Entertainment behind the scenes
Reunited rockers Soundgarden took time out from rehearsals in Seattle to play a corporate gig in Hollywood on Monday, the band’s fourth show since it announced an end to its 13-year hiatus on New Year’s Eve.
Singer Chris Cornell (pictured at left), guitarist Kim Thayil, bassist Ben Shepherd and drummer Matt Cameron whipped up a mosh pit with old favorites like “Rusty Cage,” “Spoonman” and “Outshined” during their 50-minute set on the Paramount Pictures lot. Apart from a grin exchanged between Cornell and Thayil towards the end, the studious quartet barely interacted. Cornell’s occasional comments were muffled by the sound system.
The occasion was the launch of Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock, the sixth entry in Activision’s videogame series. Among the tracks on the game is the new Soundgarden tune “Black Rain,” which the band premiered Monday. The tune also appears on a newly released hits package called “Telephantasm.”
Notwithstanding its Seattle roots and close identification with the “grunge” rock era of the early ’90s, Soundgarden performed in a replica of the defunct Manhattan punk-rock venue CBGB’s. With Los Angeles baking in record temperatures earlier in the day, the narrow venue certainly evoked memories of its dank progenitor.
Videogames like Rock Band and Guitar Hero may be one of the few bright lights in the flailing music industry, but real-life guitar heroes like Jimmy Page and Jack White are unimpressed.
“If you start with the first track on the first (self-titled Led Zeppelin) album, “Good Times Bad Times,” and you think of the drum part that John Bonham did there, how many drummers in the world can actually play that? Let alone Dad on a Christmas morning? There might be a lot of alcohol to be consumed over Christmas, he still ain’t gonna get it,” Led Zeppelin founder Page told journalists at a Beverly Hills news conference on Friday.