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When in doubt for a title, pick a random Chris Cornell's song's title. Especially when the post's about Chris Cornell.

Chris Cornell left this level of consciousness last night.

I'm not sure I can put into words how I'm feeling at the moment. How I felt when my friend messaged me the news. It's no secret how much I love, adore, worship, respect Chris Cornell's body of work, be it with his bands (Soundgarden, Audioslave, the brief Temple Of The Dog collaboration) or solo ("Euphoria Morning" is one of my all time favourite pieces of art). His lyrics always manage to hit me like no others'. Whenever I'm down, anxious, mad, I put on something by him (mostly Soundgarden) and I immediately feel like home. Safe. It calms me down. It's like an old, good friend, you don't hear from them all the time but you know they're there all the time.

I started listening to Chris Cornell in the most random way: Nick Carter from the BSB said in an interview that he thought "Euphoria Morning" was one of the best albums of the year (1999 or 2000) and I thought "I have to listen to it". At the time there was no Google, no Spotify, no iTunes, you had to write down the name and go to the record store and pray the album had been released on the European market. I still remember the puzzled face of the record store guy as I kept saying "Cornell, Chris Cornell, solo album", running around looking for the damn thing. I don't even remember how I found out about Soundgarden, but I remember when I finally bought "Down On The Upside", I even remember the way I was dressed. And the joy of that evening when, watching MTV, I saw by chance "Cochise" and learnt that Cornell was the singer of this Audioslave band. It meant I could finally see him live. It was November 2002, my first Audioslave gig was January 18th 2003. Or 21st, I confuse the dates. I wanted to throw my bra on stage, but I ended up tying it around my pants. I went back home like that, can you imagine.

My first festival, Flippaut Festival 2003 in Bologna. I took the train from Milan, by myself since I didn't know anyone who listened to that kind of music. I waited for hours and meanwhile fell in love with other bands like Hell Is For Heroes, The Kills, Turbonegro. Bands I still listen to and love to pieces. The rain after the gig, The moment I almost fell down in the moshpit and grabbed the person in front of me by the tshirt, literally ripping it off his body. Some random naked guy crowdsurfing. The night spent at the train station in Bologna waiting for my train back to Milan because in the morning I had to go to school for some test. I was 18 and reckless, I had this fire inside. I wish I still had it, I lost it along the way to adulthood.

Chris Cornell's lyrics made me understand I was not alone. I didn't have older siblings who introduced me to music, my parents didn't do it either. Not in a really active way at least. They were mostly listening to Italian singers. In the late '90s it was either alternative rock bands like Skunk Anansie and Garbage or plastic pop like boybands and the princesses of pop. Or Spice Girls. Chris Cornell was my actual introduction to rock music, if we don't count Marilyn Manson, who didn't have such a huge impact on me though. To lyrics I could relate to. That made me feel like I was not a weirdo for feeling the way I did. I still remember one summer spent texting with this guy I've never even met in real life (long before MySpace and FB and IG and all this selfie culture), we were just texting and since he didn't really speak English I was trying to explain why Chris Cornell's lyrics were so special translating some of his works, i.e. "What You Are" from the Audioslave days.

"And when you wanted blood I cut my veins

And when you wanted love I bled myself again"

He was so impressed byt this line, which was indeed one of my favourite because it involved blood and you should all know I've always had a soft spot for blood.

Last time I saw Chris Cornell live was last year, 27th of March 2016. The show was sold out but I miraculously managed to find myself a ticket one hour before the start. More than two hours acoustic show, him and his guitar and occasionally some guest musician, his super dry sense of humor. He looked indeed quite old. Like time had finally manged to catch up on him altogether eventually. The best show of my life, which I'll be forever grateful for.

