Pearl Jam’s Stone Gossard says Chris Cornell “elevated himself in a way that everyone dreams about”

They played together in the band Temple Of The Dog.

stone gossard and Chris Cornell

Images: Jim Bennett / Buda Mendes / Getty

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Pearl Jam guitarist Stone Gossard has reflected on the passing of Chris Cornell, with whom he and several other Pearl Jam members played with in the band Temple Of The Dog.

Speaking to Kerrang!, Gossard reflected on how Cornell’s voice and presence developed over the time he knew him, from “punk rock screaming” to the powerful, melodic presence he’s remembered for. “He elevated himself in a way that everyone dreams about,” Gossard said. “It was like becoming a superhero or something, in terms of that voice and where it came from and how it was able to be so sensual and so piercing at the same time. He was one of the greatest vocalists of all time.”

Temple Of The Dog was formed by Cornell as a tribute to his and Gossard’s mutual friend, singer Andrew Wood, who died at the age of 24 in 1990. Gossard recalled Cornell’s “generosity, in terms of inviting us and our new singer [Eddie Vedder] to make this record that ends up being one of the greatest records of all time, in terms of my perspective. He wrote those songs, we recorded them in a week and a half. I don’t even remember being there, basically. But you listen back now and you go, like, ‘How could a 24-year-old have such wisdom in his lyrics?’”

Alongside his work in Temple Of The Dog and Soundgarden, Cornell sang in Audioslave alongside members of the then-disbanded Rage Against The Machine. Gossard and other Pearl Jam members, especially frontman Eddie Vedder, remained close to Cornell until his death in 2017 at the age of 52.

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