A Seattle Record Store Found One of Kurt Cobain’s Royalty Checks in Its Basement
The owner of Seattle’s Easy Street Records came upon a hell of a findwhile cleaning his shop’s basement—a royalty check and other paperwork belonging to the late rock legend Kurt Cobain.
Owner Matt Vaughan said that he made the discovery while going through a collection of Nirvana’s tour itineraries that he purchased in 1993, shortly before the musician's death the following year. "Last week, I was moving some stuff around and guess found a moment of reflection, sat there in the basement and flipped through every page," he told CNN. "That's when these thin pieces of paper dropped out."
Among them were some of Cobain’s personal documents, including a doctor’s bill, a backstage pass bearing his name, a royalty check for $26.57 from March 1991, and a receipt for a $177 money order for his September 1990 rent. The royalty check, dated just seven months before the release of of Nirvana’s Nevermind, is worth the equivalent of around $50 dollars today. That’s really not a lot—but then his inflation-adjusted rent also only comes to about $350 dollars. (These days, the median rental price for a Seattle one-bedroom is more than $2,000 dollars.)
Vaughan told CNN that the personal documents from 1990 and 1991 were found between pages of Cobain’s 1992 tour itinerary, which suggests that the singer and songwriter may have held onto the paperwork while touring behind his hit album Nevermind.
"It's almost like these were reminders to him—or good luck charms—of harder times of what he had gone through," said Vaughan to CNN. "It also puts things into perspective that he was no different than any of us. We all understand what it's like to be past due on a doctor bill. We know what it's like for your landlord to only accept cash. We know what it's like to have so small of a check that you don't even want to go into the bank to cash it."
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Money order #kurtcobain to his landlord recently found at Easy Street Records. $177 rent, dated 09/04/90 a year before #nevermind would go onto change music as we know it. Doubtful he had anymore money orders to landlords. RIP Kurt, we will always miss u. You changed the game, your music will last forever. #seattlelove #aberdeenlife #olympiawashington @nirvana
This story originally appeared on Esquire.com. Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.