Just a while back it became public that legendary Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain‘s sweater from their MTV Unplugged session would be going to auction at the end of the month but it’s now clear why it’s being sold again.
The sweater was originally purchased by Garrett Kletjian, the owner of professional race car team Forty7 Motorsports, who feels it’s too much pressure to own the sweater.
The auction marks the second time in four years that the never-been-washed sweater has gone up for sale.
Kletjian, who previously wanted to remain anonymous, purchased it at Julien’s Auctions in November 2015. He’s kept it in acid-free tissues and stored in a safe.
“It’s very important that we don’t wash it,” Darren Julien of Julien’s Auctions tells Rolling Stone. “The stains are still there. There’s even cigarettes burns that you can see on the sweater.”
Kletjian tells Rolling Stone that when it arrived at his house via overnight mail, the impact of owning it hit him.
“I opened it up and it immediately hits me: ‘Oh, now I’m also going to be responsible for this.’ It was kind of like when my children were born years ago; I was so happy to see them, but then I was like, ‘Oh no…’ ”
The publication asked him if he had worn the sweater at any point and his response only solidified the weight of owning the item.
“It’s kind of a weird, powerful thing when you do something like that, when we put on somebody else’s [clothes],” he said. “It’s like when they say you should walk in somebody else’s shoes. When I put that on, I was like, ‘Ah, no. God, I don’t want to wear this.’”
He further elaborates on his thoughts about what the sweater meant to Cobain and how it must have felt wearing it. Cobain wore the sweater for months before his suicide, on the Unplugged performance and several times on tour before his death.
“I look at that sweater from a different perspective than maybe some people do,” Kletjian says. “He was obviously in a bad way at the time. I look at this sweater as something that he put on every day. It was comfortable and it was familiar. So I liked the idea that, while he might have been tortured inside, this was a piece that offered him a bit of comfort.”
You can read more about the background of the sweater here.
What do you think of the reasons behind why the owner of Kurt Cobain’s sweater is auctioning the piece? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.