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Kurt Cobain’s Smashed Guitar Sells for Almost $600,000

Kurt Cobain's smashed guitar
Kurt Cobain’s smashed guitar has been sold for an astonishing price of nearly $600,000. Credit: Eden, Janine and Jim / flickr cc by 2.0

Kurt Cobain’s beloved Fender Stratocaster guitar, which he famously shattered during the making of Nirvana’s groundbreaking Nevermind album in the early 1990s, has fetched a staggering $595,900 at an auction. Surpassing initial predictions by more than tenfold, this sale has undoubtedly made waves in the music world.

A significant place in rock history

The left-handed electric guitar holds a significant place in rock history as a symbol of Cobain’s raw talent and the grunge movement’s rebellious spirit. Although the instrument has been painstakingly reassembled, it regrettably remains unplayable.

Nonetheless, experts had initially anticipated a more modest sale price of $60,000 to $80,000 during Julien’s auction, which took place at the esteemed Hard Rock Cafe in New York over the weekend.

Bearing the autographs of Nirvana members

Adding to the guitar’s allure, it boasts the autographs of all three members of Nirvana, namely Kurt Cobain, Krist Novoselic, and Dave Grohl. Notably, Cobain also left a personalized inscription dedicated to the late lead singer of Screaming Trees, Mark Lanegan.

Historical records reveal that Cobain bestowed this cherished instrument upon Lanegan during Nirvana’s widely acclaimed Nevermind tour back in 1992.

The presence of these signatures and the heartfelt connection to another revered musician further elevate the guitar’s significance, making it an extraordinary piece of music memorabilia.

What happened to Kurt Cobain?

Kurt Cobain, the enigmatic talent behind Nirvana, tragically ended his own life in 1994 at the tender age of 27. Throughout his immensely influential career, Cobain became known for his electrifying stage presence and his penchant for demolishing Stratocaster guitars in a frenzied display of raw emotion.

These shattered instruments stood as symbolic remnants of his artistic expression and left an indelible mark on the music world.

More items auctioned off at the event

In a remarkable turn of events at the same auction, Nirvana’s handwritten set list from their iconic debut performance of “Smells Like Teen Spirit” in 1991 fetched a staggering $50,800, surpassing its original estimate by twelvefold.

This piece of musical history, meticulously crafted by the band themselves, holds great significance for fans and collectors alike.

Furthermore, it is worth noting that the guitar Kurt Cobain strummed during his legendary MTV Unplugged acoustic concert in 1993, a mere five months prior to his untimely demise, was sold for an astounding $6 million two years ago.

This instrument, forever tied to Cobain’s final moments on stage, serves as a poignant reminder of his immense talent and the enduring impact of his music.

Other notable items included guitars once played by esteemed musicians such as Bono and Eddie Van Halen, as well as the “Dangerous” World Tour jacket worn by the legendary Michael Jackson. The sale of these iconic artifacts adds another chapter to the ongoing preservation and appreciation of musical history.

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