"He wasn't just a friend - he was someone I looked up to like my older brother."
The Soundgarden and Audioslave frontman was found dead in his hotel room on May 17/a>. He was 52. While Cornell’s death is being treated as a suicide, his family have claimed that prescription drugs may have contributed towards him taking his own life.
“You know, he wasn’t just a friend – he was someone I looked up to like my older brother,” Vedder told the crowd at the Eventim Apollo, according to a transcript shared on a Pearl Jam messageboard.
“About two days after the news – I think it was the second night – we were sleeping in this little cabin near the water, a place he would’ve loved,” Vedder continued. “And all these memories started coming in about 1:30am [and] like woke me up. Like big memories, memories I would think about all the time. Like the memories were big muscles.”
“And then I couldn’t stop the memories,” Vedder added. “And trying to sleep, it was like if the neighbours had the music playing and you couldn’t stop it. But then it was fine because then it got into little memories. It just kept going and going and going. And I realised how lucky I was to have hours’ worth of… you know, if each of these memories was quick and I had hours of them. How fortunate was I?! And I didn’t want to be sad, I wanted to be grateful, not sad. I’m still thinking about those memories and I will live with those memories in my heart and I will love him forever.”
Watch the applause that followed Vedder’s tribute below.
Anthony Kiedis has also paid tribute to Cornell in recent days, saying: “He left the world in a better place.” Meanwhile, Trent Reznor has admitted he regrets criticising one of Chris Cornell’s solo albums.
The late musician’s Audioslave bandmate Tom Morello has said Cornell was “shining” the last time they saw each other, which was at the band’s anti-Trump reunion gig in January.