Daytonians share memories of Chris Cornell’s music, shows

Published: Thursday, May 18, 2017 @ 11:39 AM

Kevin Virobik-Adams for aa-s. Chris Cornell, formerly frontman for Soundgarden, played in Austin Saturday (3/4/2000) at La Zona Rosa as part of his solo tour.
Kevin Virobik-Adams for aa-s. Chris Cornell, formerly frontman for Soundgarden, played in Austin Saturday (3/4/2000) at La Zona Rosa as part of his solo tour.

Area rock fans reacted in shock as news of Chris Cornell’s death greeted morning readers Thursday. 

The 52-year-old musician known for his work with Soundgarden, Audioslave, Temple of the Dog and solo work died late Wednesday evening shortly after a performance in Detroit, according to a representative. Detroit police are investigating the cause.

>> The latest: Autopsy being conducted on body of Chris Cornell

“He was one of the strongest singers of the grunge era,” said former Dayton Daily News music critic Dave Larsen of Cornell. 

Larsen, who now works in communications for the University of Dayton, saw several performances involving the singer and guitarist. 

“He had a tremendous voice and was a strong songwriter. I was a true fan.”

>> Concerts at Hara we won’t forget

Other Daytonians remember Cornell and Soundgarden long before the Seattle Sound exploded across the airwaves in the early ‘90s. The young band toured heavily, but not everyone was a fan.

>> Best places in Dayton to see live music

“Honestly, I never saw ‘em once when I was looking forward to it,” local musician Eric Purtle recalled after seeing them multiple times in the late ‘80s. “We caught ‘them three times before (third album) Badmotorfinger even came out and they sucked. I was in no mood for ‘70s throwback when we were in the mood for ‘80s faux-futurism. Mind you, once Badmotorfinger came out, it was another story – the songs were a lot better and we were more in the mood for the idea of them.”

>> Hara Arena hosted the biggest bands and plenty of history

Dayton musician Chad Wells heard things differently.

“The first time I saw them was transcendent,” Wells said of their performance opening for Danzig and Corrosion of Conformity in 1990 at Cincinnati’s Bogart’s. “Just perfect. So psychedelic and swirly and so heavy. (They) covered ‘Earache My Eye’ by Cheech and Chong and the pit at Bogart's went berserk -- but not violent, just fast running swirl.”

Chris Cornell performs in Austin in 2015. Suzanne Cordeiro/for American-Statesman(Suzanne Cordeiro)

Jim Contway of Dayton was living in Seattle when Cornell and Soundgarden were just getting started and saw him perform in his all-star side project Temple of the Dog as well. 

>> More of your favorite stories about Dayton’s Hara Arena

“One of the most pure voices ever,” Contway said. “I didn’t consider (Soundgarden) alternative rock or heavy metal. They were just a great rock band.”

Soundgarden played the Dayton area three times, most notoriously at the Nutter Center Jan. 13 and 14 of 1992 as the opening act for Guns ‘N’ Roses. 

Scheduled to start the second show “around 8 p.m.,” Cornell and crew hit the stage at 9:30 p.m. and played for an hour. It would be well past midnight before fans heard from Guns ‘N’ Roses due to an alleged technical glitch, though Guns singer Axl Rose had reportedly not even shown up to the venue until after midnight.

Chris Cornell of Soundgarden performs at The Guitar Center Sessions at the Starr Builidng rooftop at SXSW on Friday March 14, 2014. JAY JANNER / AMERICAN-STATESMAN(Jay Janner/Jay Janner)

Soundgarden returned two years later, this time at Hara Arena, as one of rock’s biggest bands. 

>> Representative: Rocker Chris Cornell dead at age 52

“The band delivered a powerfully assured two-hour set for the crowd of 3,500,” Larsen reported at the time. “Cornell even recalled that Nutter Center show and what a mess it was from the stage.”

Despite his initial impression of Cornell and his band, Purtle believes the group’s legacy as one of the greats is well assured. 

“I’m not sure anybody ever put out a three-album string better than BadmotorfingerSuperunknown, and Down on the Upside.” 

Do you have memories of Chris Cornell and his music? Send them to Jim.Ingram@coxinc.com.

Report: Actor John Heard dies at 72

Published: Saturday, July 22, 2017 @ 9:32 AM
Updated: Saturday, July 22, 2017 @ 9:32 AM

Actor John Heard Dies At 72

Actor John Heard, best known for playing the dad in the “Home Alone” movies, has died, TMZ reported.

US Weekly confirmed the report.

Heard was found dead in a California hotel Friday, according to TMZ. He was 72.

>> Read more trending news

The cause of death is unknown, but TMZ reports that Heard had minor surgery on Wednesday, and was staying at the hotel while recovering.

Heard’s acting career included film, television and stage credits. While best known for playing father Peter McCallister in “Home Alone,” other film credits include “Big” and "Beaches," while television credits include “The Sopranos” and “Prison Break.”

This is a breaking news story, return for updates.

Linkin Park cancels tour following death of Chester Bennington

Published: Friday, July 21, 2017 @ 7:17 PM

Looking Back: Chester Bennington

Following the death of Linkin Park singer Chester Bennington, the rock band has canceled its upcoming tour.

>> Read more trending news

Concert promoter Live Nation issued a statement on Friday:

We are incredibly saddened to hear about the passing of Chester Bennington. The Linkin Park One More Light North American Tour has been cancelled and refunds are available at point of purchase. Our thoughts go out to all those affected.

