Acoustic guitar

KURT COBAIN’s Guitar Used in NIRVANA’s ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ Video Sells for $4.5 Million at Auction

Julien’s Auctions‘three-day hit music auction event “Music Icons” held on Friday May 20, Saturday May 21 and Sunday May 22 culminated today in the highly anticipated sale of the legendary electric guitar that changed music and the world: kurt cobainThe 1969 Fender Mustang electric guitar played in NIRVANAthe revolutionary hit of 1991 and its flagship clip “Smells like Teen Spirit”.

One of the most important and iconic guitars owned and played by kurt cobain ever to come to auction sold for $4.5 million, far exceeding its initial estimate of $600,000. The guitar was acquired by The Jim Irsay Collection in Indianapolis in a bidding war between collectors and bidders from around the world who participated live at the Hard Rock Cafe in New York, online at and by telephone. In honor of Mental Health Awareness Month, the Cobain the family donates a portion of the legendary guitar’s profits and selects kurt cobain items to Kick the Stigmathe Irsaysinitiative to raise awareness of mental health disorders and eliminate the stigma associated with these illnesses. Through grants, as well as personal donations from the Irsay family, more than $16 million has been committed to local and national organizations to expand treatment and research and raise awareness in Indiana and beyond.

“I am thrilled to preserve and protect another piece of American culture that has changed the way we see the world,” said Jim Irsayowner and CEO of NFLit is Indianapolis Colts. “The fact that a portion of the proceeds will go towards our efforts to fight the stigma around mental health makes this acquisition even more special to me.”

“To have this legendary guitar, one of the most culturally and historically significant guitars in kurt cobain and in all of rock music history, to go back to my home state of Indiana to be a part of Jim Irsaythe famous memorabilia collection of is a great honor and a personal highlight of my life,” said Julien JulienCEO of Julien’s Auctions who is from Auburn, Indiana. “This once-in-a-lifetime auction has been one of the greatest privileges of my professional career and I am duly delighted that the proceeds also bring much-needed attention to mental health awareness.”

NIRVANAthe escape single “Smells like Teen Spirit” created a seismic shift in the musical universe and a cultural moment in history by heralding the alternative/grunge era of the 90s and becoming one of the most iconic songs and music videos of all time. The Gen X anthem from their second album “Not serious” who celebrated their 30th birthday last fall, transformed the underground trio from Seattle kurt cobain, Krist Novoselic and Dave Grohl overnight in the biggest group in the world. The song issued a call to arms for teenage rebellion that was punctuated by the intensity of Cobainin the legendary video and its powerful images of anarchy and alienation that would later define the grunge revolution. The video depicting a high school pep rally that turns into a mosh pit frenzy quietly debuted on September 29, 1991 on MTVit is “120minutes” and propelled the band stratospherically to stardom with “Not serious” going gold just five weeks after its release.

Cobain considered this 1969 Fender Mustang Left Handed Guitar in Competition Lake Placid Blue Finish with Matching Headstock one of his favorite guitars and said in his last interview with guitar world“I’m left-handed, and it’s not very easy to find quality left-handed guitars at a reasonable price. But of all the guitars in the world, the Fender Mustang is my favorite. I’ve only owned two of these. between them.” The guitar was also used in the recording studio during the two “Not serious” and “In utero” recording sessions, as well as many top live performances. It has been featured at Seattle’s Experience Music Project, now named MoPOP Museum of Pop Culture, and photographed and selected for the prestigious The Guitar Collection.

Other rare and sensational items personally owned and used by the famous musician that sold today included (with estimates): CobainThe 1965 Dodge Dart 170 “Baby Blue” 4-door sedan – the only known surviving car owned and driven by kurt cobain ($375,000). The sale of the light blue Dodge was accompanied by an exclusive NFT from the Collection of kurtthe sister of Kim Cobain who has owned the car for the past 28 years; Cobainis personally drawn 1985 IRON MAIDEN “Killers” skateboard board illustration with the IRON MAIDEN mascot”Eddieplus NFT accompanying physical item ($35,200); Cobainthe original work of michael jackson plus NFT accompanying the physical item ($87,500) and more.

A collection of exclusive NFTs from kurt cobain iconography was also honored with in particular: an NFT of kurt cobainThe iconic Fetalini green striped short-sleeved sweater, owned and worn personally, which featured in NIRVANAit is “Smells like Teen Spirit” music video with Kim Cobainthe exclusive audio narration of ($10,240) and a 360-degree digital representation with Kim CobainThe exclusive audio narration of a pair of black canvas Converse Jack Purcell shoes that belonged to and were worn by kurt cobain ($10,240) with the left shoe reading “Fuhgawz” and the right shoe reading “Foogauzie”.

