Ween Dedicated Their Album ‘Chocolate and Cheese’ to John Candy

The popular actor's passing was overshadowed by Kurt Cobain's death in 1994, but he still received a special tribute.

In 1984 two childhood friends started a band. It was to be an alternative rock band formed in Pennsylvania, and it was to be called Ween. The two friends Aaron Freeman and Mickey Melchiondo are better known by their stage names Gene Ween and Dean Ween, respectively. Upon releasing their fourth album, Ween believed John Candy’s death was overshadowed by Kurt Cobain’s, so they did what they do best and dedicated an album to him.

The death of Canadian born comedy actor, John Candy in March of 1994, left Hollywood in shock and he left behind a wife and two children. Candy was known for his likeability and humor, some of his best known films being the legendary Cool Runnings (1993) and Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987).

A month later, in April 1994, Kurt Cobain’s death moved a generation. After Cobain’s suicide the public’s focus shifted to Cobain, his music, his death, and the kids he inspired. Cobain was found in his home with a suicide note at only 27 years old. And everyone kind of forgot about John Candy.

But whilst everyone was focused on Cobain and his influence, American rock band Ween looked back to Candy. With their 4th album on it’s way, Ween dedicated ‘Chocolate and Cheese’ to the movie star. In an interview with Rolling Stone in 1995 Gene Ween said  “When we were getting this [album] together there was so much going on about Kurt Cobain and nobody mentioned John Candy at all.”

The two deaths of these influential men were received differently by the public. John Candy’s death was a suspected heart attack and he had battled with his weight his whole life, it wasn’t a surprising death. And that’s what all the headlines said. It was a sad time, for people to reflect on the work he had done and the people he had reached.

When Cobain died it was a suicide and fans and the general public alike were shocked by the sudden ending of his life. People were shocked and confused, and left to think about all the things the young musician could have done, all the music he could have made.

The main difference for this seems to be around the idea that Cobain reached icon status. His saddening suicide was the ending of his physical life, but the unforeseen beginning of his life as a transcendent icon. His death means he is 27 forever so now there is a certain eerie romanticism that surround him. But as his daughter, Frances Cobain, said “He wanted his band to be successful. But he didn’t want to be the voice of the fucking generation”.

Even when you search the death of Kurt Cobain there are hundreds more results than the search for John Candy’s death. There are legitimate theories, conspiracy theories and just straight up fake stories.

In a candid interview, Candy’s children open up about his death and how the LAPD blocked off the Interstate 405 from Sunset Boulevard to Slauson Avenue just to escort the funeral. “And that’s what they do for the president” added his son Chris.

Each man had an extraordinary reach in their own right. And while Kurt Cobain may have been the voice and inspiration of a generation, John Candy brought comedy and happiness to an entire generation. And with so many Kurt Cobain commemorations it only made sense for Ween to dedicate their album to John Candy.

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