April 5: Milestones of pain as we lose Cobain, Staley

April 5 — This date in GenX history featured a generational touchstone where we all remember hearing the shocking news of the apparent suicide of one of the world’s biggest stars.

Kurt Cobain was found dead on April 8, 1994, in a living space above the garage at the home he shared with wife Courtney Love. Investigators concluded he’d shot himself in the head on April 5.

Cobain is said to have resented being labelled “the voice of his generation,” but there’s no debating that he and Nirvana almost single-handedly ended an entire genre of music once radio stations began playing “Smells Like Teen Spirit” in September 1991. Their normal attire, ratty and unpolished appearance, and grinding lyrics and guitars all broke from the hair bands and glam metal we’d grown up loving. The ground-breaking album Nevermind was produced by Butch Vig of Madison.

Also on this tragic date in GenX rock history, Layne Staley was found dead in his apartment in 2002. The Alice in Chains frontman reportedly died of a speedball overdose, having struggled with heroin addiction for much of his adult life. He’d disappeared from public performances in 1996. Even on Alice in Chain’s landmark “Unplugged” performance on MTV on April 10, 1996, it was becoming more apparent to his fans what his bandmates had known for sometime; that Layne Staley was losing his fight and that we were losing him.

On a lighter note, this date in GenX TV brought us the debut of “Married … with Children” in 1987. It hit a little closer to home for those of us who actually were selling shoes in our youth. But at least we had a hero.

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Kid (1964), born Christopher Reid, turns 57 today. Originally known as Kid Coolout, he teamed with another Christopher, Martin, to form the hip-hop duo Kid ‘n Play. Kid was the one with the super high-top fade haircut that even had his friends calling him “Eraserhead.” But one viewing of their seminal project, “House Party” (1990), showed us they were all about fun.

They don’t come much “happier” than Pharrell Williams (1973), who turns 48 today. While he’s best known for his high-pitched sing-along “Happy” (2013), he’s had his hand in a number of ventures, including a collaborative deal with adidas.

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OTD in NCAA Tournament history …

1993 — North Carolina def. Michigan 77–71. It became branded as “the Timeout Game” when, in the closing seconds, a double-teamed Chris Webber tried calling a timeout when Michigan didn’t have any left. UNC hit the resulting technical foul shots, widening the lead at that critical moment. For better or worse, it wound up being moot. Years later, Michigan would vacate its entire 1992–93 season because — wait for it — Chris Webber was receiving under-the-table payments in the “Ed Martin Scandal.” So he was ineligible anyway. Technically speaking.


Generation X is forgotten no more! Here’s tosome of the people and moments that shaped our youth in the ’90s, ’80s, and even some ’70s.

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Generation X is forgotten no more! Here’s tosome of the people and moments that shaped our youth in the ’90s, ’80s, and even some ’70s.