Photos from late Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain’s final professional shoot — which the photographer who captured them, Jesse Frohman, has dubbed “The Last Session” — will be sold at auction together as a non-fungible token (NFT) next month, per Rolling Stone.
That puts the venerated grunge icon, willingly or not, in the same group as other rockers who have hopped aboard the NFT train. NFTs, which have been touted by some as the future of music, are essentially units of noninterchangeable data that can contain audio, video, images and more. Many musicians, such as Linkin Park’s Mike Shinoda, have begun selling their art directly to fans using the type of digital blockchain exchange, the technology letting the buyer own a wholly unique work while the creator retains the copyright.
The final Cobain shoot, captured in New York City in November 1993 alongside the rest of Nirvana, is a memorable one among fans for its enduring images of a listless Cobain donning large white sunglasses, a trapper hat and a leopard print jacket. The singer and guitarist would die by suicide just five months later.
“It was the only time I photographed him and Nirvana,” Frohman recalled in 2014. “They were going to perform at Roseland Ballroom, so we had the whole day to shoot. That was the original assignment, but of course, things didn’t turn out the way we planned. Often times with shoots of musicians or celebrities, they don’t — so even though I prepared for that, it pretty much went off-track pretty quickly.”
The photographer had originally planned to shoot Nirvana outdoors, in Central Park, perhaps “resting on rocks,” he once mused to Vice. “Of course none of that happened,” Frohman added — he was left only with a 30-minute indoor shoot — “because when I went to the hotel the manager came and met me and said, ‘They don’t have time to do a shoot like that.’ He reserved the conference room in the basement of the hotel.”
No matter, the images are now a part of rock history. Bidding on their digital counterparts begins May 3 at 12PM ET at nft.jessefrohman.com and ends May 7. The Cobain final photoshoot NFT includes high-resolution files of over 100 images from the session, including some never before seen.