The late Kurt Cobain’s iconic guitar used in the video for Nirvana’s lead single “Smells Like Teen Spirit” sold for $4,550,000 at auction. The 1969 left-handed Fender Mustang guitar was expected to sell for between $600,000 and $80,000. Julien Auction.
The “Lake Placid Blue” guitar was purchased from the Jim Irsay Collection based in Indianapolis. According to the collection, the Cobain family, who owned the guitar before it was sold, are donating a portion of the proceeds to Kicking The Stigma, an Irsays initiative to raise mental health awareness.
According to Julien’s, Cobain’s guitar was also used in the studio while Nirvana recorded their albums “Nevermind” and “In Utero” and numerous notable live performances. According to the auction house, it was listed as one of the 150 most important guitars of all time in a book called The Guitar Collection.
According to the Jim Irsay collection, before being auctioned off, the guitar toured in Beverly Hills, London and Indianapolis and was displayed at the Hard Rock Cafe in Times Square, New York.
Jim Irsay, who is also the owner and CEO of the NFL Indianapolis Colts, said, “We are excited to preserve and protect another American culture that has changed the way we see and hear the world. “What makes this acquisition special is that a portion of the proceeds will be used to help end the stigma surrounding mental illness.”
Irsay’s memorabilia collection also includes items owned by several iconic artists, including Bob Dylan, The Beatles, Prince, Eric Clapton, Sir Elton John and Jimi Hendrix. He regularly lends items to museums, non-profits and other organizations for exhibition and research.
According to the Jim Irsay Collection, Cobain considered this Mustang his favorite. According to their Instagram post, the collection will be exhibiting guitars in a free exhibition at New York’s Hammerstein Ballroom on June 3rd.
Cobain died in 1994 at the age of 27. The Seattle Police Department, which led the case, reexamined the evidence from the music star’s death investigation in 2014.
In May 2021, 27 years after Nirvana passed away, released by the FBI A 10-page file containing letters from fans urging the agency to investigate Cobain’s death as a possible murder. However, the FBI said the case was not under its jurisdiction.