GARDENA, CA – May 2, 2023: Kurt Cobain’s Fender Stratocaster is displayed at Julien’s Auctions in Gardena, California on May 2, 2023 ahead of Julien’s ‘Music Icons’ auction of over 1,200 items from the rock and roll history and exclusive artist collections.
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Kurt Cobain’s smashed Fender Stratocaster guitar sold at auction for $595,900, more than 10 times its original estimate.
The Nirvana frontman’s iconic left-handed electric guitar was smashed as the grunge pioneers recorded their seminal album Nevermind in the early 1990s. at Julien’s auction at the Hard Rock Cafe in New York this weekend.
It features the signatures of all three Nirvana members – Cobain, Krist Novoselic and Dave Grohl – as well as an inscription by Cobain addressed to the late Screaming Trees singer Mark Lanegan. According to Julien’s Auctions, Cobain gave the guitar to Lanegan during Nirvana’s Nevermind tour in 1992.
Cobain, who took his own life in 1994 at the age of 27, was renowned for his frantic performances and smashed a number of Stratocasters during his hugely influential career.
Nirvana’s handwritten setlist from the band’s 1991 debut performance “Smells Like Teen Spirit” also sold at the same auction on Saturday for $50,800, twelve times its original estimate.
The guitar Cobain played during a legendary acoustic concert on MTV Unplugged in 1993, just five months before his death, sold two years ago for $6 million.
A treasure trove of musical memorabilia sold during Julien’s two-day auction, including guitars played by Bono and Eddie Van Halen, and Michael Jackson’s “Dangerous” World Tour jacket.