The Ongoing History of New Music, episode 851: The death of Kurt Cobain, 25 years later.

At first, there was nothing particularly special about Friday, April 8, 1994. I came to work at the radio station as usual, saw the usual people, and prepared for my radio show in the usual way. The biggest story was that the Toronto Blue Jays, the defending World Series champions, were playing a sold-out show against the Seattle Mariners. The forecast in Toronto was for sunny skies with a high of 7C.


But at 1:45, fifteen minutes before I was to go on the air, Anita, who was working in the newsroom, popped her head into the studio.


“Just a heads-up,” she said. “Something is going on in Seattle. It looks like it has to do with Kurt Cobain.”


If I’m honest, most of us were prepared for some bad news. We knew all about Kurt’s health issues, his addictions, his crazy marriage to Courtney Love, the canceled European tour, and, of course, the apparent suicide attempt in a Rome hotel room about a month earlier.


But all that was abstract, gossip, hearsay, stories in magazines. But over the next 90 minutes, everything resolved into harsh, terrible, awful, reality.


If you were around then, you probably remember exactly where you were and what you were doing when you heard the news. It was one of those rare, rare cultural moments, the same sort of thing felt with the assassination of John Lennon on Monday, December 8, 1980, and the death of Elvis on Tuesday, August 16, 1977.


Was that really 25 years ago? Yes, it was. If you were there, let’s revisit that time. If you weren’t here’s how dramatic and sad it was.


Songs heard on this show:


Nirvana, All Apologies (Unplugged version)


Nirvana, Smells Like Teen Spirit


Nirvana, My Best Friend’s Girl (Cars cover, live)


Nirvana, I Hate Myself and I Want to Die


Foo Fighters, I’ll Stick Around


Eyes Adrift, Alaska


Hole, Celebrity Skin


Nirvana, You Know You’re Right


Kurt Cobain, And I Love Here


Here’s the official playlist from playlistist Eric Wilhite.



The Ongoing History of New Music can be heard on the following stations:



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