When I was age eight in Sandy Utah, I lived in a neighborhood that was sort of lower class, near the Sandy Mall, and while it wasn’t a “bad neighborhood” because there are very few of those in Utah as a whole, it was a bit of a rough neighbor in comparison to other neighborhoods in the area. However the benefit to me was that I got to hang out with a bunch of older rocker kids in the neighborhood, most of which played music.
My best friends at that time were all about twice my age, and they let me chill at their house, play video games, listen to them jam, and sometimes we got into a bit of trouble.
This is where I first got introduced to “hair metal” and “speed metal”. My friends would always sell me their crappy cassette tapes that they had, like Cinderella and Warrant and basically just the crap that they weren’t into, but got as a birthday gift or something. I picked up a bunch of hand-me-down music, and it was all “butt-rock”. I loved it!
I also had a gay cousin who would buy me some 80’s pop music, which was annoying to me. Sweet that she would think of me on my birthday or Christmas, but out of all music, 80’s pop was my all time least favorite.
We would move around a bit, until we finally ended up in small-town Mapleton Utah. I was still into metal, and even more so at this point probably in rebellion to the culture of strict Mormonism and people far more wealthy than we ever were or ever would be. Rock was my outlet for frustration, and it was probably what got me through a lot of the shit that would come in life. At age 12 I got my first Gun’s and Roses album, and then my friend “Dee” gave me a Metallica album and a video tribute to Metallica bassist Cliff Burton who died on tour in a bus accident. This all let up to when I found “grunge”, because via Gun’s and Roses and their relationship with Sound Garden, and the fact that Nirvana had just come out, and I was way into Nirvana’s first album, I really feel into the punker/grunge music. I picked up older albums from my cousin who had Sex Pistols, and a bunch of other goodies from the SKA era too.
In 1994 I attempted to commit suicide overdosing on the medication that my mother had me on, and after the hospital pumped my stomach I caught a greyhound bus with my last seventy-five dollars and went to Seattle. I didn’t know anyone there, I had nothing waiting for me there, it just seemed like a place I should be. I spent a lot of time in the Capital Hill neighborhood, and there were a ton of bands that would play a local bars. I would hang with friends that were too poor like myself, and we would just drink liquor or whatever and listen to the bands play. We heard Sound Garden, Alice In Chains, Pearl Jam and a bunch of others rocking inside (see a list of good old, and dead night clubs and bars from Seattle). It was at age 17 that I got a “black hole sun” tattooed on my back to cover up some lightning bolts that I got on my back when I was 15 that looked like white supremacist tattoos. The black hole sun, was inspired by Sound Gardens “black hole sun” song. The lyrics spoke to me, and I could relate during that dark part of my life.
I hung out with several bands while in Seattle. The bass player from a band that we called “face down” although not the famous band “face down” gave me a tattoo of a Japanese coi fish on my bicep and then a bunch more, ranging from a Social Distortion skeleton from their albums “Somewhere Between Heaven and Hell”, and some finish work on other tats that I had that were half done. He was from Japan, his name was Yushi, one of my best friends. Then I played guitar (not very well mind you) with a band called “Fuck-O”, my buddy Charles was the lead singer, and we did dope together. So he gave me a try for a few months. I really sucked at playing guitar, so mostly I just hung out. In Spokane a few guys took me into their place, while I was bumming change from people. They had me sing in their band and I was much better at singing than playing guitar, especially for an obnoxious punker band, the band’s organizer was John Crow, he was a good friend and I lived with them for about 6 months.
Shortly after spending about 3 years in Seattle, running from various marijuana warrants in Utah. I found a relationship with Jesus, that inspired me to give a care about life and I came back to Utah to turn myself in on warrants. I had gotten my GED in Washington before coming back to Utah and so when I got out of jail (8 months later), I got a job with a Microsoft sub-contractor supporting Windows 2000. I then enrolled in college to get more skills and to advance my career.
A year later my brother Justin would be in counseling for depression, and my mother would get him on an anti-depressant, and an anti-anxiety medication to deal with he lows and troubles. A few months after he got those prescriptions, he would kill himself with an overdose of his medication, and whatever he could find in the cupboard.
It was appalling to me that my parents would get my brother these dangerous medications, just like they had gotten me, which had clear and present warning labels that indicate that these medications could do to a person, what they did to me. Which was cause suicidal thoughts.
This is what you see on the warning labels, and what the doctor advises when prescribing; http://www.rxlist.com/ativan-drug.htm
Call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:
- confusion, depressed mood, thoughts of suicide or hurting yourself;
- hyperactivity, agitation, hostility;
- hallucinations; or
- feeling light-headed, fainting.
Less serious side effects may include:
- drowsiness, dizziness, tiredness;
- blurred vision;
- sleep problems…
When my youngest brother died, my other younger brother had an anxiety attack, and my mother then got him a prescription for Klonopin, which he has been taking for most of his adult life, and also has similar side effects as it is also a benzodiazepine. He has basically been disabled ever since, similar to the way it disabled Stevie Nicks from the band Fleetwood Mac.
The point is, regarding Chris Cornell, is that I am devastated of losing another person who was very influential in my life, to these terrible drugs. I attended 15 friends funerals by the time I was 27, and at least 10 of them ODed or died while on these SSRI drugs from a suicidal related incident.
I didn’t know Chris Cornell, I never met him. I felt like I had a glimpse in to his reality from his music, and he inspired me. But I can only speak about things that I know. I am not morning Chris Cornell like some of the people that I have lost. I do see a silver lining in that in his short life he left a HUGE impact on the world and he will be remembered for being a great artist and getting young depressed kids like myself through hard times in their lives. Rock and roll was honestly my medicine as a kid, and I thank in part Chris Cornell for getting me through some tough times.
This is my tribute of sorts to Chris Cornell; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7SEj2j9t9Qc
Also as a sub-note; Chris Cornell’s wife disputes the “suicide” and blames the prescriptions that Chris was on.
This is Howard Stern, who talks about Chris Cornell and he mentions this dispute about the medication;
This is part of Vicky Cornell’s statement;
“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. “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.”
This is Joe Rogan on some of these topics as well
As a side note, Utah has a huge problem with prescription drugs and suicide.
This is a cause that I have been working on for a long time;