Kurt Cobain Royalty Check Found in Seattle Record Store

How employees found a treasure among the stacks

August 30, 2019

You never know what you’re going to find in between the stacks at an old record store. At Easy Street Records in Seattle, employees uncovered a treasure beyond what’s etched in the grooves of any classic vinyl release.

A royalty check for $26.57 made out to late Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain turned up in a record collection that also contained a money order to Cobain’s landlord, an overdue doctor’s bill, tour itineraries and a backstage pass.

Store owner Matt Vaughn told NME the collection had been in-house since it was purchased in the 90s, but workers just realized what exactly was there.

“(We) looked through them a little, but just put them in storage,” Vaughan said. “Seemed like every band in Seattle had tour itinerary books… (between) girlfriends, roadies, management, sound companies; wasn’t uncommon to run across one. (It) was a smaller town then.”

The check from BMI was made out to Kurt D Cobain with an address on Pear Street in Olympia, WA. It was dated 3/6/91 – 6 months before the release of Nevermind – the album that added a few zeroes to future royalty checks. Nirvana’s retroactively popular Bleach was released in 1989.

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