NEW YORK — A guitar smashed by Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain more than three decades ago fetched nearly $600,000 at an auction this weekend.
The broken black Fender Stratocaster, put up for sale by Julien’s Auctions, had been expected to sell for about a tenth of that amount during Saturday’s auction at the Hard Rock Cafe in New York City, the BBC reported.
Julien’s Auctions called the closing bid of $595,900 “astounding.”
The guitar, which was used by the left-handed Cobain during Nirvana’s “Nevermind” tour in late 1991, was signed by Cobain and fellow band members Krist Novoselic and Dave Grohl, People reported. There was an additional inscription to Mark Lanegan of the Screaming Trees by Cobain, who purposely misspelled his name.
“Hell-o Mark! Love, Your Pal, Kurdt Kobain. Washed up rock star.”
Sold for $595,900. A lefty black Fender Stratocaster electric guitar, smashed by Kurt Cobain during Nirvana's Nevermind era and signed to the body by all three band members.— Julien's Auctions (@JuliensAuctions) May 20, 2023
Julien's Auctions "Music Icons" at the Hard Rock Cafe in New York City and on https://t.co/tzS6JKuf2p. pic.twitter.com/AXRuScNlcx
The guitar was reassembled but was unplayable.
“You can see here the break that took place as he slammed down the guitar, where the neck here kind of connects, as well as down here on the bottom where he slammed the guitar down,” Kody Frederick of Julien’s Auctions said earlier this month. “Kurt Cobain, when he was on stage, when he played, he was a machine. The man was angry, and you could feel that on stage. And you would feel that by the way he would treat his instruments.
The auction also included another piece of memorabilia by the Seattle-based grunge band, according to People.
A setlist for the band’s April 17, 1991, performance at OK Hotel in Seattle sold for $50,800, a figure that was 12 times higher than its original estimate, the magazine reported.
Last year, Julien’s Auctions sold another Cobain guitar: the one he played during the 1991 video of “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” That instrument sold for $4.5 million, or eight times its expected high bid.
The 1969 Fender Mustang electric guitar was sold to the Jim Irsay Collection of Indianapolis in a global bidding war, Variety reported.
Kobain died in Seattle on April 5, 1994. He was 27.
©2023 Cox Media Group