Juliana Hatfield has a history of selling off possessions and custom paintings over the years, and today she’s written an essay for The Talkhouse in which she debates whether she should sell off an old personal note from Kurt Cobain. “I recently contemplated selling this letter. I would make a copy for myself, of course, so I could still read the words, see the sloppy handwriting and the smiley face,” she wrote. “After all, it wasn’t the fading paper or the ink or any traces of Kurt’s DNA that mattered — it was the intangible content. The meaning, the memory, the sentiment — all that would remain, even if I just kept a scanned copy.”
Even though the letter was appraised by an auction house for a value between $1,500 and $2,500, Hatfield says that she would part for it than no less than $20,000 because of the sentimental value attached to it, and maybe not even then. Here’s the text of the letter:
Julianna [sic], your song NIRVANA was totally flattering when I felt heard it. I really like your new album especially my sister. the video’s great as well. I feel like a creep because of the way I acted after our show last night. I honestly didn’t try to snub you. I was just disoriented because of all the classic after show meet and greet grossness that goes on. We are very lucky to know Danny Goldberg. he’s the most honest man in show biz and as long as we know him we’ll all be in good hands. I wish you all the best. have a good time in England and don’t eat the kebabs. Love Kurt. :)
And here’s the backstory Hatfield provides:
I went to see Nirvana play at the Roseland Ballroom in New York in 1993 during the In Utero tour. After the show I was introduced to Kurt by Scott Litt, who had produced my recent album Become What You Are, and who was about to produce Nirvana’s Unplugged concert and album (which would be taped mere days later). It was the one and only time that I met Kurt. As Kurt says, and apologizes for, in the letter, there were a lot of people backstage, all wanting a little of Kurt’s attention — wanting to shake his hand, say hello — and the basement dressing room was very small. It was a cramped, noisy scene. There wasn’t really much time or space to focus on having a conversation. But Kurt was very gracious and respectful to me in those brief few minutes, and I was glad to have finally met him.
I had written a song, “Nirvana,” about my big love for Nirvana’s first album, Bleach, specifically for the song “Negative Creep,” which had inspired me so much. Also, we knew a lot of the same people, including Danny Goldberg, who had signed me to Atlantic Records and who worked with Nirvana in management. After Kurt died, I gave a copy of the letter to Danny, who had it framed and hung it on his office wall.
You can read the full essay here. And if you have $20,000 burning a hole in your pocket … give it to me instead!