Temple of the Dog, a six-piece all-star project, will tour this Fall in celebration of the 25th anniversary of their only album’s release back in April of 1991, the self-titled Temple of the Dog.
The band is comprised of Chris Cornell of Soundgarden and Audioslave (guitar/vocals), Pearl Jam’s Stone Gossard (rhythm guitar), Jeff Ament (Bass), Eddie Vedder (vocals), Mike McReady (lead guitar) and Matt Cameron (drums). The group was together for only a year, preceding the 1992 breakthroughs for both Soundgarden and Pearl Jam. Vedder will not be performing on this tour, however.
It was an emotional, history-laden project that was brought to life from the grief of losing a close friend and musician, Andrew Wood, to a drug overdose. Wood was known for having great potential, rising in the booming Seattle music scene in the ‘80’s, associated with bands such as Green River, Malfunkshun and Mother Love Bone, and shared time with many musicians, in the tight-knit musically “incestual” community.
The loss was hard on Cornell, fellow band-member and housemate of Wood, who found an outlet by writing a couple of songs, later to become “Reach Down” and “Say Hello 2 Heaven,” on Temple of the Dog. He approached Gossard and Ament, also reeling from the loss of Wood weeks before their Mother Love Bone first CD release, to see if they wanted to record with him. What started as an idea for an EP became something much bigger, when the songs came pouring out, and they decided to make it into an album. The addition of Matt Cameron, also in Soundgarden at that time, brought in McReady. Eddie Vedder was later added from an audition the group held.
Temple of the Dog received moderate attention when it was first released April 1991 by A&M records. However, after the explosion of Pearl Jam and Soundgarden on the Grunge scene, A&M rereleased the album the next year to a sweeping fandom that didn’t all care to understand the tender intricacies of the project.
Although the group had two semi-reunions, it was deemed that they would never perform together. There was speculation that it would just remain as a tribute to Andy Wood, too painful for the group to perform. In a press release, Chris Cornell said, “We wanted to do the one thing we never got to do … play shows and see what it feels like to be the band that we walked away from 25 years ago.”
On September 30, 2016 UMe will release a 25th Anniversary Temple of the Dog, remastered and newly mixed by Brendan O’Brien.
The tour will hit five cities:
11/4- Philadelphia, Tower Theater
11/7- New York, Madison Square Garden
11/11- San Francisco, Bill Graham Civic Center
11/14- Los Angeles, The Forum
11/20- Seattle, Paramount Theater