Juliana Hatfield Contemplates Selling a Personal Note Kurt Cobain Sent Her in 1993 for $20K
Juliana Hatfield says her current financial struggles might force her to sell a personal note Kurt Cobain sent to her after they met backstage after a Nirvana show in 1993.
Hatfield wrote an essay for the Talkhouse in which she opens up about the origins of the letter and reveals that she might be willing to sell it for $20,000. But, even if the offer is right, she might still hang onto it.
"The letter," Hatfield writes, "is a record of a moment in my life and career – and in the life and career of an American rock and roll phenom who didn’t live to play many more shows, or to write many more letters. But, more importantly, it is a record of Kurt Cobain’s thoughtfulness, sensitivity, generosity, humility, and humor, as well as his embarrassment and conflict about his popularity."
Cobain wrote the note as an apology for "snubbing" her when Hatfield met him for the first time. He wrote, "I was just disoriented because of all the classic after-show meet and greet grossness that goes on."
Hatfield said the letter has "lived in a shoebox along with a bunch of Polaroids" for 23 years. "It wasn’t the fading paper or the ink or any traces of Kurt’s DNA that mattered," she wrote. "It was the intangible content. The meaning, the memory, the sentiment — all that would remain."
After a reputable auction house estimated the value of the note at $1,500 to $2,500, Hatfield said she "couldn't let it go for so little." So she'll consider any offer of at least $20,000 to pay the rent. But the letter might still remain in her shoebox. "(The note) still means a lot to me," she said. "More than money."
Read Hatfield's full essay here.