Published on January 12th, 2018 | by Alan Cross2
Ever Hear of Chris Cornell’s Poncier Project? It’s a Great What-If Story.
Back in the early 1990s, just before Soundgarden was to have their big breakthroughs with Badmotorfinger and Superunknown, Chris Cornell spent some time hanging out with director Cameron Crowe around the time he was in Seattle to film the movie Singles.
Students of the film know that Chris had a quick cameo in the movie.
Those same students of the film may know that Crowe’s original plan was to cast Chris as Cliff Poncier, the singer of Citizen Dick. That role, of course, ended up going to Matt Dillon, partly because Chris was busy with Soundgarden and didn’t have the time for Singles shooting schedule.
Chris kinda felt bad about not being able to help his buddy Cameron, so he came up with a present. Chris called up a couple of struggling buddies, Jeff Ament, Eddie Vedder and Stone Gossard (also cast in the movie as Dillion’s bandmates in Citizen Dick) and created a fake tracklisting for a fake Citizen Dick cassette. But then they took it further: the four guys recorded an actual Citizen Dick demo.
Crowe loved his present and actually used one of the songs in the film and this song on the official soundtrack.
Taking the gag one step further, the Poncier EP was issued as a promo item for the film on a fake label called Real Clever Records.
Note the title “Spoon Man.” That later became the inspiration for Soundgarden’s “Spoonman.” “Flutter Girl” showed up later in a much-modified form on Cornell’s Euphoria Morning album.
“Nowhere But Me” morphed into “Can’t Change” from the same album.
The Poncier EP has been reissued at least once on its own (Record Store Day 2015), but you can also find this forgotten bit of Chris Cornell history on the deluxe reissue of the Singles soundtrack.
Makes you wonder how things might have turned out for Chris had he been able to accept that acting role, huh?