Tony Hawk unearths Kurt Cobain's skateboard with hand-painted Iron Maiden art

A picture of a skateboard with an Iron Maiden logo drawn by Kurt Cobain
(Image credit: Atiba Jefferson)

Skateboarding icon Tony Hawk has uncovered a board once owned by Nirvana's Kurt Cobain and featuring his hand-painted Iron Maiden tribute.

Hawk bought the piece at auction and set about confirming its authenticity. Now that he is sure of its provenance, he is planning something special in time for what would have been Cobain's 56th birthday on February 20.

In 1985, Cobain painted a version of the cover art for Iron Maiden's 1981 album Killers on the deck. The artwork features Maiden mascot Eddie wielding a blood-soaked axe.

The board is made by SIMS Skateboards and is an original Jeff Phillips model. Phillips was a vert ramp star who took his own life on Christmas Day 1993 – just three months before Cobain's own suicide in April 1994.

To raise awareness of mental health issues, Hawk says he is planning something special with Derek Richardson of Birdhouse Skateboards – the company Hawk founded in 1992.

Hawk says: "I bought this skateboard at an auction last year. It is an original Jeff Phillips model, hand painted by Kurt Cobain in 1985. Two icons that had immense influence on their respective fields, both of whom passed away tragically and much too young.

"I even tracked down the original owner to understand its provenance. With the incomparable help of Derek Richardson, we are hoping to make something good of this acquisition by raising awareness for emotional health, and to help provide resources for those who are struggling mentally. More to come on February 20 (Kurt’s birthday)."

Who knows what Hawk is planning. But a Birdhouse deck featuring the artwork and paying tribute to Cobain and Phillips would surely be a "take my money" moment for many.

Stef wrote close to 5,000 stories during his time as assistant online news editor and later as online news editor between 2014-2016. An accomplished reporter and journalist, Stef has written extensively for a number of UK newspapers and also played bass with UK rock favourites Logan. His favourite bands are Pixies and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. Stef left the world of rock'n'roll news behind when he moved to his beloved Canada in 2016, but he started on his next 5000 stories in 2022.