In recent years, there’s been a flood of unique opportunities to demonstrate your love of Kurt Cobain that he would have absolutely hated, including the chance to buy his boyhood home, his expired credit card, and the benches that were kind of, sort of in the vicinity when he died. But for those who only want to ghoulishly inhabit the void he left behind for a weekend or so, now you can rent out his old L.A. apartment on Airbnb.
As reported by Vulture, the one-bedroom/one-bath in the Fairfax district is where Cobain and Courtney Love holed up for a little while in 1991 and 1992, escaping the growing mania surrounding Nevermind by just kicking back with some heroin and some paint. In fact, Nirvana biographer Charles R. Cross wrote that Cobain’s time on Spaulding Ave. “represented his greatest immersion in painting”—some of which found its way onto the walls, as he documented in a series of photos published in Cobain Unseen.
In them, you can see Cobain hanging out in front of a wall scrawled with tributes to Homestead/Matador Records honcho Gerard Cosloy, the band Nation Of Ulysses, and “Hellen Skelter,” a play on words that is really funny when you’re high. You can also see that the apartment is a real shithole.
But not anymore. Current tenant Brandon Kleinman works for an interior design start-up, and he’s made some significant improvements to a dwelling he says was already in pretty good shape when he bought it in 2011—without even knowing its history, he might add. Only after signing the lease did the landlord let him know about Cobain and warn him about the people it would attract.
“It’s been funny. Once every 60 days or so, I’ll get a weird, older gentleman, a rocker-type dude, sort of a burnout, knocking on the door, saying, ‘Do you know what used to happen here?’” Kleinman tells Vulture, in a statement that will spur many older Nirvana fans to go gaze sadly in the mirror.
Or maybe they’ll just go become one of the four or five tenants per year that Kleinman says have rented it out ever since he put “Kurt Cobain’s Private 1b + 1bth” up on Airbnb, where he touts the facility’s full kitchen and free wi-fi, as well as the possibly apocryphal story that Cobain wrote “Heart-Shaped Box” in the bathtub. While no one can verify that for sure, what is true is that Cobain used to store a bunch of his guitars and art in that same bathtub, until a disastrous plumbing leak ruined them and prompted him to move out. But that leak has long since been repaired and spruced up for polite, paying company, just like every other vestige of Cobain’s time here.
Of course, you probably should have rented yesterday. Since Vulture’s story, Kleinman has already raised the rent from $150 to $290 a night—sanitizing, then ruthlessly capitalizing on this once-grungy sensation in a way that Cobain surely would have loved, along with the proximity to restaurants and shopping.