We had a chance to have a meet and greet with Chris Cornell before Soundgarden's set. We had just driven up to Tampa from the Soundgarden show in West Palm the previous night.
This was our second time getting to see Chris backstage, and the first time in our home state. Little Chris and Toni were also there, running in and out of the room where they held the meet and greet.
Our previous meet and greet was at an Austin Soundgarden show with one other couple. This was the first time where we would be alone with just Chris and, intermittently, the kids.
Photofantasm wasn't complete yet so we printed out the would-be cover of the book, and made a homemade poster for Chris to sign.
Here is a mostly complete transcript of our meeting...
Chris: How are you ? Good to see you
Chris: What do you got ?
Meghan: Oh ! Stuff to sign
Chris: Oh, ok
Meghan: You wanna see ?
Chris: Sure !
Meghan: Alright...So, a little homemade poster.
(Chris stares at the poster, reading the caption. Can’t quite tell if he likes it or is maybe slightly annoyed by it...)
Chris: That’s cute
Meghan: And then...that’s for the...that’s going to be the cover of the Telephantasm book. I mean we’re not gonna include the autograph in the book...
Chris: Oh ok
Meghan: We just wanted a....picture
Chris: How’ve you guys been ?
Meghan: Been Great !
Meghan: How ‘bout you ?
Chris: Good !
Meghan: It’s so great to like finally see you like in our home state
Chris: Yeah ?
Meghan: You guys are like a very expensive favorite band to have
Meghan: We’ve seen Soundgarden like somewhere around 15 times and we live in Florida.
Chris: Uh huh
Meghan: So it’s, great to see you guys here
Chris: Where’s the farthest you’ve gone ?
Chris: (thinking about it) yeah, i guess, that makes sense, i guess. I was guessing a different country. Where, what part in Florida ?
Chris: Ah, cool.
Chris: ...what else we doin ? Where’s your book ?
Meghan: Well the book itself isn’t out yet
Chris: uh huh, it’s not done yet ?
Meghan: It’s...we’re flying to Michigan in September to kind of finalize it with, look it over before it goes to print
Meghan: Yeah, we’re really excited about it
Jeff: I don’t know if you remember Mike and Jaye...English ?
Jeff: Yeah we’re planning to meet with them...and finish it....(at this point realize there there was no reason to say the one thing I’ve said so far)
Chris: Yeah...did I meet them ?
Chris: I’m trying to place them
Jeff: You met in New York, at least, among other times
Chris: Like THIS met them ? Or...
Jeff: No it wasn’t...I think this was outside of any concerts
Chris: Oh okay, yeah, I know their names, just trying to place their faces
Meghan: Yeah we met them at a Seattle songbook show and ever since we’ve gotten together to see you
Chris: Oh you do ?
Meghan: They’re a lot of fun
Chris: Which Songbook show ?
Jeff: The Moore ?
Chris: Yeah, that was fun. Is that the only Songbook show you’ve gone to ?
Jeff: NO...we went to a couple of the ones in New York [Chris: Oh...] AND Miami
Jeff: So we HAVE seen you in Miami like ten times, with Audioslave and solo...we just haven’t seen Soundgarden...
Chris: Yeah the last Songbook show, in Seattle was great. The Moore one was pretty good. The Moore one was rowdy...I mean, for a Songbook show
Meghan: Yeah, I wouldn’t imagine a Songbook show to get particularly rowdy, it’s...
Chris: Yeah, well that one...rowdy meaning...i think we were standing room, and it was packed...
Chris: And it just....it changes how it sounds....it’s more dense, so it’s not quite a airy. It doesn’t sound as good, when it’s packed in like that, but...it worked out and that was a fun show
Jeff: The Songbook album cover...is Seattle at the Moore
Chris: Is it ? Yeah ! That makes sense. That’s why it looks so cool...I don’t play any shows really, where people aren’t...don’t have seats. So everyone is sitting, or maybe standing at their seat
Meghan: The other Songbook shows seemed pretty, pretty, you know, everyone sitting at their seat...
Meghan: The Moore being the exception
Chris: Yeah, I think I’ve only done a couple shows like that. I mean, where it was a theater, but there weren’t seats...that was fun
Meghan: What would you say was like your favorite place to play ?
Chris: I dunno....I don’t think I have one, because what happens is you know you’ll have like this amazing experience at some venue, in some city, whatever it is. And um, you’ll go back, remembering how awesome it was and then it’s not the same, you know ?
But then some other place, that you’re like...well, Toronto’s been really great...um, I don’t know if I thought that way of THIS show (NIN Tour) in Toronto just now that we just played, but the Songbook show in Toronto...the first one I did was amazing and I’d always talk about that. And then when I went back, I thought well, it’s not going to be as good as the first one, and it was like as good or even better.
Places like...Austin, is always good.
Meghan: Yeah, we did, the meet and greet in Austin, last tour
Chris: yeah. Austin is always good. Um....Seattle’s pretty good...not always, but I dunno, I think for me it’s always pretty good. Soundgarden is sort of...I dunno...it’s hard because it’s like hometown shows where everyone there has like four guests, you can’t really just relax, and enjoy the show.
Texas, I haven’t played Songbook much through there, it’s like, Dallas has the House Of Blues, which I don’t do. I did it once, and I hated it. But like rock shows in Texas are always good.
I did like some solo rock shows in Austin with my solo band that were fuckin’ incredible. It was like this outdoor...almost like a pen (laughs), it almost looked like something you’d put livestock in at some point, and it’s this out door, rocky, like...dirt...parking lot sized field. So I’ve played there a few times
I didn’t really think about this tour schedule that much. I thought about it a little bit but I wasn’t really thinking...like really looking at the schedule
Felt good last night with the set. We never play like...you know, doing 15 songs. It’s like, an hour and.....10 minutes ? And it’s usually like 2....15....and the Songbook is like 2:45...
Another thing about this tour....we’ve never done more than 2 shows in a row...that’s the first time we’ve ever been on a tour where we play more than that
(Chris signs our stuff)
Chris: Alright kiddos....good to see you....have fun
Meghan: Happy belated 50th
Chris: Thank you, thank you. Great to see you
Meghan: Likewise, probably won’t be the last. Thanks again for everything