Two guitars played (and smashed) by Kurt Cobain sell for almost $300,000

One of them even features some Dave Grohl-penned poetry.

Two guitars that Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain played and then smashed – one into pieces – have sold at Julien’s Auctions for a total of $281,000.

The first, and surprisingly more expensive given its condition, was a cream made-in-japan Stratocaster that was played and then destroyed at a Nirvana gig in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on 30 October 1992. After this, it was signed by Cobain and Nirvana Bassist Krist Novoselic. Dave Grohl, when handed the marker, decided to inscribe a whole poem on the instrument 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.” This guitar started at $55,000, and sold for $153,000.

Kurt Cobain's Stratocaster
Image: Julien’s

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The second guitar owned by Cobain was a black Fender Strat used on the 1993-1994 In Utero tour. This was handed to an audience member at the end of a show, who wrote a three-page letter detailing its story. The neck and neck plate were replaced after this guitar was smashed at a previous performance. This Strat was also notably the fifth one used on the In Utero tour to be sold, and the third to be in a playable condition. In total, Cobain had five Strats to use on this tour, specifically for end-of-set jamming and destruction, most often on the songs Blew or Endless, Nameless.

This guitar started at $60,000, and sold for $128,000.

The same auction that hosted these guitars also hosted the sale of three Eddie Van Halen-owned-and-played instruments, which totalled almost half a million dollars.

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