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Legendary Singer Kurt Cobain’s 1989 Smashed Guitar Sells for Almost $500K at Auction

Not long ago, the Smells Like Teen Spirit singer Kurt Cobain’s smashed guitar from Nirvana’s first U.S. tour was sold for nearly half a million dollars at an auction over the weekend.

For those of you who are unaware, let us tell you, the 1989 stage-played and smashed guitar was signed by the legendary singer Kurt Cobain. The circa 1973 Fender Mustang with tobacco sunburst sold for $486,400 to be exact. Read on to know more about Kurt Cobain’s guitar.

Kurt Cobain’s 1989 guitar used on Nirvana’s first U.S. tour gets sold for $500K

As per Julien’s Auctions, Kurt Cobain’s guitar which was used on Nirvana’s first U.S. tour at two performances in the year 1989 sold for a total of $486,400. It exceeded the estimated value which was $400,000.

It has been reported by the auction house that the guitar owned, played, and smashed by the Come As You Are singer Kurt Cobain was used on the first U.S. tour of Nirvana back in the day. The guitar was used during two shows of Nirvana’s U.S Tour.

At first, the guitar was used by Kurt at Club Dreamerz in Chicago, Illinois on July 8 and the second date was at the Sonic Temple in Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania on July 9. During the final performance of Blew at Sonic Temple, the singer smashed the guitar to pieces across the stage.

What is the story behind the 1989 smashed guitar of the musician Kurt Cobain?

According to the auction house, the story goes, “Following that performance, the band stayed at Sluggo Cawley of the band Hullabaloo’s apartment, where Cobain noticed a smashed Gibson SG hanging on Cawley’s wall.”

The auction house further added, “Cobain offered to trade it for the Fender Mustang he had smashed on July 9th because he thought he could repair the Gibson SG well enough to smash it again later on.”

Julien’s Auctions continued, “Sluggo agreed to the trade and had Cobain inscribe the Mustang, signing as Nirvana and additionally drawing two flowers along the upper right portion of the pickguard before the band moved on to their next show. Along the lower portion of the body, the inscription reads, ‘Yo Sluggo / Thank for the trade / If it’s illegal to Rock and Roll, then throw my ass in jail / Nirvana.'”

At one point in time, Kurt was asked by a journalist regarding his propensity for smashing guitars on stage, to which he replied, “Why do I do it? Why not? It feels good. Somebody already cut down a nice old tree to make that f—ing guitar. Smash it! We only ever do it if the feeling’s right; it doesn’t matter where we are.”

Other precious music items that were sold at the weekend auction are as follows: Elvis Presley’s 1972 18K gold diamond Ebel wristwatch, which sold for $256,000, Prince’s 1992 Kurt Nelson Cloud model electric guitar with NFT, which sold for $192,000 and Tupac Shakur’s artwork completed for a 1996 AIDS Project Los Angeles fundraiser, which sold for $128,000.

What is your favorite song by the iconic singer Kurt Cobain? Kindly let us know your thoughts in the comments section below. Don’t forget to stay tuned with us for the latest updates from the world of showbiz.

Meenal Mehta
Meenal Mehta
Hi, I am Meenal. I'm a travel enthusiast, a movie buff and a cricket fan all wrapped in one. I love to capture moments through my words. Writing is my happy space, it has been a great way of putting all my thoughts out and feel liberated.


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