Chris Cornell Update: Pointfest Canceled, Wife Disputes Suicide

Pointfest, which was to take place May 20 at  in Missouri with Soundgarden as headliner, has been canceled according to festival organizers 105.7 The Point. 

Chris Cornell of Soundgarden
AP Photo / Scott Eklund
– Chris Cornell of Soundgarden
CenturyLink Field, Seattle, Wash.

“It is with deep regret, we are announcing that due to the sudden passing of Chris Cornell of Soundgarden [May 17], Pointfest on Saturday is cancelled,” The Point said in a statement. “Tickets purchased online at or through Ticketmaster will automatically be refunded. “105.7 The Point, Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre, and Live Nation extend our deepest sympathies to the members of Soundgarden, their crew, management, and the Cornell family,” the statement continued.

Point Fest was to include Stone Sour, Pierce The Veil, Greek Fire, J. Roddy Walston And The Business, Biffy Clyro, and Dillinger Escape Plan.

Soundgarden was also on the Rock On The Range bill, which was to go ahead May 19 in Columbus, Ohio, without the band. Rock In The Range released a statement that it would “celebrate and honor him all weekend long.”

The only other festival date on the band’s routing was Rocklahoma Festival in Pryor, Okla., May 27.

Wife Questions Suicide Report

Chris Cornell’s wife has disputed reports that the Soundgarden frontman killed himself in a Detroit hotel room following a gig, saying he may have taken too much prescription anti-anxiety medicine.

Vicky Cornell said on May 19 that when she spoke to her husband after the band’s May 17 Detroit show, he told her he may have taken “an extra Ativan or two.”

The musician had a prescription for the anti-anxiety drug according to lawyer Kirk Pasich. “Without the results of toxicology tests, we do not know what was going on with Chris — or if any substances contributed to his demise,” Pasich said in a statement released to The Associated Press. “Chris, a recovering addict, had a prescription for Ativan and may have taken more Ativan than recommended dosages.

“The family believes that if Chris took his life, he did not know what he was doing, and that drugs or other substances may have affected his actions.” Pasich added that Ativan side effects include “paranoid or suicidal thoughts, slurred speech and impaired judgment,” according to Rolling Stone.

Vicky Cornell said Cornell “was different” and slurring his words after the Detroit show, and that she contacted security to check on him.

“What happened is inexplicable, and I am hopeful that further medical reports will provide additional details,” she said. “I know that he loved our children and he would not hurt them by intentionally taking his own life.”

A Wayne County Medical Examiner’s Office report released May 18 said Cornell hanged himself in the MGM Grand hotel casino in Detroit. A full autopsy and toxicology tests results could take days, an official told the AP.


Birthplace Of Grunge Mourns Chris Cornell

Grief-stricken Chris Cornell fans left flowers at memorials across Seattle for the musician whose forceful, somber songs helped cement the city’s place in rock history.

Remembering Chris Cornell
Elaine Thompson/AP
– Remembering Chris Cornell
Flowers are placed on a bench at the Sound Garden sculpture, for which the band Soundgarden was named, in Seattle

One of the locations where people gathered was the Sound Garden art sculpture at a Seattle park, for which Cornell’s band Soundgarden was named.

“It’s really sad that he could never find peace in his life,” said Chad White, who came to the art display with his young son Ignatius to honor Cornell.

A bench near the center of the sculpture was covered with flower arrangements, one of which included a note, “Say ‘hello’ to Heaven,” a reference to a song written by Cornell for a musician friend who died decades ago.

KEXP, Seattle’s popular independent radio station, paid tribute to Cornell all day. The station played non-stop songs from Soundgarden, Cornell’s other bands and his solo work, as well as artists who covered Cornell’s material and those who were influenced by him.

“Seattle’s son, Chris Cornell, has passed away,” DJ John Richards told listeners.

The city’s Space Needle went dark at 9 p.m. for an hour in tribute to Cornell.

Cornell was born and raised in the city and was part of a close-knit group of artists who formed the foundation of what would become the grunge scene that exploded in the early 1990s by combining the bombast of early 1970s heavy metal with the aggression and attitude of punk rock.

“He was a huge influence, one of the greatest singers ever to come out of Seattle, maybe the greatest single voice,” said Charles R. Cross, a Seattle-based music journalist and author who knew Cornell personally.

“I don’t even know what to say. I’m just shocked,” he said. “We don’t know the full story. The darkness I knew. But it’s a devastating loss.”

Authorities say Cornell hanged himself in a Detroit hotel room Wednesday following a Soundgarden concert. The band had reunited in 2010 after years on hiatus.

The group formed in Seattle in the 1980s at a time when the city was far off the beaten path of the musical mainstream and there were few venues for smaller artists to play original material.

Ballpark Honor
Ted S. Warren/AP
– Ballpark Honor
A tribute to singer Chris Cornell is shown on a video display at Safeco Field in Seattle before a baseball game between the Seattle Mariners and the Chicago White Sox.

Cornell was roommates with Andrew Wood, lead singer of the Mother Love Bone, who died of a heroin overdose in 1990. Two members of Mother Love Bone went on to form Pearl Jam and they joined Cornell on a tribute project to Wood – Temple of the Dog – which helped introduce Pearl Jam singer Eddie Vedder to the world.

Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains and

“In some ways, they (Soundgarden) were the last band in Seattle to become famous in the grunge era but they were the ones who worked the hardest and the longest,” Cross said. “There’s no doubt that Soundgarden’s music is very dark and melancholy at times. There are also parts of it that are very celebratory.” — Associated Press