Kurt Cobain’s iconic green sweater from his Unplugged performance sold for $334k

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It’s hard to believe that Nirvana’s MTV Unplugged performance was nearly 26 (!) years ago. I wonder how many people were paying attention to Kurt Cobain’s green cardigan, and whether anyone would have predicted that it would someday fetch over $330,000 at an auction:

Late Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain’s iconic MTV Unplugged sweater sold for a whopping $334,000 at auction this past weekend. This, after the sweater’s first buyer wanted to get rid of it. Cobain donned the green cardigan during Nirvana’s Nov. 18, 1993, MTV Unplugged in New York taping.

Pro race team owner Garrett Kletjian first purchased the cardigan at auction for $137,500 in November 2015, perhaps a drop in the bucket compared to the sum it landed just recently. That’s a large part of why Kletjian was willing to let it go, it seems. He also indicated to Rolling Stone last week that the “responsibility” of owning the garment was possibly outstripping its bragging rights. Julien’s Auctions, the same Hollywood house that auctioned the sweater four years ago, was again responsible for the sale this time around.

[From Loudwire]

The sweater’s first owner after Kurt was Jackie Farry, who was Frances’ nanny. Courtney Love gave Farry the sweater after Kurt’s death. Farry kept it until she needed money to pay for cancer treatments. (She got Courtney and Frances’ “OK” before auctioning the sweater.) Also on the auction block was Kurt’s custom Fender Mustang guitar, which he used on the In Utero tour. The guitar sold for a bit more than the sweater, $340,000, though the sweater broke the record for the most expensive sweater ever auctioned.

I hope that whoever has the sweater enjoys it, though it sounds from the Loudwire article and the (admittedly) little that I know about conservation, it’s going to become more difficult to maintain the sweater as time goes on. You don’t want to hang it in the closet and forget about it. I’d also worry if I had it and couldn’t properly store it that it would eventually get stolen. I wonder whether we’ll ever find out who purchased it. Maybe it will end up at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame or another museum, which would mean that it could be properly cared for and that lots of fans would have the opportunity to see it.

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27 Responses to “Kurt Cobain’s iconic green sweater from his Unplugged performance sold for $334k”

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  1. Lenn says:

    I loved that performance. So pure. And I miss Mtv unplugged.

  2. LadyMTL says:

    When I heard this on the news yesterday I got all nostalgic for my teenage years, sigh. Honestly, if I had that sweater I probably would have donated it to a museum / rock hall of fame. I’d just be too worried about preserving it, never mind how much it must cost to insure. But then again, I could never afford to pay over $300K in the first place, so it’s a moot point lol.

  3. Aims says:

    Right now Kurt is laughing his ass off.

  4. PlaidSheets says:

    I loved that sweater. I could instantly picture it just by reading the headline.

    This brings back some great pre-teen memories— including my mom (allegedly) tossing my sister’s Nirvana cd. I think the cover art plus “Rape Me” proved to be too much for her 12 year old. Don’t blame her one bit.

  5. Ariela says:

    God, he was so beautiful.

  6. Esmom says:

    I was definitely paying attention to the sweater, it was just so him. It does belong in a museum. He was a special soul…even though he was near my age I always felt a maternal protectiveness toward him.

    And funny, my 18yo just bought a big poster of him for his dorm room last week. It makes me happy to know he’s as loved now as he was then.

    • Ripley says:

      I just had a mental image of Indiana Jones holding the sweater up exclaiming, “It belongs in a museum!”

  7. huncamunca says:

    It would be great to see the Rock Hall acquire it. What a great museum. I know they know how to properly store these increasingly fragile, rare items!

    • Esmom says:

      The stuff they have in there is really amazing. And amazingly well curated (I hate that overused work but it actually fits here.)

  8. Bb fan says:

    It should be donated to MoPop in Seattle. Great Nirvana exhibit there

    • BeanieBean says:

      That’s what I was thinking. That’s a great exhibit.

    • NΞΞNΔ ZΞΞ says:

      ITA, my first thought was that Paul Allen’s Foundation or MoPop were probably the acquirers. Visited MoPop over the summer and loved the Nirvana exhibit. This sweater would be a great addition.

  9. Charfromdarock says:

    It’s so sad that she had to sell her belongings to pay for cancer treatment.

  10. MellyMel says:

    Yeah, this should definitely be in a museum of some kind.

  11. Boodiba says:

    To me the most striking point in this post is that someone couldn’t have gotten cancer treatment but for that sweater.

  12. jenner says:

    Gah, I remember those days, that performance, how beautiful, sad and immensely talented he was. His voice and his music truly captured that time.

    • Aims says:

      So true. He was a insanely talented man. His music touched so many and changed the music scene forever. He was as pure as they came and his lyrics were so sharp and good that they hit a nerve of a generation. For a too short of time we had reached Nirvana. He is dearly missed.

  13. Sof says:

    It’s so weird seeing how much money people pay for objects that belonged to a dead person, no matter how iconic they were. Audrey Hepburn’s lipstick holder was sold for 56250 pounds! I know it probably will last longer than a sweater, but still, I would have major buyers remorse, as well as being paranoid that someone would stole it.

  14. FHMom says:

    If I owned that sweater, I would be wearing it now. I’d also let people try it on. I guess it belongs in a museum, but if I had enough money to buy it, I would definitely wear it.

    • BeanieBean says:

      Thank goodness somebody else said this! Because that was my feeling, too. I’d wear it every day, no matter the temperature or occasion!

  15. Gaby says:

    God I was listening to the Unplugged album today after such a long time. So many memories…his voice (he spoke a lot during the show) was so calm and sweet. He was just beautiful. Miss you Kurt ❤️

  16. Laura-j says:

    I bet it’s from a thrift store too