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Kurt Cobain-Decorated 'Melvan' Back on Auction Block

Vehicle was once the Melvins' touring van

The 'Melvan'
Mitch Holmquist
August 23, 2012 1:55 PM ET

In case you've been kicking yourself for not bidding on the "Melvan" the first time around, you're in luck – you now have a second chance to bid on this historical grunge artifact through eBay.

Back in March of this year, the vehicle (a beat-up 1972 Dodge Sportsman Royal Van, featuring artwork by Kurt Cobain) reached a bid of $99,999.99 on eBay. However, its reserve wasn't met, and some also questioned the authenticity of Cobain's artwork.

This time the van's owner, Ben Berg, who plays bass in the group Weird Beast, has all the bases covered.

"The Melvan is going back up on eBay for a 10-day, no reserve auction," Berg told Rolling Stone. "Highest bidder gets it. I finally acquired written statements from Matt Lukin and Steve Shillinger authenticating the artwork. That was sort of a big issue the first go-round with serious collectors."

While Lukin's name should be familiar to grunge scholars (he was the Melvins' original bassist and, later, Mudhoney's original bassist), Berg filled us in on this Steve Shillinger gentleman.

"Kurt used to live on Steve's parents' couch off and on when Kurt still lived on the harbor. Steve was very close with the Melvins, too. I believe he has been either mentioned and/or interviewed in several books concerning the early days of Nirvana. He still has a bunch of old home movies that he and Kurt made together when they were in their late teens, early 20s."

It's the doodle by onetime Melvins roadie Cobain – a replication of the front cover of Kiss' classic 1974 debut – that makes this jalopy truly unique. The Melvan currently calls Montesano, Washington, its home; it is available for local pick-up for the winning bidder. Bidding for the Melvan's second listing will end this Sunday, shortly after 3 p.m. PDT.

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