I've read lots of things about the cause of his death. I can only say, if you've ever thought about a Chris Cornell's song, about his lyrics, well, we all know deep down the most probable answer to the HOW. And I respect that. It's just painful. It's half of my life that left this reality. It's the person who virtually managed to shape part of the adult I am now through his work. It's the soundtrack of every important moment, lines that pop up in my head depending on the situation I'm facing. It's true what I said once, when I don't know how to name it, I just pick a Chris Cornell's song's title or verse and it's always appropriate.

I always said the moment I could see Soundgarden and X Japan live would be the moment I could die happy. Well.

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Empathy is a gift and I've been blessed with it for a few years now. I was not understanding, patient, able to actually understand and feel what people around me felt. In fact, until my late twenties I was the coldest piece of shit ice you can imagine. I didn't care because I didn't actually see. Then something changed and I've spent the following years feeling a lil' bit too much. I became patient. At work all the difficult, and by difficult I mean mentally challenged, clients where all mine. I could carry on up to six hours following the delirious ideas of the most ridiculous individuals from all over the world. I became caring, people started calling me sweet. Asking for my advice, following what I said. Leeching my energy like I was a can of Red Bull. It's draining, it's fucking draining. But if I can do something to make someone else's situation even slighter bearable well, why not. But there's a moment when you have to stop. There's a moment when you have to take the risk and probably end up looking like a cold hearted bitch, because we all know if you're not a whiner, if you don't complain and cry every two seconds, if you don't talk shit about the bad guys who treat you like shit with no apparent reason well, you're one of the bad guys yourself. Guess what. Who fucking cares. It was recently brought to my attention that the majority of the young ladies around here may or may not think I'm a bitch. "They're perfectly right", that's my answer. There's a song I've been listening to for a few weeks now, it gives me strenght and a certain dose of rage when I need to remember that hey bitch, I come first, you should all take a listen and think that yes, that's exactly the right thing to do:

 

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So many things have changed since the last time I wrote here. There was storm, shit storm, and then sun. And then storm again. And then sun again. Like a rollercoaster, or just like what you can call Summer in Scandinavia. As usual, problems like to knock at your door all together, because the more the guests, the bigger the party, when all you wanna do is just stay in watching cheesy tv shows and eating junk food.

 

People. Lots of people. Old and new. I've met so many new friends in so many unexpected ways. I've made up with old friends. And I understood one thing. If someone wants to be in your life, if someone wants to see you, if you're important to someone, they'll make the extra effort to be around. They'll do whatever they can to keep you around. They'll walk that infamous extra mile, literally, to cross your path as much as possible. They'll come to smelly weird rock bars they probably don't even like to spend just one hour with you. They'll come eat at your restaurant even if they live 30 minutes away and they have to wake up early the next morning just to have a few drinks afterwards. They'll give you their apartment key to help a friend in need at 2am on a Wednesday night. They'll drive six hours from another country to spend a weekend with you. They'll swallow their pride, after you've tore it apart one too many times, to start talking to you again after the last fight. These are the people worth keeping around, these are the people you can call friends. Words must always match actions, otherwise they're meaningless.

 

Work. Lots of work. Lots of people at work. Lots of new things learnt. Including the art of being incredibly nice while all you wanna do is murder murder homicide!. I didn't remember customer service was so draining, that's why I avoided it for the past five years. But still it's fun, I'm grateful.

 

Family. Up and down. If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change. I'm doing it now more than ever, it works. But still, it's hard. For the first time in my life I miss my family. I really do. For the first time in my life I look forward to going on holiday not to visit a new, exotic city, but to go back to my hometown to spend some quality time with my family. I guess I've matured, or I'm just an old boring sentimental fuck.

 

Health/beauty. Hahahahaha. Let's just say I'm on a liquid diet at the moment. Again. And my hair's back to black, just like in 2008. Next time I even dream of going blonde just remind me how incredibly hotter and, let's say it, young I look with black, wavy locks.

I've tried to become a selfie whore, it didn't work.

 

Love/affairs. Hahahahahahahaha. I've had fun, now it's time to retire. Don't even think about that, ever.

 

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