Kurt Cobain's Smashed, Nirvana Signed Fender Guitar Sells for Nearly $600,000 at Auction

The guitar — destroyed by legendary Cobain on stage during Nirvana's seminal Nevermind era — sold for nearly 10 times its original estimate of $60,000

Frank Micelotta/Getty Images
Frank Micelotta/Getty Images

A piece of Kurt Cobain history went for big bucks over the weekend, when the Fender Stratocaster electric guitar smashed (then later resembled) by the music legend sold for nearly $600,000 at auction on Saturday.

According to Julien's Auctions, the guitar — destroyed by Cobain on stage during Nirvana's seminal Nevermind era — sold for $595,000, nearly 10 times its original estimate of $60,000.

Beyond being played by Cobain before he smashed it, the reassembled but unplayable guitar was signed by all three members of Nirvana — Cobain, Krist Novoselic, and Dave Grohl — along with additional inscriptions to Mark Lanegan (Screaming Trees) by Cobain that read: "Hell-o Mark! Love, Your Pal, Kurdt Kobain / Washed up rockstar."

Related:Courtney Love Pens Tribute to Kurt Cobain on 29th Anniversary of His Death: 'Miss Him Deeply'


The piece of music history also featured the inscription "Boddah Lives" (referring to Cobain's childhood imaginary friend) engraved to the neck plate, housed in a black hard case with "Abort Christ" written on the top in white block letters. The guitar also featured a white Ernie Ball strap, according to the auction house.

The auction also offered another Nirvana highlight: a setlist for their April 17, 1991 performance at OK Hotel in Seattle, Washington which sold for $50,800, 12 times its original estimate of $4,000, per Julien's.

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Believed to be handwritten by Grohl, the setlist was even more special as it marked the band's debut performance of their legendary breakthrough hit, "Smells like Teen Spirit" before its release in November 1991.

The list — written in pink marker on the back of a printed "Guitar Lessons with Tommy Rose" flyer advertisement — included songs such as "Big Cheese," "D-7," "Love Buzz," "About a Girl," "Immoodiuum," "Smells Like Teen Spirit," and "In Bloom," according to the item description.

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