Kurt Cobain’s Smashed Guitar From Nirvana’s ‘Nevermind’ Era Just Sold for Nearly $600,000
Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain had a penchant for smashing his guitars, and yet another one just hammered down for an impressive price at auction.
A lefty black Fender Stratocaster guitar that Cobain destroyed during the band’s tour after releasing Nevermind just sold for $596,900 after it was originally valued around $60,000 to $80,000, according to Julien’s Auctions. The sale included a black hard case with “Abort Christ” written in white block letters on top of it, and a stage-used white Ernie Ball guitar strap.
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The person who won the guitar wishes to remain anonymous, but he “is a Nirvana fan in the U.S. and works in finance,” the auction house told The Los Angeles Times.
The instrument was signed in silver marker by Cobain and the two other members of the band: bassist Krist Novoselic and drummer Dave Grohl, the auction house said. Cobain wrote: “Hell-o Mark! Love, Your Pal, Kurdt Kobain / Washed up rockstar.” Mark refers to the original recipient of the instrument: his close friend and collaborator, Mark Lanegan. The musician, who died last year, was the lead singer of the grunge band Screaming Trees and a member of rock band Queens of the Stone Age.
Cobain gave Lanegan the instrument during the North American portion of their Nevermind tour, which took place from September to October 1992, the auction house said. Because the guitar has modifications for Nirvana live performances and has signs of prolonged use, it is thought that the guitar was smashed and repaired for continued use. The pickups on the guitar still work, but the neck is not functional.
Another Fender Stratocaster Cobain played is on display at the Museum of Pop Culture in Seattle, Cobain’s hometown. It contains a white bumper sticker that reads “Vandalism: Beautiful as a Rock / in a Cop’s Face.”
The house previously auctioned another guitar that Cobain wrecked—a 1973 Fender Mustang destroyed during the performance of a song from the group’s first album Bleach. It ended up selling for $486,400 in November.
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