Kurt Cobain and Layne Staley both died on April 5: Cobain in 1994 and Staley in 2002. A dubious day, but also a chance to reflect.
I remember where I was when I heard the news about Kurt. I even remember some of the details. I was in my Junior year at Wakefield High School. It was a Tuesday (full disclosure: I remembered it was a weekday, but not the actual weekday; I had to look that up). I don’t remember what I was doing after school, but I remember ending up in the parking lot outside of the Field House. A senior–it might have been my brother’s friend Curt, eerily enough–had the radio tuned to WFNX. The DJ was playing Nirvana and telling us Kurt was dead.
I also remember where I was when I learned of the passing of Layne. Of course, we all know now that too much time transpired between his actual death and when his body was found. When the news broke, I was hosting mornings on a radio station in Albuquerque, New Mexico. So I became the DJ who was playing his music and reporting on his death, taking phone calls and helping the listeners process the information.
Looking back, Layne’s death is the sadder of the two, to me. Maybe because of the circumstances around it, maybe because I experienced it in a different way. Probably the former of those two. It still breaks my heart.
Kurt Cobain and Layne Staley’s Greatest Vocal Performances
We’re paying tribute to both artists all day on ROCK 92.9. Truthfully, we pay tribute to them every day; they’re part of the station’s musical DNA. With both of them on our minds, those legendary live performances that have marked themselves indelibly in our memories need to be revisited. So let’s do that.