April 5 in Seattle Music History
April 5 is an unbelievably sad day in the history of Seattle alt-rock music.
On April 5, 1994, Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain died at the age of 27. There have been conspiracy theories that he was murdered, but his death was deemed a suicide. He was found on April 8 and the coroner’s report said he had died on April 5. When the news broke, I listened to WFNX all night. Nirvana was my favorite band (still are!) and this was a tremendous loss.
EW’s 1994 cover story
On April 5, 2002, Alice In Chains’ Layne Staley died at the age of 34. Even sadder is that he was not found until 2 weeks later. He had struggled with drugs many times over the years and had been on hiatus from music for a few years when this happened, but there was a great deal of respect for AIC.
CNN’s 2002 coverage
Both AIC and Nirvana caused countless record labels to flock to Seattle in the early 90s because of the success of both bands. It sucks that both bands are forever linked by their singer’s dying on the same day eight years apart.
McCready in concert
On a far happier note, Pearl Jam’s Mike McCready was born on April 5, 1966. He turns 51 today. In addition to Pearl Jam, he has done some soundtrack work, taken part in supergroups (Temple of the Dog, Mad Season with Layne Staley, Walking Papers, Levee Walkers) and he has a photo book coming in May. Happy Birthday Mike!
So let’s recap: Nirvana and Alice In Chains both have a founding member who died on April 5 AND one of Pearl Jam’s founders was born on April 5. Three of the biggest Seattle bands of all time, all connected to this day in history. (I checked to see if Soundgarden had any connection to April 5, but they don’t).