Kurt Cobain ‘Unplugged’ cardigan heading to auction

NEW YORK (AFP) – A quarter century after grunge’s enigmatic rhapsodist took his own life, Kurt Cobain’s iconic cardigan worn during Nirvana’s 1993 Unplugged performance is up for sale.

The tattered, drab olive green button-up sweater with dark stains and a burn hole could go for at least USD200,000 to USD300,000, according to pre-bidding estimates from Julien’s Auctions, which said rock and roll memorabilia has become a major investor’s market.

The thrifted cardigan is the toast of this fall’s ‘Icons & Idols: Rock ‘N’ Roll’ auction organised by the house, which will also sell off the late Nirvana frontman’s left-handed teal Fender Mustang guitar played during the ‘In Utero’ tour.

“This cardigan, it’s the holy grail of any article of clothing that he ever wore,” said Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and President of the house Darren Julien.

“Kurt created the grunge look; he didn’t wear show clothes,” Julien told AFP at a New York exhibition preview of the auction, which will kick off October 25 and run through on October 26, with bidding in person and online.

The music cable channel MTV began its Unplugged series in 1989, recording live performances of acts that generally played their normally electrified music on spa-rse acoustics.

Cobain’s haunting Unplugged performance with Nirvana – recorded less than six months before his suicide at age 27 – is considered one of the most iconic shows of the series, and was released posthumously. Already deep into an emotional, drug-addled downward spiral, the depressive but singular talent with ocean-blue eyes reportedly lamented to Unplugged programmer Amy Finnerty after the set that the audience seemed not to like the show.

Kurt Cobain’s cardigans from Nirvana’s 1993 MTV ‘Unplugged’ performance is on display at the Hard Rock Cafe in New York City. PHOTO: AFP