Right after a recent publication of "Cobain's Guitar Controversy" story we got a response from Steve Drueck, a close friend of Earnest Bailey, who is involved in a legal dispute over a left-handed Fender Stratocaster guitar falsely represented as Cobain's to Phil Gross. Earnest Bailey was Kurt Cobain's guitar tech and wizard, modifying, upgrading and keeping Kurt's gear operating through the stage destruction, also for years with David and the Foo Fighters after Kurt's passing.
This guitar was actually acquired by Phil Gross from Danny's Music of Everett WA, who represented the guitar as Kurt Cobain's. Earnie Bailey is the one who contacted Cooper Owen to stop the auction. This was because Danny only gave Phil Gross some parts of Kurt's guitar acquired from Earnie, the rest of the guitar was not Kurt's. However, even though the guitar was only partially owned by Cobain, it still brought a whopping bid of over $14,000 USD which is over 10 times the value of the guitar he purported to have traded for it. Quite a tidy profit, however Mr. Gross was apparently not satisfied.
As we found out Danny's Music has been cited numerous times for trying to sell items misrepresented as Kurt Cobain's or Nirvana's. Earnest Bailey is one of the few people owning legitimate items acquired from Kurt while working for him while he was recording and touring.
And finally, we got an official response from Earnest Bailey through his friend Steve Drueck:
"While I am choosing to fight these false and misleading allegations in the courts rather than in the press, there are many people in the NW and the Nirvana community who know the details behind why I contacted a UK auction house last year to notify them about a guitar I felt was being inaccurately represented as being used by Kurt Cobain. At no time did I ever sell or trade a guitar to a "business man" named Philip Gross, nor have I ever had any meeting with him outside a single phone conversation prior to the auction listing in which I told him I did not believe him to be in possession of a guitar owned by Cobain. Mr. Gross informed me that he had obtained the guitar from Danny Mangold. I informed Mr. Gross that I had never sold, traded, or consigned to Mr. Mangold such a guitar as Mr. Gross described.
While Mr. Gross did not inform me in our conversation, I have since learned that Mr. Gross and Mr. Mangold have been in a legal battle filed in Snohomish County Superior court and Federal Bankruptcy court wherein Mr. Gross alleges fraudulent equipment trades and other misrepresentations by Mr. Mangold. Accordingly, I am somewhat surprised that Mr. Gross would have initiated the auction in question based upon authentication provided by Mr. Mangold.
I have in the past actively spoken out against individuals attempting to falsely market instruments allegedly owned by Kurt, and have offered my support to those in possession of instruments I believe to be legitimate based on my firsthand experience of maintaining and modifying Mr. Cobain's guitars. Thank you, Earnie Bailey"