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Kurt Cobain-Graffitied ‘Melvan’ Fails to Sell on eBay


A moldy piece of ’90s history has failed to find a home: The ‘Melvan,’ a broken-down van once owned by stoner-rock pioneers the Melvins, did not sell on eBay – again — despite a media flurry and a Kurt Cobain-drawn “mural” of Kiss on its side. Owner Ben Berg is still in a financial crisis — although maybe an initial reserve below $100,000 would have helped potential buyers. See a picture of the “vintage smelling” grunge shrine below.


The story of how a 1972 Dodge Sportsman Royal Van got covered by Forbes, Spin, and Car and Driver goes a little like this: In 1992, Ben Berg received one hell of a sweet 16th birthday gift: the infamous autombile once used by the Melvins, whose sonic weirdness helped give birth to grunge — and inspired a musician named Kurt Cobain, so much so that he doodled on another bunch of genius weirdo, Kiss. Now in major financial trouble, Berg is trying (and failing) to sell off the van.

That the drawings are Cobain’s is no doubt: check this piece to see a shot of the van with Cobain’s awesome grandad Leland, who still esponds to every piece of fanmail he receives with a handwritten note. According to the eBay listing, the van-side portraiture was ”hand drawn by Kurt Cobain using Sharpie markers shoplifted from the Thriftway grocery store in Montesano, Wash.”

While the first auction reached $99,999.99 — a penny below the reserve price — the second auction didn’t meet its minimum bid of $10,000. Evidently not even Courtney Love, who expects to raise $100 million with Cobain artwork, ponied up for the venerable van. It’s too bad, as Berg seems like a genuinely sweet guy in a serious cash bind — hopefully a deep-pocketed grunge aficionado will come his way soon.

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