After a botched auction, Benny Berg has placed the now famous Melvins tour van back on the market.
[pullquote quote=”I’m just not savvy with eBay. My first mistake was setting a reserve.”]After having landed a $99,990 bid on eBay for his Melvins tour van, he learned that not only was the bid bogus, but after waiting the 48 hour grace period, he missed out on a rock memorabilia collector’s high bid of $99,975. In an interview with CBS Local, Berg says that it was his fault. “I’m just not savvy with eBay. My first mistake was setting a reserve that was too high. The bidding never broke the reserve. eBay wanted me to sell the van so I had to take the highest offer. During the 48 hours trying to track down the high bidder, I overlooked and email from the backup bidder. So, I missed out on both bids.” Berg went to say, “I wish I would have checked my eBay mail. The $99,975 bidder was from the U.K. and he was for real.”
“This time around there’s no reserve.”
Berg explains why this auction is so important. “After a divorce, I was left with a home in foreclosure, a mountain of bills and daily calls from collection agencies. I love this van and I love the Melvins. Trust me, I don’t want to sell it. But I have to.”
The van’s history is interesting to say the least. Owned originally by Matt Lukin, the Melvin’s’ original bass player, the van served as the band’s tour bus. Kurt Cobain, being Montesano, Washington’s number one Melvins fan, asserted himself as the band’s unofficial tour bus driver. He drove them from gig to gig. I guess you could say he was a groupie… Kurt was one of the more artistic guys in the crew so at one point he was asked to draw KISS on the van in Sharpie [marker].”
“When The Melvins moved to LA, Matt stayed behind. Eventually, he had no use for the van so he left it sitting at his mom’s house.” Berg explains that his mother and Matt’s mother worked together.” Benny was also a huge Melvins fan. So, much so that he found himself going to Matt’s house just to sit in the van. He knew it was special. Around the time of his 16th birthday, Benny’s mother surprised him. “Coming home from school one day, I saw the van in our driveway. My mother had brought it home as a present. Frankly, I think Matt’s mom just wanted to get it off their property. This was around 91 or 92, before anyone really knew about Nirvana. So, at the time it was probably worth more as scrap metal.”
After years of weathering the Pacific Northwest weather, the van wasn’t in good shape. It was covered in Mud and had mildew throughout the interior. “I spent a few weeks, every day after school, getting it roadworthy.”
“Since I was in a punk bad at that time, the van became our tour bus. That lasted till I got older and needed a real [reliable] car. Plus, it was gas guzzler.” I pulled the van under a covered area, out of the elements and it’s sat there ever since.”
At the time of this posting, the bidding is at $50,000. The eBay auction closes Sunday at 3:30PT.
[metrolyrics artist=”nirvana” song=”rape me”]