A wrecked Kurt Cobain guitar sells for about $600,000

  • Nirvana frontman’s iconic left electric guitar was smashed as grunge pioneers were making their hit album Nevermind in the early ’90s.
  • Cobain, who committed suicide in 1994 at the age of 27, is best known for his frantic live performances and smashing a number of Stratocasters during his hugely influential career.

GARDENA, CA – MAY 2, 2023: Kurt Cobain’s wrecked Fender Stratocaster goes on display at Julian’s Auctions in Gardena, California on May 2, 2023, ahead of Julian’s “Music Icons” auction featuring more than 1,200 pieces of rock and roll history and exclusive artist collections.

FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images

Kurt Cobain’s wrecked Fender Stratocaster guitar has sold at auction for $595,900, more than 10 times its original estimate.

Nirvana frontman’s iconic left electric guitar was smashed as grunge pioneers were making their hit album Nevermind in the early ’90s. Reassembled but inoperable, it was expected to sell for between $60,000 and $80,000 at Julien’s Auction at New York’s Hard Rock Cafe over the weekend.

It features the signatures of all three Nirvana members – Cobain, Krist Novoselic and Dave Grohl – along with an inscription from Cobain addressed to the late Screaming Trees lead singer Mark Lanegan. According to Julien’s Auctions, Cobain gave the guitar to Lanegan during Nirvana’s Nevermind Tour in 1992.

Cobain, who committed suicide in 1994 at the age of 27, was known for his frantic performances and smashing a number of Stratocasters during his hugely influential career.

Nirvana’s handwritten setlist from the band’s 1991 premiere “Smells Like Teen Spirit” also sold at the same auction on Saturday for $50,800, twelve times its original estimate.

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The guitar Cobain played during a legendary live acoustic concert on MTV Unplugged in 1993, just five months before his death, was sold two years ago for $6 million.

An array of music memorabilia sold over the course of Julien’s two-day auction, including guitars played by Bono and Eddie Van Halen and Michael Jackson’s “Dangerous” World Tour jacket.

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