Only about an hour after he performed at FOX Theater with Soundgarden last Wednesday Chris Cornell, a man called one of the architects of grunge music, was found dead in a hotel room at MGM Grand in Detroit. A medical examiner ruled it suicide.
Soon the hotel got calls. People wanted to book his room. MGM Grand Detroit told them they could not book specific rooms.
“I do think it is a little soon. I am surprised by all the requests to stay at his hotel room,” said Karin Risko of City Tour Detroit.
Risko is surprised it is happening so soon, but knew it would happen. Her company offers tours on everything from the city’s monuments and music, to her “Notorious 313 Tour on famous crimes and tragedies.
“I do have to admit, as morbid as it sounds, when it happened, I thought, ‘Oh no. I have someone else for the tour,’” said Risko.
It is a type of tourism with a name. When people tour places known for the suffering or death that happened there it is known as dark tourism. Risko prefers to look at it as simply a lesson in history.
She met us at the Trumble and Porter Hotel where prominent musician and poet David Blair died of natural causes in 2011.
“The hotel here has done a great job of paying respect to David Blair. They have a mural in the back that signifies this poem right here (a famous poem written by Blair about Detroit) and they put the poem right here in the lobby where people walk in.”
She says the attention some may see as morbid is a sign Chirs Cornell will be remembered by many.
“It isn’t always morbid curiosity seekers. Sometimes it is fans,” said Risko.