Soundgarden Bassist Is Not Homeless

Despite what some other publications may lead you to believe, Soundgarden bassist Ben Shepherd is not in fact homeless.

A recent Spin cover story describes the grunge band members by writing, “one guy’s homeless, one likes sleeping all day, one’s in Pearl Jam, and one’s Chris Cornell.”

The reporter asked Shepherd where he lives and the 41-year-old bassist replied by saying “nowhere. Literally. I’ve been sleeping on studio couches and at friends’ houses. I’m totally broke.”

Spin notes that Shepherd broke up with his girlfriend six months earlier and then moved out of their house. He joked that his overcoat is “my home now.”

Photo: John Davisson
Vic Theatre, Chicago, Ill.

On Tuesday Shepherd wrote a response on Soundgarden’s website, explaining that he was embarrassed Spin had pulled a “sensationalizing stunt” with its cover story.

“I feel the banner saying that I am homeless was merely a sensationalizing stunt done by workers at Spin magazine to sell their story, or make it seem more exciting than it actually is. It makes me feel embarrassed for the truly homeless people to be associated at all in any way with the likes of me. I seem to have been lucky, as most of you, in never having to survive day to day (on the streets) anyway.

Shepherd said that he didn’t refute the content of the story, acknowledging that his “blathering” could easily be misinterpreted, especially by a “stranger who has no idea of my horrible humor, or my delusional ideas.”

The musician pointed out that although he’s been couch surfing it’s a “far cry from the plight of many millions of good people worldwide. I just don’t want our loyal … fans to be misled, or a bad light to be shone upon my family or friends who have helped me and tried to help me get along.”

Soundgarden broke up in 1997 and then reunited in August to headline Lollapalooza. The band is taking preorders for Telephantasm, a compilation album set for release Sept. 28.

According to Spin, Shepherd is a part owner of a Seattle bar called Hazlewood and is using the profits to finance a solo album he’s been working on for the past year.

The bassist hasn’t decided if he’s ever going to release it.

“All the stuff I ever do – Hater, the record I’m making – it all sounds amateur to me. No matter what I do, I’m going to be associated with Soundgarden.”

Click here for Soundgarden’s website.

Click here for Spin’s story.