Neighborhood Jams: Temple of the Dog

It’s been a quick minute KCR readers, but Neighborhood Jams is back for another great blog post.  I am super excited to review this band – they are the founding fathers of grunge in the 90’s along with all the plaid, combat boots, long hair, and deep meaningful lyrics.  Let’s get into it…

Temple of the Dog is an American rock band formed in the great year of 1990 in Seattle, Washington.  Chris Cornell is the mastermind behind this band, and he started it up in honor of his late friend and roommate Andrew Wood, lead singer of the then up and coming band Mother Love Bone. Cornell joined forces with some Pearl Jam members including Stone Gossard on guitar, Jeff Ament on bass, Mike McCready on lead guitar, and lastly Matt Cameron on drums.  Pearl Jam’s lead singer Eddie Vedder was Cornell’s backup vocals on their one single. Interesting fact, Gossard and Ament were members of Wood’s band Mother Love Bone – so Temple of the Dog was a true tribute to Wood’s life and passion of grunge rock ‘n roll.

In the months of November and December of 1990 Temple of the Dog recorded their first and only album together.  Their self-titled album was recognized by the underground crowd and critics, but it never made it to the tops of the charts – at least not until 1992 when Pearl Jam got their big break. Fans loved the music because it showed a different side of grunge rock ‘n roll than they were used to. Songs were slower and deeper. From the album Temple of the Dog the biggest recognizable song was definitely Hunger Strike. It is almost hauntingly beautiful how well Cornell and Vedder’s vocals sync up with one another.

Even though the band only had one album before continuing their musical journey with Pearl Jam and Soundgarden they still opened for lots of amazing bands including Alice in Chains and playing at secret shows all over Seattle. From there the songs have been covered by Pearl Jam endlessly, and Cornell even started a solo career where he, too, covered his own songs.

Now, 25 years later Temple of the Dog is doing something they have never done before – go on an actual tour. In this reunion tour they only scheduled to visit five different cities for this 8-night tour. Cities include Philadelphia, New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and their hometown Seattle. Of course tickets sold out within minutes of being released. All of the bands listed above, especially Temple of the Dog, all have such a giant impact on what the music scene was like in the early 90’s in Seattle. They are the reason rock ‘n roll is what it is today so please give them all a listen. It’s absolutely amazing how all of their stories and careers intertwine with one another.