Kurt Cobain’s Reading Festival Hospital Gown Is For Sale
Kurt Cobain’s hospital gown from Nirvana’s performance at Reading Festival in 1992 is up for auction. Fans with copious amounts of disposable income can bid on this dark bit of Cobain lore until March 14 here. Amid rumors surrounding his health, Cobain famously took the Reading Fest stage while wearing the gown, seated in a wheelchair pushed by journalist Everett True, before attempting to stand and pretending to collapse. He went on to perform 25 songs in a set that was bootlegged for years before being released on CD and DVD in 2009. The auction house RR Auction estimates the piece’s value at around $50,000.
The listing includes a letter of provenance from a fan who apparently received the gown as a teenager from a distraught Courtney Love at a Cobain vigil in Seattle. The fan explains:
A few days after his death, there was a vigil for Cobain at the Seattle Center…About a dozen of us stayed long after the festivities ended. We sat in the Flag Pavilion listening to music…just hanging out among the candles and flowers fans had placed there earlier. Late that evening, Courtney Love showed up accompanied by Kat Bjelland of Babes in Toyland with a bag of Kurt’s clothes. She was visibly grief-stricken and proceeded to pass the clothes out while asking trivia about Kurt’s life…She handed me his hospital gown from the legendary Reading Festival performance from 1992. She then cried on my shoulder for a while. I tried to say something reassuring about his love for her and she pushed me away, insisting that he only loved Frances…The entire incident was sad. And weird. And it blew my teenage mind.
RR Auction describes the Angelica-brand gown as “museum-quality” and in “fine condition, with scattered stains and expected wear.” You can view detailed pictures of the gown and place a bid yourself here. For those on tighter budgets, check out the performance below.