Chris Cornell‘s friends continue to be stunned by the singer’s suicide.
Speaking with CNN on Friday, his longtime manager, Ron Laffitte, said there were absolutely no warning signs that the Soundgarden frontman was in a bad place, and that he appeared optimistic about the future on the very day that he passed away.
“Nobody saw this coming, his band mates didn’t see this coming. It’s totally out of character for the Chris that I’ve known and worked with for the last 10 years. It’s incredibly bizarre. I have to think that something threw him off the tracks … he must have been out of his right mind.”
Laffitte explained how he spoke to Chris every single day and that on the afternoon of his death, they were talking about upcoming plans for a performance at the 2017 Global Citizens Music Festival in New York in September. He said:
“He was just really excited about this specific idea that we were going to do. He said, ‘We aren’t just going to make pop history with this one, brother. We are going to make real history.’ I would say the last couple of months, he was as optimistic and happy as I can ever recall him … He was so excited about all these things and a new record we were going to put out in the fall.”
Laffitte also speculated on Chris’ former troubles with drug addiction, saying:
“Very often times people who are in recovery have a relapse or a slip. I think unfortunately what so often happens when a recovering addict has a slip is they return to a level where they left off as opposed to easing their way back in.”
Movie producer Eric Esrailian, who worked with the rock icon for a song featured on the movie The Promise, also has a hard time believing Chris meant to take his own life. He said:
“If he was aware of what he was doing, I don’t think Chris would ever do this to his family. The Chris I know would never do this to his family … I completely don’t believe he had this planned out.”
Laffitte, meanwhile, referred to the Led Zeppelin song, In My Time Of Dying, which Chris performed as the last song before he died, denying implications that it was a type of forewarning of what was to come:
“They did that [song] and a number of Led Zeppelin covers all the time and that had nothing to do with [his death]. I don’t believe he was foreshadowing his death, I believe he was playing a Led Zeppelin song that he’d played many times before.”
Esrailian added that he wanted fans to remember his late friend as a devoted family man:
“He always was focused on his children and his wife. Chris was the center of [Vicky’s] world and the world of her children. Everything revolved around Chris because he was such a great, fun, funny person.”
Laffitte reiterated the sentiment, saying:
“[Chris] would want to be remembered as a loving husband and father and be remembered as a songwriter and a singer. Very often times it was overlooked that he was one of the greatest songwriters arguable of all time and he would like to be remembered as songwriter first before a singer.”
It has truly been a terrible loss for family, friends, fans, and the world. R.I.P., Chris.
[Image via WENN.]