Nirvana Fans Are Royally Pissed At A Company Selling NFTs Of The Band On Kurt Cobain’s Bday

A new set of Nirvana NFTs is being released on what would have been Kurt Cobain’s 55th birthday and fans of the band are colossally pissed off.

The NFTs — which’ll be available for sale on February 20 — are never-before-seen pics from a 1991 Nirvana show.

The show was played six days after the release of Nevermind, an album which continues to convince every teenager that they’re the coolest person on earth after they ‘discover’ it.

For many fans, the issue with the NFTs is that Nirvana’s music (and Kurt Cobain’s lyrics specifically) railed against capitalism and commercialisation. As a result, the whole NFT situation has been seen as tasteless at best and a downright misunderstanding of the band’s core ethos at worst.

Back in April 2021, it was announced that Kurt Cobain’s last photoshoot would be sold as an NFT, so there’s clearly a demand for NFT content that isn’t just those creepy pixellated monkeys.

The Nirvana NFTs raise some moral questions: how fucked is it to profit off of the image of someone who’s died? What happens when our desire to own something of an artist we love conflicts with the values of that artist?

And, most importantly: why spend actual real-world money on a GIF when you could spend it on literally anything else?

The NFTs are being sold by a company called Pop Legendz, which self-describes as specialising in “music & pop culture collectible NFTs”. Now that’s a sentence which would immediately disintegrate a child from the 1800s.

The most expensive of the NFT collection will sell for around AUD$350,000 (approx USD$250,000). It’s four “GIF artworks” and each are “[crafted] from five never-before-seen images”.

Crypto bros don’t @ me, but what’s the point of spending $350,000 on a piece of art you can’t even hang on your wall? And Nirvana fan or not, we all know that no GIF will ever beat the one of Shaq wiggling at a cat.

Whoever buys the NFTs will also get 10 still images in both black and white and colour, plus a framed print of one of the pictures signed by the photographer.

It’s inordinately funny to me that as a bonus for spending a shitload of money on fake internet pictures, you’ll get a real life picture too.

For a mere AU$138 (USD$99), the company’s selling 100 NFTs of each of the 31 different concert pics.

Now, not to expose myself as an NFT-understander, but isn’t the whole ~prestige~ of an NFT being the only one to own it? Being one of a hundred guys who owns one of 31 pictures of a band feels, I hate to say it, like a poor financial investment. 

Because of the backlash, the OG photographer Faith West took to Twitter to defend the NFTs.

“I’m the photographer. For all their considerable downsides, NFTs restore proof of ownership to artists. We make so little for our labor,” she said.

“Right-clicking & copying makes a slave of the artist. For what it’s worth, I’m researching the environmentally sensitive blockchains for future.”

West will also be dividing the profit she makes from the sale to two charities, which is at least somewhat good.

Half of the profits will go to LGBTQIA+ organisation The Trevor Project and another portion of the proceeds will go to Grid Alternatives, an org which brings solar power to working class families.