If This Van’s A-Rockin’
Former Melvins tour van with Kurt Cobain artwork to be sold on eBay.
Web2Carz Senior Writer
Published: March 12th, 2012
"The KISS Mural on the side was hand drawn by Kurt Cobain using Sharpie markers shoplifted from the Thriftway grocery store in Montesano Washington."
t’s not often one gets the chance to own a bit of music and automotive history in one fell swoop. The rich SOB who purchased John Lennon’s 1965 Ferrari GT 2+2 Coupe, and whoever now owns Lennon’s even more famous 1965 Rolls-Royce Phantom V limousine got such an opportunity, but not many others have.
Although its automotive provenance is far less impressive than the aforementioned Beatlemobiles, a certain 1972 Dodge Sportsman Royal Van that is currently being auctioned on eBay has rock bona fides that are nearly a match for Lennon’s.
The van in question is the so-called “Melvan,” the vehicle used by Seattle sludge-rock superstars The Melvins. But it’s what’s painted on the side of this rusting heap—and who painted it—that makes this particular Sportsman highly sought after.
For on the rear passenger-side quarter panel of said van is painted a particularly amateurish likeness of the rock band KISS, scrawled in Sharpie by a young, pre-Nirvana Kurt Cobain.
Cobain was a devoted Melvins fan and painted not only the KISS portrait, but allegedly drew the likeness of Michael Jackson on the van’s hood. That piece of art has tragically been lost to the ages, faded by the sun.
The Melvan is being sold by its second owner, having been gifted by the mother of former Melvins bassist Matt Lukin. It’s been out of commission since 1994, not unlike Cobain himself.
The owner looked into selling the car to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland and to the Experience Music Project in Seattle, but, surprisingly neither institution pays money for its collectibles—both insist on donations.
The auction page can be viewed here, but you have to act fast, as the auction ends tomorrow.
This is the description as it appears on the auction page (all capitals and typos have been left in tact):
1972 Dodge Sportsman Royal Van, better known as the "MELVAN" Featured in many books, Cobain Unseen, Come As You Are ETC. & Many NIRVANA documentary films. This is a very unique piece of MEVINS/NIRVANA history & truly one of a kind. The KISS Mural on the side was hand drawn by Kurt Cobain using sharpie markers shoplifted from the Thriftway grocery store in Montesano Washington. (former employer of King Buzzo) This was one of the first MELVINS tour vans & was used on at least one U.S. tour. Kurt himself was often times known to drive this van to local shows, also included are two former registration's, one signed by Roger Osborne (King Buzzo) & the second signed by former MELVINS bass player Matt Lukin! Bid High & Bid Often, this will probably be your one & only chance to own this unique piece of music history.