Ann Wilson of the band Heart recently spoke Alternative Nation about her friend, the inimitable Chris Cornell, sharing her favorite song by him and her thoughts on his struggles with success.
“That Audioslave number “I Am The Highway” off the band’s 2002 debut ‘Audioslave’ is my favorite Chris Cornell song. It’s just all about, ‘I’m not the thing, I’m the bigger thing, I’m not your magic carpet ride in the sky.’ It’s a really great song, it has a lot of particular meaning to me because Chris was my friend.
“The words in ‘I Am the Highway’ talk about dissatisfaction and alienation, and someone who is just on their way. They’re not going to hang out with the friends and liars.
“Whenever I hear that song, I think about Chris a lot, because he was always at odds with his success. The expectations that were put on him being the voice of a generation, and a superstar of the ’90s and 2000s and stuff was too much for him. It was really uncomfortable, and he wasn’t just bragging about being uncomfortable, he was. It was too much.
“He basically was a real pure being – and complicated, but really pure, childlike. He had one foot in wanting to be famous, and one foot in just being so uncomfortable there, that he was caught somewhere in the middle. He was so beautiful, and handsome, but tender. He was a really, really good person. But this world was just, he went as far as he could go.”