They might have existed for less than two weeks but the band, bringing together members of Pearl Jam and Soundgarden, retains a loyal cult following
Next week, a band that only existed for 10 days, a quarter century ago, will play some of the most hotly anticipated shows of the year.
On 20 and 21 November, Temple of the Dog will headline the Paramount Theater in Seattle, a city its members transformed into the center of the music universe back in the 90s. Though the reunited Temple – which comprises key members of Soundgarden and Pearl Jam – already performed in three other cities this month, the Seattle dates will bring a seminal part of rock history back to its origin point. No doubt, they’ll also intensify desire for more shows by the band next year in the UK and Europe.
“The hard work, of getting into a room and learning to deliver these songs live, we’ve already done,” said frontman Chris Cornell. “That makes the idea of adding to that in the future a lot more possible.”
That’s especially true because the so-far fleeting tour – just eight shows in five US cities – was created, in part, to extend the legacy of a musician who’s no longer with us. Twenty-five years ago, Cornell conceived Temple of the Dog as a one-off salute to his roommate Andrew Wood, who died of a heroin overdose at age 24 in March 1990. Wood led the promising band Mother Love Bone, which included two members of what would soon morph into Pearl Jam (guitarist Stone Gossard and bassist Jeff Ament). Shaken by Wood’s death, Cornell, along with Soundgarden drummer Matt Cameron, joined Gossard, Ament and guitarist Mike McCreedy for a project meant to channel their collective grief. “We made the album in a really short period of time with almost no money, and without rehearsing,” Cornell said. “It worked because our hearts were in the right place and there were no expectations.”
In fact, Cornell says that when they delivered the Temple album to A&M Records, “they seemed to treat it as though it was a vanity project for me”.
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