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Ten Years Ago....

I liked Nirvana. I wasn't there number one fan but I had at least two of the albums at the time having gotten into them with 'Nevermind' - along with 99% of the rest of their fans of the time. My musical tastes were much as they are today - I was largely into Industrial, Indy and Goth - but I liked some grunge (Alice in Chains, Stone Temple Pilots, etc).

I don't think Kurt Cobain was a god. I think he was a very talented and influential musician who tapped into the thoughts and feelings of thousands of people at the time and many more since his untimely death. But I do remember explciity what I was doing the weekend his suicide came to light.

His body was discovered on 8th April although police believe he had been dead for a few days beforehand.

On Friday 8th April 1994 I was (unsurprisingly) partying my little socks off down at Full Tilt at the Electric Ballroom after a good nights drinking at our then local dive - The Misntrel. The Minstrel has since changed hands (and names) a number of times plus been entirely remodelled and has now become the fairly awful The Central opposite Finchley Central underground. The Minstrel was great for us because it was nearly always empty apart from our crowd in the lounge/dukebox room and some bikers and general lowlifes in the pool and pinball room. We had the run of the pub and we liked it that way :-)

Anyway I was down the Ballroom with some friends until chucking out time and headed back to the bedsit I was staying in (I'd previously moved out of a house share with ukmonty and another friend called Simon the month before). I hadn't heard the news at that time.

The next day I was travelling up to Nottingham Rock City with dj_steve_rbn  and his then band (I think they were called Redemption at that time?). When we all met up there was some talk of Cobains death but it didn't really go in to top gear until we reached Nottingham Rock City and whilst setting up and the bands soundcheck every TV was switched on to MTV and playing live feeds from the scene, playing Nirvana vids, and various bits of documentary footage.

The gig went well but the thing I remember most about the night was after the bands had finished playing we were all backstage getting slightly wasted when I realised that the dancefloor above us were playing a deads musicians hour. Hendrix, T-Rex, Queen, etc and then finished off with a Nirvana song. Maybe not in the bets of tastes considering the news was little over 24 hours old but it was fairly amusing at the time.

My girlfriend of the time (Sue) was in one of the Virgin radio studios on the Friday night with a friend and one of the DJs when the faxes started coming through saying that a musician had been found shot in Seattle. So she was on the front line of the incoming news that night.

Kurt was only human but his death was one of those occasions that you remember. The only other 'celebrity' deaths I remember what I was doing at the time are River Phoenix and Princess Diana. I remember Freddy Mercury dying but I haven't a clue what I was up to.

I do find it a bit sad that people are still grieving ten years on though, but then people still miss Elvis and John Lennon. Welcome aboard Kurt, you didn't want that amount of fame in life and it probably helped to kill you - now you're lumbered with the it forever. Rest well.


( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 5th, 2004 04:30 pm (UTC)
I remember when Freddy Mercury died. It was a weekday, I was in my first year of translator's school. I heard it in the news that morning and it really got to me. All the radio stations were talking about it, all my friends/people I used to hang out with. I mentioned it to the class and I just got blank stares. I was really not impressed but most of them were spoilt, pretentious, trendy girlies so I actually didn't expect anything else.

The exact opposite happened at my regular club on the Saturday night after. Now this was a tiny club frequented by metalheads and bikers and they played Heavy Metal, Hard Rock, AOR and Classic Rock. It was about 11:30 and quite full already and they put on "The Show Must Go On". Everyone stopped dancing, chatting or drinking and just listened. If it hadn't been for the music, you could have heard a pin drop. It was one of the most impressive moments and I'll never forget it.

When Princess Diana died, I was at GenCon, I think it was the Saturday night. It's really stupid. There were quickly printed posters on various boards and doors and not only I but a lot of other people thought those posters were part of some freefrom roleplaying game that ran across the convention space until someone heard it on the radio...
Apr. 6th, 2004 10:17 am (UTC)
I was at GenCon when Princess Di died too. I remember thinking it was part of the Camarilla game to start with as Torley had been having an IC conversation as 'Mr Black' the night before with one of the Tremere (Miles Pendragon I think it was) in which when asked about the Royals he replied 'You haven't seen anything yet. Just wait.'

