10 Years On

Ten Years Ago This Week


May 7 to 13, 1997

Kurt Cobain's Seattle home, where his body was found three years earlier, is put up for sale by Courtney Love. The asking price is $3 million.

Afeni Shakur, the mother of slain rapper Tupac Shakur, starts legal action against Death Row Records, claiming her son's estate is owed "tens of millions" of dollars.

Michael Jackson is believed to be buying up shares in the troubled airline TWA. Late night talk show Conan O'Brien quips that "Michael wants all the planes to be white, and with smaller noses."

After 14 weeks on the chart, the Spice Girls' debut album finally reaches Number One in the US, the same week it returns to the top spot in the UK.

Avant garde saxophone John Zorn has put together a left-field album of Burt Bacharach covers, under the title Great Jewish Music. Tracks include Sean Lennon singing "The Look Of Love" and an instrumental version of "Alfie" played entirely on a drumkit.

Box office forecasts for Steven Spielberg's upcoming The Lost World suggest that Jeff Goldblum is on the verge of becoming the first actor to star in three of the ten highest grossing films of all time. Jurassic Park and Independence Day are already on the list.

Luc Besson's science fiction thriller The Fifth Element, starring Bruce Willis, tops the US box office, ahead of the Billy Crystal/Robin Williams comedy Father's Day. TV critics attack Warner Bros for cynically shoehorning a brief cameo scene featuring Crystal and Williams into the episode of their sitcom Friends broadcast the day before the movie opened.

Production on Patrick Swayze's new film Letters From A Killer is halted indefinitely after the actor falls off a horse and breaks his leg.

Goldie Hawn is in talks to star in the big screen version of the hit stage musical Chicago.

The cast of Seinfeld settle their pay dispute with NBC, and will now each receive $600,000 an episode for the ninth and final season. Jerry Seinfeld himself is rumoured to be on double that figure.

World chess champion Gary Kasparov is beaten in the last game of a series of matches by IBM's Deep Blue computer.

A Chicago TV news anchor, Carol Marin, resigns on air over the station's plans to employ white trash talk show king Jerry Springer as a regular news commentator. "This isn't about one televison newscast in one city," she say, "it's about the heart and soul of news."


Editor's Letter

Robert Wyatt interviewed: "I'm not a born rebel..."

Today (January 28, 2015), social media reliably informs me that Robert Wyatt is 70, which seems a reasonable justification for reposting this long and, I hope, interesting transcript of an interview I did with him at home in Louth back in 2007, a little before the marvellous “Comicopera” was...