For Sale: A Few Strands of Kurt Cobain’s Hair

Kurt Cobain during a Nirvana performance at the 1992 MTV Video Music Awards.
Kurt Cobain during a Nirvana performance at the 1992 MTV Video Music Awards. / Frank Micelotta/Getty Images

During Nirvana’s Bleach album tour in 1989, Kurt Cobain’s friend, Tessa Osbourne, gave the frontman a haircut. It took place in Birmingham, England, on October 29, and someone even snapped some photos of the two to document the event. It’s not the only evidence in existence—Osbourne also kept some of Cobain’s hair.

When he passed away in April 1994, Osbourne flew from Birmingham to Seattle to pay her respects and ended up forming a friendship with local artist Nicole DePolo, who, like so many other Nirvana fans, was working through her grief over Cobain’s death.

“I went back to the YMCA with her—she’d been staying there—and it was then that she pulled out the series of photos to prove that she’d cut Kurt’s hair, and also a bag of the hair itself,” DePolo later wrote in a provenance affidavit. “‘Here, have some,’ she said, pulling out a wispy lock and handing it to me.”

Part of Cobain's mane.
Part of Cobain's mane. / John Reznikoff/University Archives Provenance/Iconic Auctions

In 2015, DePolo sold the six strands to John Reznikoff, an expert authenticator and the founder of historical collectibles company University Archives. “The hair means a lot to me, and I imagine it means a lot to others, too—fans of grunge, of rock and roll, or just eternal-teenaged-outsiders,” she explained. “Hopefully now with the hair in John Reznikoff’s hands, it will be preserved for posterity in a place where it can be appreciated by others.”

Reznikoff is evidently ready to pass off that responsibility to someone else. As The A.V. Club reports, the hair is currently up for auction through Iconic Auctions. Bidding started at $2500, and it has since climbed to more than $3300. In addition to the six strands of hair, encased on a black sheet of paper beneath plastic, the winning bidder will also receive two photos of Osbourne and Cobain, and a copy of DePolo’s 2015 affidavit explaining how she came to own the hair.

The auction is open through Saturday, May 15. Anyone who’s willing to shell out a few thousand dollars for some especially iconic strings of dead cells can bid online here.

[h/t The A.V. Club]