Kurt Cobain royalty cheque from 1991 found in record store

Kurt Cobain of Nirvana. Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

On Thursday, the owner of Easy Street Records — an independent Seattle, Wash.-based music store — uncovered possibly one of the most unique pieces of rock n’ roll memorabilia to date.

Matt Vaughan was rummaging through a collection of records, according to NME, where he later noticed a royalty cheque issued to the late-Kurt Cobain, formerly of Nirvana.

The expired cheque was written for the small amount of US$26.57 and dated March 6, 1991.

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Meaning it was issued more than six months before the release of Nevermind (1991), Nirvana’s biggest record to date and one of the most successful albums of all-time.

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After making the discovery, Vaughan posted the artifact to his store’s public Instagram page. “6 months before #Nevermind would change the face of the planet,” he wrote.

“We’re guessing the next royalty checks were a bit larger than only $26.57,” he concluded.

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Dirty paper plate once used by Kurt Cobain sells at auction for $22,400 USD

In an interview with NME, Vaughan revealed that the cheque would have been sitting stagnant in the store for “years.” “We just found it … or should say noticed it,” he said.

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Easy Start Records opened in late 1987/early 1988, at around the same time Nirvana was formed in Seattle, adding onto the likelihood of Vaughan’s findings.

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According to Vaughan, he also discovered a backstage pass, a doctor’s bill and a money order for Cobain’s former landlord among a number of Nirvana’s late-tour itineraries.

The items were reportedly discovered in a collection of early 1990s used records, which is what Easy Street Records specializes in.

(L-R) Dave Grohl, Kurt Cobain and Krist Novoselic of Nirvana. Kevin Mazur Archive/WireImage
“Seemed like every band in Seattle had tour itinerary books,” Vaughan told NME. “Between girlfriends, roadies, management, sound companies, [it] wasn’t uncommon to run across one.”
“[We] looked through ’em a little,” he continued, “but just put them in storage.”
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Cobain’s expired check is supposedly worth close to $50 as of this writing, thanks to inflation.

Global News has reached out to Easy Street Records seeking further comment.

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