Chris Cornell Covers Michael Jackson: Van Halen, Hinder


“Dedicate one to the ladies”…..the 10th song on Van Halen’s amazing debut CD at first feels like a sexual throw-away track full of double entendres among the hard rockers. Then midway, Dave’s swagger gets interrupted by the thunder of Alex Van Halen’s drum kick. Add in a lightning quick Eddie solo and one of the best dance grooves ever on a Van Halen song and “Ice Cream Man” takes on legendary status. A local St Petersburg bar band named Big Brother covers this song in concert, totally gets the crowd going everytime!


If you’re going to cover one of the most iconic artists of all-time, it might be safe to cover one of their lesser known hits.   Chris Cornell doesn’t believe in playing it safe.   He tackles the epic MJ classic, “Billie Jean”.   In the lyrics, two “song meanings” are famous: a fan claims that Michael Jackson fathers one of her children, along with Michael’s description that “Billie Jean” is about groupies.    Chris Cornell rips away all of the pop elements and  takes the outrage in the lyrics and puts them center-stage in an acoustic jam that made in onto his 1997 “Carry On” CD. This version is raw, vulnerable, and emotional, not better than MJ but more fitting to the lyrics.


“GET STONED”   HINDER  (Uncensored)

Had the pleasure of seeing Hinder twice in concert.   Once in the famous outdoor venue, Jannus Landing, in downtown St Petersburg, FL.    The other time was at the Performing Arts Center in Tampa, typically the home of operas and broadway plays.   Hinder’s lead singer, Austin Winkler, oozes “rock star” with his cigarette-abused voice, Jagger moves, and his cooler-than-you-are persona on stage.   “Get Stoned” is the band’s debut single off of Extreme Behavior.   The guitar riff samples Steppenwolf’s  “Born To Be Wild“, which they later covered.