Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Kurt Cobain’s Smells Like Teen Spirit guitar sells for $4.5 million at auction

The guitar Kurt Cobain played on Nirvana’s 1991 smash, “Smells Like Teen Spirit”, and in its accompanying video has sold at auction for $4.5 million.

The 1969 Fender Mustang electric guitar was publicly sold for the first time as part of a three-day Juliens Auctions “Music Icons” event held this past weekend at the Hard Rock Cafe New York and online at juliensauctions.com.

The left-handed instrument in Competition Lake Placid blue finish was conservatively estimated to sell for between $600,000 - $800,000.

The guitar was acquired by The Jim Irsay Collection in Indianapolis in a bidding war among collectors and bidders all across the globe. In honor of Mental Health Awareness Month, the Cobain family is donating a portion of the proceeds of the legendary guitar and select Kurt Cobain items to Kicking The Stigma, the Irsays’ initiative to raise awareness about mental health disorders and remove the stigma associated with these illnesses. Through grants, as well as personal donations by the Irsay family, more than $16 million has been committed to local and national organizations to expand treatment and research and raise awareness in Indiana and beyond.

“I am thrilled to preserve and protect another piece of American culture that changed the way we looked at world,” said Jim Irsay, Owner & CEO of the NFL’s Indianapolis Colts. “The fact that a portion of the proceeds will go toward our effort to kick the stigma surrounding mental health makes this acquisition even more special to me.”

Featuring the hits “Smells Like Teen Spirit” and “Come As You Are”, Nirvana’s second album, “Nevermind”, helped trigger a change in music culture as the alternative and grunge genres merged with the mainstream; it knocked Michael Jackson of the top of the US Billboard 200 and went on to sell more than 30 million copies worldwide, including 10 million in the US.

A number of other rare and sensational items personally owned and used by Cobain also sold at the event, including his 1965 “Baby Blue” Dodge Dart 170 4-door sedan – the only known surviving car that was owned and driven by the rocker; Cobain’s personally drawn 1985 Iron Maiden “Killers” skateboard deck artwork featuring the Iron Maiden mascot "Eddie", and Cobain’s original artwork of Michael Jackson plus NFT accompanying the physical item and more.

Over 1,200 items were offered in the all-star lineup of artifacts and memorabilia owned and used by some of the world's greatest music artists of all-time including The Beatles, Eddie Van Halen, Queen, Elvis Presley, Lady Gaga, Michael Jackson, Madonna, Little Richard, Elton John, Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, Cher, Bob Marley, Jimi Hendrix and more.

See also:

Kurt Cobain guitar from Nirvana’s Teen Spirit video headed to auction
Soundgarden and Nirvana supergroup 3rd Secret share live performance video
Soundgarden and Nirvana members form new supergroup 3rd Secret
Nirvana seek new dismissal in Nevermind cover baby lawsuit
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Search Nirvana at hennemusic