In ’90s cult classic Empire Records, a record store on the brink of closure throws a signing party for Rex Manning, a skeevy pop star who eventually leaves the establishment in a huff after coming to blows with the scrappy staff.
In the film, Rex, in a flurry of satin and swarthiness, descends upon Empire Records on April 8, a day that was presumably picked after a random page-flip of the calendar. But the choice of date for “Rex Manning Day” wasn’t so random, according to one of the stars of the film, as it’s tragically inspired by the passing of Kurt Cobain.
Ethan Embry, who plays Mark in Empire Records, tweeted that the filmmakers settled on April 8 because it was “the day the ’90s lost its music mascot,” or the day that Cobain was found dead in his home in Seattle in 1994.
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
— Ethan Embry (@EmbryEthan) April 8, 2018
Johnny Whitworth, who played A.J., echoed the sentiment.
Production for Empire Records began months after Cobain’s death, and eventually saw its wide release on September 22, 1995. The film — best known for its soundtrack, which gave the Gin Blossoms their first hit with “Til I Hear It From You” — is currently in development for a musical adaptation that’s scheduled for a Broadway premiere in 2020.