“When Bad Does Good,” the new music video by Chris Cornell, is an emotional journey — quite literally — for the late Soundgarden frontman’s fans and family, as it stars Cornell’s 12-year-old son, Christopher, playing a young Chris Cornell on a paper-boy route through the singer’s hometown of Seattle.
“For me, this video represents my dad and all the art he created throughout his life and what his music meant then and what it means now, not just to me and my family but the city of Seattle and all of his fans,” Christopher said in a statement.
The touching video depicts the younger Cornell (a doppelganger for his dad, with his long, grungy hair and plaid flannel shirt) bicycling past Seattle landmarks associated with his father’s music and early life, from Sub Pop Records to the Space Needle, while the elder Cornell’s most famous lyrics scroll across the screen.
The video was shot by legendary rock video director Kevin Kerslake (creator of Soundgarden’s “Loud Love” and “Hands All Over” in the late ’80s and early ’90s), who explained in a statement, “I wanted to highlight an aspect of Chris’s talents often overshadowed by his more obvious virtues (e.g., his monstrous guitar chops, operatic vocal range or commanding physical presence), which is his place as one of this generation’s greatest lyricists. … But do it within a specific context that turned a simple, straightforward journey through the streets of Seattle into a eulogy, of sorts, with mystical undertones.”
Cornell died by suicide on May 18, 2017. “When Bad Does Good” was never released in his lifetime; it wasn’t until Cornell’s friend, actor Josh Brolin, reminded Cornell’s widow, Vicky, of the song that she decided to share it with fans. The song appears on the just-released 64-track boxed set Chris Cornell, which comprises the rock legend’s work with Soundgarden, Temple of the Dog, and Audioslave, and as a solo artist. Seattle’s Museum of Pop Culture has installed a listening station (along with a life-size bronze Cornell statue) where visitors can listen to the boxed set in its entirety.
Additionally, on Jan. 16, 2019, at Los Angeles’s Forum, Cornell’s family and friends, including Brolin, will host the all-star tribute concert “I Am the Highway: A Tribute to Chris Cornell,” featuring performances by members of Soundgarden, Audioslave and Temple of the Dog, as well as the Foo Fighters, Metallica and Ryan Adams.
“When Bad Does Good” marks the singer’s son’s second appearance in a Chris Cornell music video: Christopher also starred in “Nearly Forgot My Broken Heart,” the lead video off his father’s 2015 solo album, Higher Truth. Chris Cornell’s daughter, Toni, released her own tribute earlier this year, a posthumous duet with her dad on “Nothing Compares 2 U.”
Read more from Yahoo Entertainment:
- Chris Cornell’s death, one year later: How his suicide has helped raise awareness of addiction and mental health
- What we need to teach boys in this #MeToo moment
- Chris Cornell flashback interview: ‘I don’t want there to be a finish line’