Fender Skystang I Kurt Cobain played in final Nirvana show becomes eighth most expensive guitar ever sold
You’ll be able to find it in a cafe soon…
Image: Jeff Kravitz / Getty Images
The Fender axe, which the late grunge legend used for Nirvana’s last show in Munich on 1 March 1994, just over a month before his death, was bought by Japan-based businessman Mitsuru Sato after he bid $1,587,500 (around £1,270,000) over the phone at the auction held at the Hard Rock Cafe in Nashville, Tennessee.
Sato plans to open a cafe featuring exhibitions of iconic instruments, so this is where the famous guitar looks to stay for the foreseeable future.
He said, “I want to pass on rock to the next generation in a real way. We would like to use this guitar to support the next generation aiming to pursue music.”
Some of the proceeds from the winning bid will go towards Kicking The Stigma, a mental health initiative created by the Indianapolis Colt and the family of their owner, Jim Irsay.
And, following the auction, the guitar is now the eighth most expensive ever, and it’s in good company on the list of the most expensive axes. Eric Clapton‘s iconic 1964 Gibson SG, ‘The Fool’, sold at the same auction for $1.27 million, while guitars owned by guitar royalty like Jimi Hendrix, John Lennon, Jerry Garcia, and Eddie Van Halen are also near the top of the list.
The most expensive guitar in history, however? It’s another of Cobain’s, per Guitar World. Indeed, the 1959 Martin D-18E acoustic-electric Cobain played during Nirvana’s MTV Unplugged set in 1993 sold for over $6 million at auction in 2020. It’s not only the world’s most expensive guitar but the world’s most expensive piece of rock memorabilia whatsoever, too.
And the second most expensive ever was the Fender Mustang Cobain played in the Smells Like Teen Spirit music video, going for $4.5 million last year. So, if you have a spare few million down the back of the sofa, why not gift a loved one one of Cobain’s old guitars this Christmas?