Skip to main content

Kurt Cobain’s stage-used Marshall cabinet, signed guitar and... hair are up for auction

Cobain cab
(Image credit: Iconic Auctions)

We’ve seen plenty of Kurt Cobain acoustic and electric guitars go up for auction, from his MTV Unplugged Martin D-18E to his In Utero Fender Mustang. But how about a stage-used amp cabinet and, um, strands of his actual hair?

Both are featured in Iconic Auctions’ Amazing Music Auction (Vol. 1), which includes personally owned, staged-used or signed musical memorabilia from Cobain and Nirvana, as well as the Beatles, Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, Nirvana, Led Zeppelin and more.

The Cobain-used cab in question is a personally-owned Marshall 1960B 4x12, and is featured in Nirvana’s Live and Loud video, which captured a band performance at Pier 48 in Seattle on December 13, 1993.

The speaker cabinet has “Kurt” written faintly in the top-right corner, and “K3 Music Bank - Vintage” stenciled on the back, with the “Music Bank” likely referring to the famed Seattle warehouse that was used as living and practice spaces for several local acts, among them Alice in Chains and Mother Love Bone, in the ‘80s. The installed speakers, meanwhile, are Celestion v30s.

As for the hair? According to Iconic Auctions, up for sale is a “supremely rare presentation of six strands of Kurt Cobain’s hair. This one-of-a-kind artifact is entirely fresh-to-market and is accompanied by an impeccable lineage of provenance including photos of Kurt posing with the woman who cut this hair, scissors in hand, and a fantastic shot of the hair actually being cut!

“The lucky friend who trimmed the Nirvana front man’s iconic blond locks was an early confidant, Tessa Osbourne, who cut his hair in 1989 while on the Bleach tour. Tessa presented the original lock to Seattle artist Nicole DePolo as a heartfelt gift after Kurt’s passing, and she provided the original bag with handwritten provenance note, “29/10/89: Tess cut Kurt's hair in Birmingham, England, 27 Holy Rd., Handsworth, Birmingham B202BU.”

And if guitars are more your thing, the auction is also presenting a blue Stratocaster-style model, hand-signed by Kurt Cobain, Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic, as part of the sale.

Non-Nirvana items on tap include: an Eddie Van Halen 2012 stage-used and signed Charvel EVH guitar; a Cream group-signed electric guitar with Eric Clapton on the body; a Paul McCartney- and Ringo Starr-signed bass with Ron Campbell Yellow Submarine sketch; and McCartney’s circa 1963 stage/TV-worn blue Beatles jacket.

For more information on the Amazing Music Auction (Vol. 1), from which a portion of proceeds will benefit Crew Nation (opens in new tab), head to Iconic Auctions (opens in new tab).

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month*

Join now for unlimited access

US pricing $3.99 per month or $39.00 per year

UK pricing £2.99 per month or £29.00 per year 

Europe pricing €3.49 per month or €34.00 per year

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Prices from £2.99/$3.99/€3.49

Rich is the co-author of the best-selling Nöthin' But a Good Time: The Uncensored History of the '80s Hard Rock Explosion. He is also a recording and performing musician, and a former editor of Guitar World magazine and executive editor of Guitar Aficionado magazine. He has authored several additional books, among them Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, the companion to the documentary of the same name.