It was my junior year of high school. I had just arrived at my locker for the day when my friend, Aaron, approached me. He was wearing all black.

“Grunge is dead,” he said to me.

“What?” I replied.

“Soundgarden broke up,” he explained. “Grunge is dead.”

Twenty years later, he got one step closer to being right.

As I’m sure most of you are aware by now, Chris Cornell died today.

Twenty years ago, one of my best friends in the world reminded me of the importance of a band like Soundgarden and its frontman. That same friend saw him this past Sunday, in concert, in Kansas City. I found out about the concert too late to attend and missed it. I feel like I might regret that for some time. My devotion to music as a medium has wavered, in the last few years. It has become more and more difficult for me to listen, simply due to work and having a shitty car with a shitty stereo (podcasts played off my phone sound great, but music doesn’t have the impact it should). As a result, I missed a lot of great music in the last 5 years or so.

Today, I pulled out my headphones, plugged them in, and let the music flow. I discovered entire albums I’d never heard and enjoyed lyrics from one of the great poets of our time, stretched across that unique vocal range Cornell had. It was wonderful. I listened to old favorites and fantastic covers and new works that proved that neither age, depression, nor drugs had dulled the mind of one of the greatest of greats of my childhood.

Cobain. Staley. Weiland. And now, Cornell.

Stay strong, Eddie. We need you now, more than ever. Someone needs to pass the torch to the next generation, before it’s dropped and lost forever.

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