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Grunge rock hero Kurt Cobain's childhood home for sale

By Jonathan Kaminsky

OLYMPIA, Washington (Reuters) - The childhood home of the late grunge rock hero and Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain has been put up for sale in Washington state, with his family asking $500,000 for the property, more than seven times its assessed value.

The run-down, two-story house, located in the woebegone former timber town of Aberdeen near the Olympic National Forest, can be moved into as is or uprooted from its foundations and carted off for display elsewhere, selling agent Edward Fitz said.

"In terms of the price, we really thought about the fact that he was, according to many sources, the poet laureate of Generation X," said Fitz, a realtor with The Agency, a Beverly Hills-based luxury real estate firm. "How many times does that kind of item come on the market? Not very often."

Cobain rose to fame as the lead singer and songwriter of Nirvana, arguably the defining band of the grunge era that dominated rock music - and much of popular culture - for several years in the 1990s.

Nirvana broke through to mainstream pop success with the smash hit "Smells Like Teen Spirit," the first single from the band's second album, "Nevermind," released in 1991.

Cobain died in Seattle in 1994 at age 27 of a self-inflicted gunshot to the head.

Cobain's parents bought the 1,522 square-foot (141 square meter) house, on East 1st Street, early in the musician's life.

According to "Heavier than Heaven: A Biography of Kurt Cobain," by Charles Cross, Cobain was 2 years old when his parents purchased the home in 1969, for $7,950. Its assessed value was recently put at $66,990.

Kim Cobain, the musician's sister, said by email that the family bought it in 1967, when he was 6 months old. The Grays County Treasurer's Office was not immediately able to verify when the family purchased the property.

Cobain lived there until his parents divorced when he was 9, and again between the ages 17 and 20, his sister said.

Cobain's childhood was mostly happy, Cross writes, though his parents' quarrels and eventual split were "an emotional holocaust" for him.

At one point, Cobain scrawled, "I hate mom, I hate dad" on his upstairs bedroom wall, Cross writes.

That bit of history is not in evidence from photos provided by the family to help sell the house and published by the realtor, but other stencil drawings reportedly made by Cobain, including of the band names Iron Maiden and Led Zeppelin remain on the walls.

Also included with the house is the mattress Cobain slept on when he was a teenager, Kim Cobain said.

(Reporting by Jonathan Kaminsky; Editing by Steve Gorman and Cynthia Osterman)

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