If you had your heart set on buying Kurt Cobain’s skis or Swatch phone from his old roommate via Craigslist, we’d say we’re sorry to break the following news to you but, really, you should’ve known better: It’s a hoax. A Sub Pop employee who famously pranked a fan previously created the ad while procrastinating at work.
Label receptionist Derek Erdman admitted as much in an interview with Revolt. He’s the same man who last year organized this ridiculous video response to a college student requesting a video message from Nirvana. This time, posing as Cobain’s former roommate, he offered the aforementioned items and an old video game, along with a plausible enough explanation for his possession of the late rock star’s crap: “He owed us rent and said he would get the box when he came back and gave us money but he never came back, then when he was famous he never really talked to any of us again because courtney never liked us but she’s a dick so no hard felings.”
Erdman says he did an interview with the CBC about the sale before a different television news crew called bullshit on him for claiming to be a former member of Seattle band Gruntruck. “They didn’t buy it, and they were visibly not happy about me wasting their time, I was wearing a flannel shirt though,” he said.
The prank allegedly worked on enough fans for Erdman to receive a bunch of serious inquiries about the junk, which he doesn’t own (the ad uses photos he found online). When asked if people really wanted the skis, he replied, “FUCK YES, THEY WANT THEM BAD. They also want that video game. I’ve gotten a lot of replies from ‘serious collectors’ and people who will pay for shipping. Have you ever shipped skis? That sounds like it would be really difficult. Not too many people wrote about the Swatch phone, which was surprising.”
Kudos to Erdman for pulling off yet another prank on gullible netizens. He still has a long way to go to best the 1992 hoax in which The New York Times was duped by another Sub Pop receptionist and printed a trend piece on “grunge-speak” terms, such as “lamestain” (uncool person), “wack slacks” (old ripped jeans), and “swingin’ on the flippity-flop” (hanging out).
Sadly, that crying Kurt Cobain statue is still real.