan was "abusive", and a "mistake from the beginning". How did things get so nasty between Chris and Susan, with the constant lawsuits? Why was Lily brought into the world, (she started her life in a petri dish according to Chris), when he was deep into drug and alcohol abuse, and stated he was unhappily married? His marriages and children are only briefly touched upon. There is almost nothing mentioned about the intervention that got Chris into rehab in 2002. Tim Commerford flew to Seattle to look for Chris, and ended up in jail for attacking the man who was supplying Chris with drugs. Again, for a "biography", so much is left out. I wanted to know much more. Hopefully, in the future, when the lawsuits are over and settled, someone will write another book about this man, that is more in depth. Because that is what a biography should be.
I was disappointed in this book. I thought it was going to talk about Chris Cornell's life. The majority of the book is about Soundgarden and how the band got started. If you are interested in most of the gigs they played and the other band members coming and going, this is the book for you. It tells very little about Chris Cornell's personal life. There are interviews from music mags, talk shows, and such, but is that really personal? I became a fan of Chris after he had left his bands and I wasn't really expecting a rehash about his life in them.