The band’s U.S. tour to support new album “One More Light” was slated to kick off a summer run of arenas and amphitheaters with Machine Gun Kelly on July 27 in Boston.

LAS VEGAS, NV - JANUARY 10: Singer/guitarist Mike Shinoda (L) and singer Chester Bennington of Linkin Park perform at The Joint inside the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino on January 10, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)(Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Bennington, 41, died of a suicide by hanging Thursday at his home near Los Angeles.

An online petition is circulating to rename Santa Monica’s Lincoln Park -- for which the band is named -- in Bennington’s memory. It currently has over 6,000 signatures toward its goal of 7,000.

Chester Bennington Interview

Hoda Kotb posts new pics of new daughter, cutest photos yet

Published: Sunday, July 23, 2017 @ 12:41 PM

‘Today’ host Hoda Kotb introduces her daughter, Haley Joy, to her colleagues at the television show on Friday, May 12, 2017.
NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images
‘Today’ host Hoda Kotb introduces her daughter, Haley Joy, to her colleagues at the television show on Friday, May 12, 2017.(NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

On Friday, Hoda Kotb shared another adorable picture of her new daughter, Haley Joy, whom she calls her “everything” in the caption on Instagram.

>> Read more trending news

In the picture, Hayley smiles right at the camera with her big, brown eyes shining and sporting some thick, growing hair. Kotb has been keeping fans updated on Haley’s growth ever since announcing her adoption early this year, posting cute photos of her daughter’s sweetest moments.

A post shared by Hoda Kotb (@hodakotb) on

“Life flies by,” she said on becoming a mom and on celebrating her recent four year anniversary with boyfriend Joel.

>> Related: Hoda Kotb reveals how she kept her adoption a secret

“It’s so funny because you spend so much of your life wondering, ‘When is it going to happen?’ If ever. Sometimes in my life, I thought it was already happening—like the most that could ever happen was happening. I was happy and grateful, and then this happened. It just reminded me that work is work, and life is life.”

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Princes William, Harry on their sorrow over last ‘rushed’ call with Diana 

Published: Sunday, July 23, 2017 @ 11:20 AM

Prince Harry is pictured sticking his tongue out as his mother, Princess Diana, holds him at an event known as Trooping The Color. Prince William is also pictured with Lady Gabriella Windsor and Lady Rose Windsor watching from the balcony of Buckingham Palace on June 11, 1988.
Tim Graham/Tim Graham/Getty Images
Prince Harry is pictured sticking his tongue out as his mother, Princess Diana, holds him at an event known as Trooping The Color. Prince William is also pictured with Lady Gabriella Windsor and Lady Rose Windsor watching from the balcony of Buckingham Palace on June 11, 1988.(Tim Graham/Tim Graham/Getty Images)

Princes William and Harry are talking about the last, rushed phone call they had with their mother, Princess Diana, before her untimely death in a car crash in Paris in 1997.

Their painful reflections are part of a new ITV documentary called “Diana, Our Mother: Her Life and Legacy,” airing on Monday, July 24. The program comes as the 20th anniversary of the death of the Princess of Wales approaches on Aug. 31, and celebrates her life and charitable works, according to ITV.

>> Read more trending news

The princes opened up to the filmmakers about the last time they spoke to Diana from the Queen’s estate in Balmoral, Scotland. The brothers, William 15, at the time, and Harry, just 12, remembered that they were playing with their cousins at the time Diana phoned. 

Both William and Harry said they have regrets about that final call to this day.

“Harry and I were in a desperate rush to say goodbye, you know ‘see you later.’ … If I’d known now, obviously, what was going to happen I wouldn’t have been so blasé about it and everything else,” William said in the documentary while he and Harry were looking through a photo album. “But that phone call sticks in my mind quite heavily.”

Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh,left, Prince William, Earl Spencer, Prince Harry and Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales follow the coffin of Diana, Princess of Wales in London on September 6, 1997. The funeral took place seven days after she was killed in a car crash in Paris. Members of the royal family walked in the procession behind the coffin, as did 500 representatives of the charities associated with the Princess. At least a million people lined the streets of central London to watch the procession from Kensington Palace to Westminster Abbey.(Anwar Hussein/Getty Images)

Harry echoed his brother.

“Looking back on it now, it’s incredibly hard. I’ll have to sort of deal with that for the rest of my life,” Harry said. “Not knowing that was the last time I was going to speak to my mum; how differently that conversation would have panned out if I’d had even the slightest inkling her life was going to be taken that night.”

>> Related: Prince William, Harry to rededicate Princess Diana’s grave on her birthday

“I can’t necessarily remember what I said, but all I do remember is probably regretting for the rest of my life how short the phone call was,” Harry said.

The brothers also talked about how much fun their mother was.

“She was very informal and really enjoyed laughter and the fun,” William said.

“She was one of the naughtiest parents,” Harry added.

The Princess of Wales greets her sons Prince William and Prince Harry on the deck of the yacht Britannia in Toronto, when they joined their parents on an official visit to Canada on October 23, 1991. (Princess Diana Archive/Getty Images)

Prince William and Harry said they are talking candidly about their mother publicly for the first time to help honor her memory and the good works she was known for, including her work with AIDS victims and her activism against land mines. But Prince William said he doesn’t expect to discuss his mother again in such an open way after the events surrounding the 20th anniversary of her death. 

 The Associated Press contributed to this report.