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Soundgarden Singer Chris Cornell Has Died at Age 52
Widely regarded as one of the primary architects of the Seattle grunge sound and as being one of the best rock vocalists of the past 25 years, Chris Cornell died in his hotel room early Thursday morning, following Soundgarden's show in Detroit. He was 52.
Cornell first rose to prominence in the late 1980s and early 1990s with Soundgarden, one of the Seattle grunge sound's "big four"—along with Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and Alice in Chains. Soundgarden's 1991 release, Badmotorfinger, which featured the singles "Outshined," "Rusty Cage," and "Jesus Christ Pose," was the band's breakthrough record. But it was their 1994 platinum-selling release, Superunknown, fueled by the smash hits "Black Hole Sun" and "Spoonman" as well as "Fell on Black Days" and "My Wave," that turned the group into superstars.
Cornell also recorded with the all-star grunge group Temple of the Dog, which also comprised members of Pearl Jam and produced a Top 10 hit in "Hunger Strike." And in 2001, Cornell joined forces with Rage Against the Machine's Tom Morello, Tim Commerford, and Brad Wilk, to form Audioslave. That collective would release three album and receive three Grammy nominations before disbanding in 2007.
Cornell's sudden and unexpected death has been ruled a suicide, though his wife, Vicky Cornell, has suggested that it may have been accidental—a result of taking too much of his anxiety medication. You can read her full statement, along with that of their family attorney Kirk Pasich, below.
Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife and three children.
Kirk Pasich, an attorney for the Chris Cornell family, said that the family is disturbed at inferences that Chris knowingly and intentionally took his life. “Without the results of toxicology tests, we do not know what was going on with Chris—or if any substances contributed to his demise. Chris, a recovering addict, had a prescription for Ativan and may have taken more Ativan than recommended dosages. The family believes that if Chris took his life, he did not know what he was doing, and that drugs or other substances may have affected his actions,” he stated. Mr. Pasich noted that some medical literature indicates that Ativan can cause paranoid or suicidal thoughts, slurred speech and impaired judgment.
Vicky Cornell added, “Chris’s death is a loss that escapes words and has created an emptiness in my heart that will never be filled. As everyone who knew him commented, Chris was a devoted father and husband. He was my best friend. His world revolved around his family first and of course, his music, second. He flew home for Mother’s Day to spend time with our family. He flew out mid-day Wednesday, the day of the show, after spending time with the children. When we spoke before the show, we discussed plans for a vacation over Memorial Day and other things we wanted to do. When we spoke after the show, I noticed he was slurring his words; he was different. When he told me he may have taken an extra Ativan or two, I contacted security and asked that they check on him." Ms. Cornell continued: “What happened is inexplicable and I am hopeful that further medical reports will provide additional details. I know that he loved our children and he would not hurt them by intentionally taking his own life.”
Ms. Cornell concluded, “The outpouring of love and support from his fans, friends and family means so much more to us than anyone can know. Thank you for that, and for understanding how difficult this is for us.”
New Lesson on How to Play "Tush" by ZZ Top
We're excited to bring you another ZZ Top classic in our G-Plus song lesson format—"Tush," from the band's 1975 album Fandango. The lesson includes a video lesson from Doug Boduch that covers everything from the raucous main riff to Billy Gibbons's delectable slide work.
How to Play "Dani California" by Red Hot Chili Peppers
Hopefully you've had a chance to check out our recent new video song lessons for "Suck My Kiss," "Tell Me Baby," and "The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie," because now we're bringing you brand-new Chili Peppers lesson on their smash hit "Dani California," from their 2006 album Stadium Arcadium.
In this new G-Plus Song lesson, instructor Doug Boduch shows you all of John Frusciante's killer riffs and grooves as well as the fiery solo that closes the tune, in step-by-step fashion.
Matt Schofield Talks Major-Minor Rub and the b5th in Blues Phrasing
In this week's installment of Free Lesson Friday, blues guitar ace Matt Schofield shows how he uses the major-minor 3rd rub and the b5th note to give his blues phrasing added depth. For more on his approach to blues soloing, see his complete Bluesy Phrasing video lesson, with free lesson tab.
New Guitar Boot Camp Lesson Series by Jason Busse
We're excited to welcome instructor Jason Busse to the GuitarInstructor family. Hailing from Appleton, Wisconsin, where he teaches styles ranging from classical, fingerstyle, and percussive acoustic guitar to country, rock, and metal, Jason has with over two decades of experience in live performance.
Jason's first contribution to GuitarInstructor.com is his Guitar Boot Camp—a lesson series for beginner to intermediate level players looking to learn from scratch or brush up on essential guitar skills and techniques. The first three lessons in this new series—Vibrato, Muting, and Notes on the Fretboard—are now available, and more titles will be coming soon.
Metallica Announces WorldWired 2017 North American Tour
Metallica will kick off their WorldWired 2017 North American tour in support of their new album Hardwired...To Self-Destruct tonight in Baltimore, MD at M&T Bank Stadium. The tour will crisscross its way across North America into the summer, marking the band's first proper North American tour since 2009. Avenged Sevenfold and Volbeat will be the main support acts for the tour run. See below for a list of all confirmed dates and visit www.metallica.com for complete ticket info.
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WorldWired Live Dates
May 10 - Baltimore, MD - M&T Bank Stadium*^
May 12 - Philadelphia, PA - Lincoln Financial Field*^
May 14 - East Rutherford, NJ - MetLife Stadium*^
May 17 - Uniondale, NY - New Coliseum^
May 19 - Boston, MA - Gillette Stadium ^#
May 21 - Columbus, OH - Rock On The Range Festival
June 4 - St. Louis, MO - Busch Stadium^#
June 7 - Denver, CO - Sports Authority Field*^
June 9 - Dayton, IA - Iowa Speedway
June 11 - Houston, TX - NRG Stadium*^
June 14 - San Antonio, TX - Alamodome*#
June 16 - Dallas, TX - AT&T Stadium*#
June 18 - Chicago, IL - Soldier Field*#
July 5 - Orlando, FL - Camping World Stadium*^
July 7 - Miami, FL - Hard Rock Stadium*^
July 9 - Atlanta, GA - Suntrust Park*^
July 12 - Detroit, MI - Comercia Park*^
July 14 - Quebec City, QC- Festival D'Ete
July 16 - Toronto, ON - Rogers Centre*^
July 19 - Montreal, QB - Parc Jean-Drapeau*^
July 29 - Los Angeles, CA - Rose Bowl*+
August 4 - Phoenix, AZ - University of Phoenix Stadium*+
August 6 - San Diego, CA - Petco Park*+
August 9 - Seattle, WA - Centurylink Field*+
August 11-13 - San Francisco, CA - Outside Lands
August 14 - Vancouver, BC - BC Place*+
August 16 - Edmonton, AB - Commonwealth Stadium*+
*With Avenged Sevenfold
#With Local H
Learn A-How-How-How to Play "La Grange" by ZZ Top
In our newest G-Plus song lesson, you'll learn a-how-how-how to play ZZ Top's hallmark hit "La Grange," from their 1973 album Tres Hombres. Though not the first to use the technique, guitarist Billy Gibbons is widely known as the grand-daddy of pinch harmonics thanks to his judicious employment of them in this tune's second solo. Instructor Doug Boduch will teach you not only how to coax these savory squeals from your own axe but also how to nail the song's signature riff and all parts in between.
"La Grange" ZZ Top G-Plus song lesson
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