A guitar that once belonged to Kurt Cobain is being auctioned off by a Portland guitar shop, just in time for the late Nirvana frontman's would-be 50th birthday.
Black Book Guitars owner Nate Fasold will be putting the instrument—a left-handed Hagstrom Blue Sparkle Deluxe—up for sale on eBay beginning this Thursday, Feb. 16, at 8 am PST. Ten percent of the proceeds will go to Transition Projects, a local nonprofit helping the homeless transition into steady housing.
According to Fasold, after Cobain's death in 1994, his wife, Courtney Love, gave away several of his guitars to friends. This particular one wound up in the hands of a "prominent" Northwest musician. While the seller requested to remain anonymous, Fasold says the guitar has not been played or otherwise touched since landing in the seller's possession.
"This is something that hasn't been displayed in any museums," Fasold says. "It still has finger grime in the fretboard."
While no photos or videos of Cobain playing the guitar are known to exist, Fasold confirmed its authenticity with former Nirvana guitar tech Earnie Bailey, who says he purchased the instrument at Cobain's request in late 1992 and converted it to the left-hand orientation himself.
Fasold—who specializes in vintage guitars and brokered the sale of a rare Elliott Smith guitar in 2015—isn't sure how much the guitar might sell for, but says that, vibe-wise, this one seems to have particular value.
"We specialize in instruments that have prominence or history to them," Fasold says, "and this Blue Sparkle guitar almost has a ghost inside of it."
The eBay auction ends at 8 am PST on Feb. 26, six days after what would've been Cobain's 50th birthday.