Terri Theodore of Canada.com is reporting that a businessman who thought he had a guitar belonging to late NIRVANA frontman Kurt Cobain is suing a Washington state man for fraud.
The lawsuit filed in B.C. Supreme Court claims Earnest "Guitar" Bailey falsely represented a left-handed Fender Stratocaster guitar as Cobain's.
Phil Gross, a resident of North Vancouver, traded his own six-string Gibson S.G. electric guitar for the guitar, believing it was used by Cobain in one of his band NIRVANA's last concert tours before Cobain's 1994 suicide.
His plans to market the guitar at several auction houses were squashed when a famous British rock-collectibles auction house found out the claim was false.
Gross is suing Bailey for negligence and wants special and punitive damages.
Bailey lives in Gig Harbour, Wash., and was the guitar tech for NIRVANA during the 1991-92 Nevermind Tour.
The suit alleges a conspiracy to defraud.
"Bailey warranted in a letter of authentication that the Cobain guitar was used by Cobain during the Nevermind Tour," Gross says in his statement of claim.
"The defendant made the representation and warranty negligently and fraudulently knowing it to be false. Had the representation and warranty been true, the Cobain guitar would be very valuable."
The statement of claim says that in December 2002, Gross tried to market the guitar at several auction houses and entered a deal with rock-collectible auction house, CooperOwen of London.
CooperOwen and Gross were about to hold a news conference to announce that the Cobain guitar was offered for sale when it contacted Bailey who retracted his claim the guitar was Cobain's.
The lawsuit claims Bailey built a $250,000 U.S. home with the sale of the proceeds of Gross's guitars.