10 years ago, you could walk down the street and buy an old beat up guitar used by Kurt Cobain for $10,000 easily. Now good luck getting one for less than $100,000.

What happened to non-conformist Nirvana fans recently? Ironically, the’ve got plenty of money now. According to an article in Portfolio the Generation X buying blitz is on. Everything from collectible skateboards, 90s grunge flannels, mint condition Transformers, original Mac computers are hitting the auction block.

Now that the baby boomer generation has bought all the useless Beatles and Elvis crap up, it’s the Brat-Pack kids and the Grunge Revolution’s turn to take the wheel on eBay. I hope trapper-keepers are worth a lot in a few years, because I could make a killing off my collection.

One of the more surprising facts from the Portfolio piece is that stupid tools are also making their presence felt at the auction houses:

A pretty ordinary Led Zeppelin T-shirt went for $1,625. “Younger buyers might not even listen to Led Zeppelin,” Lipman says, “but they want the T-shirts because they’re cool.”

I can’t believe this guy actually thinks someone would buy a limited edition Led Zeppelin t-shirt without ever listening to their music. That kind of stuff just makes you sick. What about the guy who wiped his ass with those incredibly rare WWI stamps? Didn’t that happen? Well even if it didn’t, I’m sure it’s a cause for concern.

In a stark contrast to all the hype over 80s and 90s nostalgia, it seems Marilyn Monroe is having a bit of a resurgence as well:

“For the last six years, Marilyn Monroe has been our biggest seller at auction,” says Margaret Barrett, director of entertainment memorabilia at auction house Bonhams & Butterfields. “She died in 1962, so she’s pre–baby boom. Yet she appeals to collectors in their twenties and seventies—male and female. Every generation seems to discover her.”

Maybe they’re just trying to ‘discover’ her secret sex tape. The guy who owns it now is gonna die sometime, and then Joe Francis is going to make it the lamest Girls Gone Wild video ever.

Portfolio: Reality’s Bites, May 5, 2008