Nirvana fans feeling particularly nostalgic about the upcoming 50th birthday of the band’s late frontman Kurt Cobain can try to get themselves a celebratory gift when a vintage guitar owned and played by Cobain goes up for auction on eBay.
The one-of-a-kind Hagstrom Blue Sparkle Deluxe guitar will be offered on eBay for Charity starting on Thursday at 8 a.m. PT and running until Feb. 26 at 8 a.m. Ten percent of the proceeds from the sale will go to Transition Projects, Inc. — a Portland-based nonprofit helping people transition from homelessness to housing.
The guitar is currently owned by Nathan Fasold, owner of Black Book Guitars in Portland, which specializes in musical instruments with unique histories. It has been authenticated by Earnie Bailey, Nirvana’s primary guitar technician, who hand-delivered the 1958-era instrument to Cobain in Seattle in 1992 at the musician’s request. It was converted to a left-handed orientation for Cobain specifically.
Cobain, who would have turned 50 on Feb. 20, died on April 5, 1994 at the age of 27. eBay says that enthusiasm for Nirvana merchandise is not slowing down and the online marketplace said particular items have spiked over the past decade:
- In the last decade, global sales of Nirvana T-shirts on eBay have more than tripled.
- In 2016, U.S. sales of Nirvana T-shirts on eBay increased by 52 percent in comparison to the five years prior.
- Nirvana vinyl and apparel sales on eBay spiked worldwide in 2014 and 2015, likely motivated by Nirvana’s 2014 induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, as well as the 2015 release of the HBO documentary “Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck.”
- The top five eBay markets for sales of Nirvana merchandise include the U.S., U.K., Australia, Germany and Canada.
“Bringing this unique piece of memorabilia to the eBay marketplace is an amazing opportunity for our 167 million active shoppers,” Sam Bright, senior director of Art & Collectibles, said in an eBay release. “Connecting fans with authentic and rare collectibles like Cobain’s Hagstrom Blue Sparkle Deluxe is at the heart of eBay’s mission. The guitar represents the significant impact Nirvana continues to have on American rock history.”