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Smashed Kurt Cobain guitar sells for over $595,000

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Julien’s Auctions

A guitar smashed and signed by the late Kurt Cobain sold for $595,900 at a Julien’s Auctions sale over the weekend.

The black Fender Stratocaster features an inscription from the Nirvana icon to Screaming Trees frontman Mark Lanegan reading “Hell-o Mark/Love, your Pal, Kurdt Kobain/Washed up rock star.” It was expected to sell for between $60,000 and $80,000, meaning it went for nearly 10 times its original estimate.

Last year, a Cobain-smashed guitar sold for over $480,000 at auction. Another Cobain guitar, the 1959 Martin D-18E guitar he played during Nirvana’s MTV Unplugged special, holds the record for most expensive guitar sold at auction: it went for $6 million in 2020.

Along with the guitar, another historic Nirvana artifact sold during the auction: the 1991 handwritten set list from the band’s April 1991 show at Seattle’s OK Hotel, which notably featured the live debut of the then-unreleased “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” That went for $50,800, well above its $4,000-$6,000 estimate.

The auction also saw the sale of an Eddie Van Halen guitar from Van Halen‘s 2007-08 tour, which went for $114,300; a Bono-played Gretsch Irish Falcon Electric Guitar, which fetched $238,125; and John Lennon and Paul McCartney‘s handwritten lyrics for The Beatles‘ “Baby, You’re a Rich Man,” which brought in $65,000.

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