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.

Jay-Z reportedly turned down Super Bowl Halftime slot

Published: Wednesday, September 20, 2017 @ 4:49 PM

Jay-Z Reportedly Turned Down Super Bowl Halftime Slot

Don’t expect to be throwing up the Roc sign at the halftime show during the Super Bowl in 2018.

According to The Source, Jay-Z has turned down the NFL’s offer to have the rapper perform at the 2018 Super Bowl halftime show in Minneapolis.

>> Read more trending news

When NBC’s Pro Football Talk reached out to the NFL, the report wasn’t directly shut down.

“No decisions have been made on the performer(s) and we are not going to speculate on particular artists,” NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said in a Wednesday email to Pro Football Talk. “Along with Pepsi, we know that we will put on a spectacular show. When it is time to announce her name we will do it. Or his name. Or their names.”

For Jay, the rest of this year will be busy. He is set to tour North America in support of his latest album, “4:44,” Oct. 27. Billboard reported that Vic Mensa will be the opening act for the tour.

Britney Spears posts photo with Mariah Carey, exciting fans of both

Published: Wednesday, September 20, 2017 @ 6:39 PM

Britney Spears posed for a photo with Mariah Carey at a dinner party and shared the snap on Twitter, to fans' excitement.
Kevin Mazur/WireImage, Michael Loccisano/Getty Images
Britney Spears posed for a photo with Mariah Carey at a dinner party and shared the snap on Twitter, to fans' excitement.(Kevin Mazur/WireImage, Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)

At a recent dinner party, the two pop icons posed for a photo together at a party, leaving their fan bases begging for a musical collaboration.

According to a Wednesday tweet, Britney Spears and Mariah Carey ran into each other at a dinner party.

>> Read more trending news

“You never know who you’re going to meet at dinner parties!!” Spears captioned the photo. “Great night! So much fun, thank you Cade!”

Billboard reported that Spears is likely referring to Cade Hudson, who has been a long time friend of Spears and works as a publicist. 

Dressed in a black dress with lace details, Spears leans into Carey, who is turned slightly to the side in a low-cut black outfit.

Fans flooded the post with tweets asking if Carey and Spears would be working on new music together and otherwise expressing excitement that two of their favorite artists were in a photo together.

Jada Pinkett Smith responds to Leah Remini’s claim that she’s a Scientologist

Published: Wednesday, September 20, 2017 @ 3:30 PM

Jada Pinkett Smith has responded to Leah Remini's claim that she is a Scientologist
Ian Gavan/Getty Images for Universal Pictures/Getty Images for Universal Pictu
Jada Pinkett Smith has responded to Leah Remini's claim that she is a Scientologist(Ian Gavan/Getty Images for Universal Pictures/Getty Images for Universal Pictu)

Jada Pinkett Smith is denying she is a Scientologist after former member Leah Remini claimed she was one.

Remini, whose reality show, “Scientology and the Aftermath” examines the experiences of former members leaving the controversial church, made the claim about Pinkett Smith in a Saturday interview with The Daily Beast.

“I know Jada’s in. I know Jada’s in. She’s been in Scientology a long time,” Remini said. “I never saw Will (Smith) there, but I saw Jada at the Celebrity Centre. They opened up a Scientology school, and have since closed it. But Jada, I had seen her at the Scientology Celebrity Centre all the time.” 

>> Read more trending news

According to The Daily Beast, Pinkett Smith did not return multiple comment requests.

By Tuesday, however, The Huffington Post reported that the actress responded to Remini’s claims on Twitter.

Although she acknowledged she has studied Dianetics, Scientology’s main text, and Study Technology, a teaching method developed by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard, she also said she’s studied and participated in aspects of other religions as well.

Remini has not responded to Pinkett Smith’s rebuttal. Pinkett Smith ended her Twitter thread with what some may interpret as a direct response to Remini’s claim.

“I practice human kindness, and I believe that we each have the right to determine what we are and what we are not,” she tweeted, “NO ONE ELSE can hold that power.”

Fergie said it was ‘weird’ pretending she was still with Josh Duhamel

Published: Wednesday, September 20, 2017 @ 3:05 PM

Fergie And Josh Duhamel Through The Years

While promoting her upcoming album, “Double Dutchess,” singer Fergie is addressing her split from husband Josh Duhamel.

The couple, who were married for eight years before separating, announced the separation long after they were actually apart. The timing meant Fergie, 42, and Duhamel, 44, had to respond to questions about each other when in public as though they were still together.

>> Read more trending news

“Honestly, it was just getting a little weird for us with all the romantic questions,” Fergie told People Tuesday while making the rounds promoting her album.

“We’re great friends, we love each other so much, and it just got to the point where it was getting a little weird,” she said. “There’s no perfect time, so we just decided to do it. We just wanted to get adjusted in private.”

Singer Fergie is speaking about hiding her separation from actor Josh Duhamel since the two split earlier in the year.(Neilson Barnard/Getty Images/Getty Images)

The parents to son Axl Jack, 4, announced the separation Sept. 14 in a joint statement.

“With absolute love and respect we decided to separate as a couple earlier this year,” the statement said. “To give our family the best opportunity to adjust, we wanted to keep this a private matter before sharing it with the public. We are and will always be united in our support of each other and our family.”

Related: Singer Fergie, actor Josh Duhamel announce separation

Fergie went on to say co-parenting with the actor is going well, and their son’s school has helped with the process.

“We have a co-op so Josh and I would walk there several times before the school season. I get to learn from the teachers and see how he reacts in a group of friends that he knows. And I get to help out and serve them snacks and clean the dishes. We have fun, we get down and dirty and read the stories with our costumes. You get down in the sand and get dirty -- I love it. I love that part of it all.”

“Double Dutchess,” the followup to Fergie’s 2006 debut album, “The Dutchess,” is set for release Sept. 22.