Music community mourns sudden death of MN music maven John Kuker


Pioneering Minnesota music maven John Kuker – who founded the Seedy Underbelly studio in Minneapolis – died unexpectedly at the age of 40.

The Anoka native died in Los Angeles from a suspected heart attack Monday, the Star Tribune reports, a year after he successfully reopened the legendary Pachyderm Studios in Cannon Falls, which is best known for hosting Nirvana's "In Utero" sessions.

His Seedy Underbelly studio on Minneapolis' Washington Avenue was credited with boosting local bands, and was the setting for the recording of Semisonic's "Feeling Strangely Fine," which The Current notes went onto be one of the highest-selling Minnesota releases of all-time.

"He was always a super generous, sweet guy — helpful and kind, which really says a lot when you’re in the hard business of running a recording studio," Semisonic's Dan Wilson told the Star Tribune.

The lease for Seedy Underbelly ended in 2003 and Kuker relocated it to Los Angeles. But it still opened its doors to Minnesota bands such as Har Mar Superstar and Motion City Soundtrack, as well as big names such as the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds.

And Kuker proved his commitment to Minnesota in 2011, when he shelled out $370,000 to save and overhaul the Pachyderm Studios that not only hosted Nirvana in 1993, but also recorded top albums by PJ Harvey and Soul Ayslum, according to Vita.mn.

The refurbished studios reopened just over a year ago.

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