Julien’s Auctions made headlines around the world with the sale of kurt cobainit is “MTV Unplugged” 1959 Martin D-18E electro-acoustic guitar, which sold for $6 million in 2020, making it the most expensive guitar in the world ever sold at auction and raised At Julien’s his third placement in the Guinness Book of World Records. At Julien’s broke records with the sale of kurt cobainthe memories of , including Cobaincardigan worn over “MTV Unplugged” in New York, which sold for a record $334,000, his “In utero” touring Fender Mustang guitar that sold for $340,000, a cartoonish self-portrait drawn by Cobain of himself playing guitar signed “Kurdt Kobain Rock Star” which sold for over $281,000, his cardigan worn in his last photo shoot which sold for $75,000 and a NIRVANA paper plate set list written in Cobainwhose handwriting sold for a record $22,400.

Over 1,300 items were sold at Julien’s Auctions“Music Icons” event this weekend at the Hard Rock Cafe New York which raised a total of nearly $15,000,000. The auction kicked off on Friday with Property From The Archives Of Alex Lifeson, the record auction house for the stars’ tribute to one of the most influential music icons and guitar heroes of the progressive rock metal genre. . Over 100 lots including guitars, instruments, wardrobe, gear and memorabilia owned and used by Alex Lifesonthe legendary Rock and Roll Hall of Fame guitarist and co-founder of RUSH, one of the best-selling progressive rock bands of all time, were offered to the public for the first time and shattered all initial estimates. Highlights included (with winning bids): Lifeson“Whitey’s” most iconic and main guitar, a Gibson ES-355TD electric guitar custom designed for Alex Lifeson to Gibson plant in Kalamazoo and Lifesonthe lead guitar from 1976-2015, all his time with RUSH, which sold for an incredible $384,000. This splendid guitar was part RUSHthe most explosive era of creativity and legendary music: “A Farewell to Kings” (1977) at “Echo Test” (1996), and can be seen played by Lifeson on stage during all the tours of “A Farewell to Kings” (1977-1978) to “R40” (2015) as well as most accompanying RUSH music videos “A Farewell to Kings”, “Hemispheres” and “Animated Pictures”as good as “Show Don’t Tell” of “Presto” (1989); his 1970 Gibson Les Paul electric guitar acquired by Lifeson on RUSHfrom the inaugural tour in 1974, and played extensively by Lifeson in all RUSH albums and tours “Flying by Night” and “2112” at “Hemispheres” ($224,000); a 1981 Gibson Howard Roberts Fusion electric guitar that served as Alex Lifesonthe lead guitar from 1981 “Animated Pictures” tour as well as on numerous tours throughout the 2007 “Snakes and Arrows” tour ($218,750); his modified white Fender Stratocaster electric guitar known as the “Hentor Sportscaster” which was used by Lifeson record most albums since “Animated Pictures” (1981), especially “Grace Under Pressure” (1984) and considered Lifesonthe favorite guitar of for the solo, including the solo of RUSHit is Billboard hit “Footlight” ($187,500); his 1976 Gibson Dove acoustic guitar used by Lifeson for writing “Closer to the Heart” and other 1977 songs RUSH album “A Farewell to Kings” and performed on numerous tours including “A Farewell to Kings” (1977-1978),“Hemispheres” (1978-1979), and “Animated Pictures” (1981) ($128,000); a black 1991 Paul Reed Smith CE 24 electric guitar that served as Lifesonthe lead guitar from 1991-2004 ($112,500); a 1976 Ovation classical guitar used by Lifeson on tour from 1994 to 2015 ($102,400); a 1957 Gibson Les Paul Gold Top electric guitar played by Alex Lifeson during a show with BIG SUGAR in 2017 ($128,000); a 2015 Gibson EDS-1275 double neck electric guitar created especially for RUSH40th anniversary “R40” toured and performed live by Lifeson on songs requiring both six-string and twelve-string guitar, including “Xanadou” from the 1977 album “A Farewell to Kings” which sold for $89,600 and many more.

Other auction highlights include (along with their winning bids): A 1980 Gibson Les Paul Deluxe electric guitar that was owned and “Badmotorfinger” album played by SOUND GARDENit is Chris Cornell ($76,800); a spiral-bound Mead notebook, containing 17 pages of handwritten lyrics, scribbles, and other personal notes by GUNS N’ ROSESAxl Rose ($38,400); a Charvel EVH Art Series electric guitar, hand scratched and played on stage by Eddie Van Halen ($57,600); a Rychlik Designs 14k white gold “SLASH” guitar pendant personally owned by slash ($16,000) and his 2006 Gibson Custom Shop Les Paul 1959 Reissue Electric Guitar ($51,200) and more.