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Kurt Cobain's Guitar That He Smashed During 'Nevermind' Era Sells For About $600,000

 The broken black Fender Stratocaster was expected to sell for a tenth of that amount at an auction held at the Hard Rock Cafe in New York.
UPDATED JAN 22, 2024
Cover Image Source: (L) Getty Images |  Astrid Stawiarz | (R) YouTube | Nirvana
Cover Image Source: (L) Getty Images | Astrid Stawiarz | (R) YouTube | Nirvana

A guitar that was smashed by Kurt Cobain, the legendary musician and the frontman of rock band Nirvana, was recently sold for nearly $600,000. The broken black Fender Stratocaster was expected to sell for a tenth of that amount at an auction held at the Hard Rock Cafe in New York.

Cobain was known to deliver intense performances and the guitar was reportedly destroyed as the band was working on their break-out album "Nevermind" in the 1990s. BBC reports that the guitar has since been put together but remains unplayable.

Cobain, who often misspelled his name, signed the guitar, "Kurdt Cobain". The instrument is also signed by the other band members in a silver marker and also features an adorable inscription by Cobain to his friend and musical partner Mark Lanegan, who passed away last year.

Getty Images | Astrid Stawiarz
Getty Images | Astrid Stawiarz (Cobain's Univox Guitar in an Auction)

According to Julien's Auctions, the Fender Stratocaster electric guitar that was destroyed by Cobain on stage during Nirvana's Nevermind era sold for $595,000, as reported by Diario AS.

“The man was angry, and you could feel that on stage. And you would feel that by the way he would treat his instruments,” Kody Frederick of Julien’s Auctions told AFP news agency. 

The auction featured more than just the Fender. Among the other Nirvana items up for grabs was the set-list for the band's April 17, 1991 performance at Ok Hotel in Seattle, Washington. The set piece sold for about $50,800 which was 12 times more than the estimated price.

Who Was Kurt Cobain?


Kurt Donald Cobain was an American musician, who was the lead singer, guitarist, and songwriter of the Seattle-based rock band Nirvana.

Cobain first formed the band in 1987 with Krist Novoselic. The band quickly  gained traction and became popular for their unique grunge style. The band's breakthrough song "Smells Like Teen Spirit" began their success story and Cobain was at the center of the recognition that the band was getting from the media. 

Born on February 27, 1967, Cobain came from a troubled family and witnessed the separation of his parents at the age of seven.

In a 1994 interview, Cobain opened up about how he felt about his parent's divorce. "I remember feeling ashamed, for some reason. I was ashamed of my parents," as per the New World Encylopedia

Cobain struggled with drug abuse and the media attention surrounding him and his wife Courtney Love. On April 8, 1994, the legend was found dead at his home with an apparent self-inflicted shotgun wound to his head. 

His Musical Journey

Larry Busacca | Getty Images
Larry Busacca | Getty Images

Initially formed by Cobain, the band Nirvana comprised three members,  Novoselic (bass), Cobain (guitar, vocals, lyrics), and Burckhard (drums). After presenting their first album, Bleach (1989), they became known for their style which had a bit of punk and grunge. After performing with the Sonic Youth Band, Nirvana signed with the Geffen Records Label, under which they presented their second and breakthrough album called Nevermind in 1991.

In a short time, the style of the band became the aesthetics of the youth and their songs became their anthem.  A year after the success of Nevermind, he married the love of his life Courtney Love, with whom he had a daughter Frances Bean. This relationship began the downfall of Cobain as he soon started using drugs and became a heavy drinker.

Twenty-seven is an age when many artists breathed their last. Cobain was no different, he too bid the world adieu at the age of 27.