[Photo credits: Danny Clinch/Whitney Newell]
“I want to be there for the family, be there for the community, be there for my brothers in my band, certainly the brothers in his band. But these things will take time, but my friend is going to be gone forever,” Vedder said I his address on stage, Stereogum reports.
In his tribute to Cornell, he explains how their friendship is more like a brotherhood and how fortunate he is to have the memories he has with Cornell. Read his full speech, as transcribed by dimitrispearljam on the Pearl Jam community discussion, below:
Sometimes it’s hard to concentrate these days. I was thinking about the history of this building and the Bowie history. So I started to think about that and my mind began to wander. It’s not a good…
So I haven’t really been talking about some things and I kind of… now it feels like it’s conspicuous because I lost a really close friend of mine, somebody who…
I’ll say this too, I grew up as four boys, four brothers, and I lost my brother two years ago tragically like that in an accident. After that and losing a few other people, I’m not good at it, meaning I’m not…I have not been willing to accept the reality and that’s just how I’m dealing with it.
So I want to be there for the family, be there for the community, be there for my brothers in my band, certainly the brothers in his band. But these things will take time, but my friend is going to be gone forever and I will just have to…
These things take time and I just want to send this out to everyone who was affected by it, and they all back home and here appreciate it so deeply, the support and the good thoughts of a man who was a … he wasn’t just a friend, he was someone I looked up to like my older brother.
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. And all these memories started coming in about 1:30AM, 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. And trying to sleep, it was like if the neighbors 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 realized 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 footage from the standing ovation following Vedder’s emotional address below:
Vedder offered a nod to Cornell last month, opening his show in Amsterdam with Pearl Jam's 1995 Neil Young collab, “Long Road,” where Vedder apparently changed some lyrics in honor of Cornell, singing “Without you/Something is missing,” instead of the song's recorded lyric, “But still/Something’s missing.”
At one point in the show, Vedder reportedly responded to a concertgoer's shout of “I love you!” with some unspecified condolences to Cornell's family:
“Thank you. I need it. We all need it. I'm thinking of a lot of people tonight. And some in particular and their families. And I just know that healing takes time if it ever happens. It takes time, and that means you have to start somewhere. So let it be music. Let it be love and togetherness. And let it be Amsterdam.”
Since Cornell's reported suicide on May 18, numerous artists have paid tribute to the late musician.
What are your thoughts on his touching tribute? Let us know in the comments below.