The toxicology report is in for the late Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell, indicating the drugs in his system did not cause his death — but there were a lot of them.
Wayne Country Assistant Medical Examiner Theodore Brown upheld the ruling that Cornell’s death on May 15 after a concert in Detroit was a suicide by hanging, and that “drugs did not contribute to the cause of death.”
Brown did write that Cornell’s system included four doses of the anti-depressant Ativan, the sedative Butalbital, the opiate blocker Naloxone, barbiturates, the decongestant Pseudoephedrine and caffeine from No-Doz that Cornell reportedly took prior to this death.
Cornell’s system also had traces of Narcan, which medics used to try to revive him; That was also the reason for the needle marks on his left arm that were reported by TMZ.
After the report was issued, Cornell’s wife Vicky — who has publicly questioned the suicide ruling — posted a new message to fans writing that, “Many of us who know Chris well, noticed that he wasn’t himself during his final hours and that something was very off. We have learned from this report that several substances were found in his system. After so many years of sobriety, this moment of terrible judgment seems to have completely impaired and altered his state of mind. Something clearly went terribly wrong and my children and I are heartbroken and are devastated that this moment can never be taken back. We very much appreciate all of the love we have received during this extremely difficult time and are dedicated to helping others in preventing this type of tragedy”
…Meanwhile, during a Rock Im Ring festival performance on Saturday (June 3), in Germany, the surviving members of Audioslave — now in Prophets Of Rage — paid tribute to Cornell with a version of the band’s “Like a Stone,” joined by System Of A Down frontman Serj Tankian.
Gary Graff is an award-winning music journalist who not only covers music but has written books on Bob Seger, Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen.