Kurt Cobain Royalty Check Found in Seattle Record Store

How employees found a treasure among the stacks
Kurt Cobain from Nirvana performs in Concert on November 14, 1993 at New York Coliseum
Kurt Cobain Photo credit © Sipa USA-USA TODAY NETWORK

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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