So when we woke up to all of the posters we figured it was that. Then I heard talk in the Trade Hall before opening and caught it on the radio. I phoned Torley to let him know and to say he was slightly gobsmacked is an understatement.
Apr. 5th, 2004 04:55 pm (UTC)
I was in the common room at my old college when I heard about Kurt, it was on MTV news. We kind of all looked at each other for a bit in shock, but to be honest that was about it.

The Minstrel? Is that the pub where we used to meet up with you and other early cammies, somewhere between Leisure Games and the North Circular - I seem to recall Magic: The Gathering tournaments there on Saturdays.
Apr. 6th, 2004 10:19 am (UTC)
Yep, that's the same pub. As it was my regular (and generally very empty) I booked it for the MTG and Camarilla OOC meetings.

I think we were one of the first shops to start supporting MTG that way. I know our first 'Magic Day' was to coincide with the release of Arabian Nights - the first ever Magic Expansion! Yay for us!
Apr. 6th, 2004 07:20 pm (UTC)
I remember sitting in there and discussing with your good self, Andy P, and a number of others, the disciplines that were on display in "Interview With the Vampire".
I think I was at that "Magic Day".
I still have a phone book somewhere with everyone I knew in the Cam and their character names in it.
Apr. 5th, 2004 06:40 pm (UTC)
I remember when Kurt died, I was hanging out at a friend's house. The radio was on, and then the news came on and they said that Kurt Cobain had been found dead. I was utterly, utterly, gobsmacked. I don't think he was a fantastic musician, but he was certainly hugely influential on a whole generation. :(

When Freddie Mercury died, I was at college. I remember waking up to the radio news at Ifor Evans Hall, and then they said that Freddie had died of AIDS. I was a bit shell-shocked for a few days, then cried my eyes out a week later listening to "The Show Must Go On". That's the only time I've ever cried over a death (but then I haven't had any deaths in the family yet).

I just couldn't believe it when Princess Di was killed. I went down to Kensington Palace (I think that was the one?) and put some flowers there and watched the funeral on TV... I really got swept up in it all.
Apr. 6th, 2004 10:22 am (UTC)
I didn't get sweeped up in the whole Diana thing. My sister was actually working at Buckingham Palace when Diana died and found out about her death when she turned up for work.

My main memories surrounding Freddie Mercurys death was the fact that a prominent singer was scheduled to make a public statement that day (which people at the time thought was going to be an announcement of ill health/possibly AIDS) and then cancelled when news of Freddie's AIDS-related death came through.
Apr. 6th, 2004 01:01 am (UTC)
Wow, ten years ago! I remember they were meant to be playing in Munich, but that was cancelled because of his overdose in Italy. And the rescheduled one was cancelled because he died.

I think we were still doing ski Saturdays, coming back from Lengress or Seefeld, and everyone was so shocked when we heard the news on the radio. While I liked the band, I wasn't a huge fan, but the shared grief from a bus load of teenagers who had seen grunge as "ours" was very effecting.

We were the kids in all the MTV videos; snowboarding, skate boarding, drinking beer in the sunshine, listening to all the grunge bands. Remember it clearly as the only time popular culture has ever come close to representing anything which has reflected my life.
Apr. 6th, 2004 02:14 am (UTC)
The whole Nirvana thing was after my (first) time. I was already lost in the world of techno by that point. I do remember vaguely thinking it was a shame that creativity and depression are so closely linked. When Di died I was more interested in the media circus and how the world would react than the anything else. That and thinking 'Oh god, our pending monarch is going to be so head cabbaged, poor kids'.

I think the most upset I've been by famous death was the first Shuttle disaster. Then the suicide of one girlfriend, the death of another and then the killing of a best friend made me numb to anything but the death of people close to me.
Apr. 6th, 2004 10:24 am (UTC)
Call me cold, but I can't think of a 'famous' death I've been really upset over as yet. There's been several which have saddened me but none have propelled me into the mourning/crying side of affairs.
Apr. 7th, 2004 12:13 am (UTC)
Challenger traumatised me something chronic. It was many, many years before I could watch a re-run of it without wanting to scream "DON'T DO IT!!!" when the order to "Go with throttle up" was given (that's when it exploded)...

The more recent Columbia explosion didn't really affect me at all. Possibly because it was pretty distant, it just looked like shooting stars - and also possibly because I didn't watch it repeated a zillion times on TV.
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )

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