Rock stars are like cast iron pans: they usually look better the more miles you put on them (and they’re hard to clean). While some bands have used youthful exuberance and boyish good looks to get ahead, others have made being grizzled, road-worn, and scruffy their personal brand. But it’s smart to remember that even the most hard-edged badass onstage was once just a sweet-faced kid. A perfect example of this is a recently-unearthed video of Soundgarden playing an in-store show back in 1989.
Watching the footage below, it’s hard to believe this is the Soundgarden we know and love for one specific reason: baby-faced Chris Cornell. In our minds, the singer’s face is partially defined by his goatee and mustache, not to mention the distinguished additions of age — a small line here, a tan there. But in this video, Chris is young, clean-shaven, and from the looks of things slightly nervous onstage. That said, that brow and those wailing vocals prove definitively that it’s Chris, and his singing is a solid reminder of just how much that voice could belong to no one else.
Watch Soundgarden blow the roof off a record store in 1989:
READ THIS: The 50 best albums of 1989
Fans might be hearing more of Chris Cornell than they thought in the coming months. In a recent interview, Kim Thayil said that the chances of the band releasing never-before-heard material from the vocalist the complete new music is definitely an option.
“It is entirely possible, because that’s what we were doing… We definitely have another record in us. Stuff that’s written, stuff that’s demoed and recorded – certainly. All it would need is to take the audio files that are available. I’d tighten up the guitar stuff that’s on there, add other stuff. Ben [Shepherd] does the bass. Matt [Cameron] is able to get the drums he wants. We can get the producers we want to make it sound like a Soundgarden record. And yes, we can totally do that.”
At the end of the day, Kim says that the real issue is the ability to gain access to Chris’ old recordings.
“There shouldn’t be – there really isn’t – other than the fact that we don’t have those files,” he said. “And I think that will happen. It would be ridiculous if it didn’t. But these are difficult things – partnerships and property.”