Like every other rocker, I was floored this morning at the news of Chris Cornell's passing. I immediately was thankful that Yakima had the chance to see him in concert at the Capitol Theatre last July 18. My mind then skipped to those fans who were holding on to tickets for the current Soundgarden tour, which still had four stops remaining. How disappointed those fans -- especially those who have never seen Cornell or the band in person -- must be today.

I've certainly felt the same on more than one occasion. The legendary Ray Charles was slated to play Legends Casino in Toppenish in 2004 before his passing in June of that year. That one still stings a bit.

I have since seen him, most recently at Yakima County Stadium with Bob Dylan, but the first time I had ever purchased tickets to see John Mellencamp at The Gorge, he hauled off and had a heart attack about a week before the show and had to, obviously, cancel. At least I've made up that missed opportunity.

The worst was the summer of 2000 when, after months of waiting, the week before The Cult, The Black Crowes (my all-time favorite band) and the Jimmy Page were to play at The Gorge, Jimmy wrenched his back and canceled the rest of the tour. Luckily, I had seen them at the Greek Theater in Los Angeles so all was not lost.

The moral? Take the opportunity to see acts, bands and artists when they come around. You never know when it will be the last time.

RIP, Chris Cornell.

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