Since Chris Cornell’s death three weeks ago, fans and fellow musicians have publicly mourned the loss of the Seattle rock great. But among the Soundgarden vocalist’s friends and peers, Eddie Vedder has been relatively quiet.
During his first solo concert after Cornell’s death, Vedder quietly included a few songs and lyric changes that felt like nods to Cornell. At one point, he briefly referenced his late friend (with whom he awesomely watched the Kingdome blow up), telling an Amsterdam crowd, “I’m thinking of a lot of people tonight. And some in particular and their families. And I just know that healing takes time if it ever happens.”
But last night Vedder finally opened up. According to a transcript posted on the official Pearl Jam message board, the singer explained the reason for his silence during the first of the band’s shows at London’s Eventim Apollo.
“I have not been willing to accept the reality and that's just how I'm dealing with it,” he reportedly told the crowd.
Vedder went on to say that he looked up to Cornell “like my older brother,” and recalled a sleepless night after hearing the news. Read the full transcript below.
Sometimes it's hard to concentrate these days. I was thinking about the history of this building and the Bowie history. So I started to think about that and my mind began to wander. It's not a good...
So I haven't really been talking about some things and I kind of... now it feels like it's conspicuous because I lost a really close friend of mine, somebody who...(applause)
I'll say this too, I grew up as 4 boys, 4 brothers and I lost my brother 2 years ago tragically like that in an accident and after that and losing a few other people, I'm not good at it, meaning I'm not... I have not been willing to accept the reality and that's just how I'm dealing with it (applause starts)
no, no, no, no
So I want to be there for the family, be there for the community, be there for my brothers in my band, certainly the brothers in his band. But these things will take time but my friend is going to be gone forever and I will just have to...
These things take time and I just want to send this out to everyone who was affected by it and they all back home and here appreciate it so deeply the support and the good thoughts of a man who was a ... you know he wasn't just a friend he was someone I looked up to like my older brother.
About two days after the news, I think it was the second night we were sleeping in this little cabin near the water, a place he would've loved. And all these memories started coming in about 1:30am like woke me up. Like big memories, memories I would think about all the time. Like the memories were big muscles. And then I couldn't stop the memories. And trying to sleep it was like if the neighbours had the music playing and you couldn't stop it.
But then it was fine because then it got into little memories. It just kept going and going and going. And I realised how lucky I was to have hours worth of...you know if each of these memories was quick and I had hours of them. How fortunate was I?! And I didn't want to be sad, wanted to be grateful not sad.
I'm still thinking about those memories and I will live with those memories in my heart and I will...love him forever (Applause and standing ovation)