Temple Of The Dog Turns 24 Today

Temple 1Let’s put aside the current legal struggles that are going on surrounding this brilliant music project.

The band Temple of the Dog was founded by Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell, who was joined by future members of Pearl Jam, including Eddie Vedder, who had just moved to Seattle.

The project was started by Cornell, who had been a roommate of Andrew Wood, the lead singer of Malfunkshun and Mother Love Bone. Wood died tragically on March 19, 1990 of a heroin overdose, the day Cornell got back from a tour. As he went back on to tour Europe 5 days later, he started writing songs in tribute to his late friend. The result was two songs, “Reach Down” and “Say Hello 2 Heaven,” which he recorded as soon as he got back from touring.

The Temple of the Dog material was different than the heavy, aggressive sounds that were coming out of Soundgarden at the time and he decided to ask Wood’s former bandmates, Stone Gossard and Jeff Ament if they wanted to do the project. They were still figuring out how to continue without Mother Love Bone, the loss of Andy was a devastating blow so the Temple of the Dog project turned out to be a part of the healing process for all three of these guys.

Here’s an interview Chris, Stone and Jeff did with Damon Stewart of KISW in 1991. View HERE

From Wikipedia: The only time Temple of the Dog played a full one-hour set was while rehearsing and writing the material for the album. The band (with the exception of Vedder) performed in Seattle at the Off Ramp Café on November 13, 1990. They also opened for Alice in Chains, following the short lived Seattle group Panic, on December 20, 1990 at the Moore Theater in Seattle. In the time since the album’s release, the band reformed for short live performances on four occasions where both Soundgarden and Pearl Jam were performing. Temple of the Dog performed “Hunger Strike” on October 3, 1991 at the Foundations Forum in Los Angeles, California; a three-song set on October 6, 1991 at the Hollywood Palladium in Hollywood for the RIP Magazine 5th anniversary party (Temple of the Dog played after secret headlining act Spinal Tap); and “Hunger Strike” on both August 14, 1992 at Lake Fairfax Park in Reston, Virginia and September 13, 1992 at Irvine Meadows Amphitheater in Irvine, California (both shows were part of the Lollapalooza festival series in 1992).The band also played “Reach Down” on the latter occasion.

At a Pearl Jam show at the Santa Barbara Bowl in Santa Barbara, California on October 28, 2003, Cornell joined the band on-stage, effectively reuniting Temple of the Dog (Cameron had been the drummer for Pearl Jam since 1998) for renditions of “Hunger Strike” and “Reach Down”. The version of “Reach Down” recorded that night later appeared on Pearl Jam‘s 2003 fan club Christmas single. Pearl Jam has also been known to perform “Hunger Strike” live without Cornell on rare occasions.

Cornell’s post-Soundgarden band, Audioslave, added “All Night Thing,” “Call Me a Dog,” and “Hunger Strike” to its live set in 2005.Additionally, Cornell has added the aforementioned songs, plus “Pushin Forward Back,” “Wooden Jesus,” “Reach Down,” and “Say Hello 2 Heaven,” to his solo live set.

On October 6, 2009, Cornell joined Pearl Jam onstage to perform “Hunger Strike” in Los Angeles, collectively reuniting Temple of the Dog once again. Following the brief 2009 reunion show, a fan group emerged on Facebook in April 2010 supporting a 20th anniversary benefit reunion tour to take place beginning April 16, 2011.

During Labor Day weekend, 2011, Cornell joined Pearl Jam onstage at Alpine Valley in Wisconsin for PJ20 (Pearl Jam‘s twentieth anniversary celebration). On September 3, he joined them for a four-song set, which included the songs “Stardog Champion” (a Mother Love Bone cover with Cornell on vocals), “Say Hello 2 Heaven,” “Reach Down,” and “Hunger Strike.” The September 4 appearance included a four-song set with Cornell joining in on “Hunger Strike,” “Call Me a Dog,” “All Night Thing,” and “Reach Down” (which also included Glen Hansard, Dhani Harrison of Thenewno2, David Garza, and Liam Finn).

On both October 25 and 26, 2014, Cornell joined Pearl Jam onstage to perform “Hunger Strike” at Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View, California during the 28th Annual Bridge School Benefit .

On January 30, 2015, Pearl Jam bandmates (minus Vedder) Stone Gossard, Jeff Ament, and Matt Cameron joined Chris Cornell and Mike McCready during the Mad Season Sonic Evolution Concert at Benaroya Hall with the Seattle Symphony. That’s when Cornell, Ament, Gossard and Cameron blew the audience away with “Call Me a Dog and “Reach Down” by Temple Of The Dog.

Now for some of the music. Enjoy.

Say Hello 2 Heaven

Hunger Strike

Reach Down

Call Me A Dog

Chris Cornell — vocals, banjo on “Wooden Jesus”, harmonica on “Times of Trouble”, guitar in “Hunger Strike”.
Jeff Ament — bass guitar.
Matt Cameron — drums, percussion.
Stone Gossard — rhythm guitar, slide guitar, acoustic guitar.
Mike McCready — lead guitars.
Eddie Vedder — backing vocals on “Pushin Forward Back”, “Your Saviour”, and “Four Walled World”; vocals on “Hunger Strike”