Guitar beaten by Nirvana frontman trades for approximately $600,000

May 23, 2023: Kurt Cobain’s breaks Fender Stratocaster guitar sold at auction for $595,900, more than ten times its original estimate.

The Nirvana frontman’s iconic left-handed electric guitar was smashed while the grunge pioneers made their seminal Never Mind album in the early 1990s. Reassembled but unplayable, it was anticipated to sell for between $60,000 and $80,000 at Julien’s auction at the Cafe in New York over the weekend.

It states that the signatures of Nirvana’s three members, Cobain, Krist Novoselic and Dave Grohl, along with an inscription by Cobain addressed to the morning 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 took his life in 1994 at 27, was renowned for his frenetic performances and smashed several Stratocasters during his hugely influential career.

Nirvana’s handwritten set list from the band’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” debut performance in 1991 also sold at the same auction Saturday for $50,800, twelve times its original estimate.

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.

A trove of musical memorabilia sold throughout the two-day Julien’s auction, including guitars played by Bono and Eddie Van Halen and Michael Jackson’s “Dangerous” World Tour jacket.

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