‘Empire Records’ Star Reveals Tie Between Rex Manning + Kurt Cobain
Damn the man! Over 20 years ago, a group of record store clerks attempted to save their shrine of music, a store called Empire Records, all while having to indulge an aging pop star who embodied all that was wrong with music. Yes, for those familiar with the cult classic Empire Records, we just passed Rex Manning Day, the day the store welcomed the fictional buffoonish past-his-prime rocker played by Maxwell Caulfield in the movie. But the choice of April 8 in the film for "Rex Manning Day" was not as random as you might think.
In a tweet, one of the film's stars, Ethan Embry, reveals there was a very specific reason for choosing April 8 to host Rex Manning Day. He explained, "The reason we picked April 8th as the day to have the powdered/coifed Rex Manning visit Empire is because Kurt was found on the 8th of April, the day the music of the 90s lost its mascot.#RexManningDay."
Cobain's body was discovered on April 8, though it was later determined that he had passed on April 5, three days earlier. The death was widely felt in the entertainment world and at the time of the film's production, the wounds were still very fresh. The film came out just over a year after Cobain's passing. And while the music of Nirvana's era was still prevalent on the airwaves, the grunge scene was already starting to show signs of aging and moving on by the time 1995 arrived.
Embry's tweet revealing the Cobain connection was also backed up by fellow Empire Records star Johnny Whitworth. Whitworth and Embry also did a little recreation of a scene from the film that can be seen below, while both posted photos from a 2013 reunion with several cast members.
Though the soundtrack for the film was more alt-rock leaning, the movie did include harder rocking cuts from Body Count, Adolescents, Sponge, Suicidal Tendencies and Quicksand, as well as a cameo appearance from GWAR.
Empire Records has been back in the news of late, as the film is being adapted into a musical. The stage production is currently expected to debut on Broadway in 2020. Embry also weighed in on the musical adaptation, notably asking about GWAR's inclusion.