What happens when you combine the guitar of Eddie Van Halen and the vocals of Chris Cornell? Unfortunately, we may never know, but such a song apparently came close to happening.
According to guitarist Pete Thorn, who played in Cornell’s live solo band, the Soundgarden frontman and the Van Halen shredder had developed a friendship, which they one day hoped to channel in the studio.
“Eddie always wanted to do something with Chris musically,” Thorn tells The Mitch Lafon and Jeremy White Show. “Eddie loved his voice.”
As Thorn explains, a Cornell-Van Halen collaboration became a possibility toward the late 2000s, when Thorn was putting together some alternate, stripped-down demos of songs off Cornell’s 2009, electronic and pop-driven solo album, Scream. Upon hearing Thorn’s recordings, Cornell suggested they ask Van Halen to play on them.
While Thorn was waiting for Cornell to reach out to Eddie, he happened upon a friend who built amps for Van Halen. Thorn shared Cornell’s idea with him, who then gave Thorn Van Halen’s number. A few days later, Van Halen called Thorn back and the two set up a recording session. While Van Halen did play on the recording, that’s as far as it got.
“I don’t wanna get anybody excited thinking that this ever got finished, because it didn’t,” Thorn says. “But, [Van Halen] did work on it.”
“It’s a long story, but it never got a vocal on it by Chris,” Thorn continues. “It just never ended up getting finished.”
Sadly, it will stay that way, as Cornell died in 2017, while Van Halen passed in 2020.
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