Guitars played by Kurt Cobain approach $1 million mark at auction
Hosted by Julien’s Auctions, the ‘Played, Worn, & Torn Rock ‘N’ Roll Iconic Guitars and Memorabilia’ sale will take place from 16-18 November.
Image: KMazur / Getty Images / Julien’s
Cobain, who became synonymous with grunge in the early 90s, is undoubtedly one of the most highly sought-after modern rock icons among collectors. These two guitars — one damaged and one undamaged — represent some of the finest pieces from the rockstar’s collection ever to go up for sale.
The first guitar to be auctioned is a ‘Skystang I’ that’s estimated between $1 million and $2 million, with a current bid of $700,000 prior to the sale taking place on 17-18 November.
The 1993 Fender MG-69 Mustang comes in a vibrant Sonic Blue finish, and stands as the most well-documented and recognisable of Kurt’s stage instruments. Cobain played the guitar throughout the band’s 1993-1994 In Utero tours, including at the band’s final show at Terminal 1, Flughafen, in Munich.
Cobain has also called the Fender Mustang his “favourite” guitar model in a 1991 interview with Guitar World.
The second Cobain guitar at the sale is a cream-coloured Fender Stratocaster played and smashed by the singer during a Nirvana gig in Buenos Aires on 30 October 1992.
The made-in-Japan strat was signed by Cobain and bassist Krist Novoselic in black marker, and drummer Dave Grohl has written an entire poem on the guitar that reads: “Hello. My name is Dave. I like Rave. It’ll drive me to my grave. But I’m not dumb. I play drums with two green thumbs and a sour plumb that makes the roof of my mouth numb – David.”
According to Julien’s, this guitar was one that Cobain typically used toward the end of his sets, in case he wanted to destroy it. The instrument has already attracted a $200,000 bid at the time of writing, and is estimated to fetch between $500,000 – $700,000.
In 2020, the world record for the most expensive guitar was set when Cobain’s 1959 Martin D-18E acoustic that he played for his 1993 appearance on “MTV Unplugged” sold for over $6 million.
Learn more at Julien’s.