A Chris Cornell-Eddie Van Halen collaboration almost became a real thing, Cornell’s guitarist reveals

“Eddie always wanted to do something with Chris, musically.”

Chris Cornell and Eddie Van Halen

Chris Cornell and Eddie Van Halen. Credit: Buda Mendes / Daniel Knighton / Getty

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We almost got a collaboration between Soundgarden‘s Chris Cornell and Eddie Van Halen in 2009, guitarist Thorn has shared.

The collaboration almost became a reality during the recording sessions for Cornell’s 2009 album Scream, Thorn revealed. Speaking to The Mitch Lafon and Jeremy White Show podcast, Thorn shared that the two artists had always wanted to collaborate, saying ,“They were buddies… Eddie always wanted to do something with Chris, musically.”

“He loved his voice and he used to be like, ‘Man, I love him. We were always talking about doing something together.’”

Thorn then revealed that Cornell had come up with the idea of having Van Halen appear on one of the album’s tracks while the guitarist was producing versions of Scream‘s Long Gone and its title track. Thorn managed to get in contact with Van Halen via Friedman Amplification founder Dave Friedman, and even got the legend to lay down guitar parts for the title track at 5150 Studios.

Cornell never got around to adding vocals to the track, though Thorn revealed that a reel featuring the parts Van Halen recorded still exists at 5150 Studios. “I don’t want to get anybody excited thinking that this ever got finished, because it didn’t,” Thorn clarified.

“But he did work on it. And, you know, I would go up there over the next couple of weeks, and he had played on it. I would listen to it and just be like, ‘I can’t believe this is happening. This is myself and Eddie on a track.’”

The rumoured Eddie Van Halen tribute concert featuring Joe Satriani appears to be off, as Satriani has now proclaimed Wolfgang Van Halen is the only person who should decide whether an event takes place, and that he wants no role in the tribute.

Satriani shared that seeing Wolfgang perform at the Taylor Hawkins tributes earlier this year made him realise that Wolfgang should be the one to perform at any future Van Halen tribute. “It was the most natural, beautiful thing I’d seen in a long time. It was such a wonderful thing to see him play his dad’s music like that… I thought, ‘Well, if the thing is ever gonna happen, he should do it,’” Satriani said.

“It just seemed more natural than reaching out to somebody like me.”

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