Kurt Cobain's stage smashed Fender guitar to sell at Juliens Auctions

A 1973 Fender Mustang guitar owned by Kurt Cobain is to be sold by Juliens Auctions on 11th November with a $200,000 - $400,000 estimate.

Kurt Cobain smashed guitar to sell at Juliens Auctions
Image: Juliens Auctions


The tobacco sunburst finish electric guitar was played by Cobain on Nirvana's debut album tour on 9th July 1989 at the Sonic Temple Hall in Wilkinsburg, PA when Kurt smashed the guitar on stage at the end of the gig during a performance of the song 'Blew'.

Asked why he did it, Kurt replied:  "Why not? It feels good. Somebody already cut down a nice old tree to make that fucking guitar. Smash it! We only ever do it if the feeling's right."

With a starting bid of $50,000 the guitar has already received 4 bids and been bid up to $200,000, and is expected to sell for $400,000.

The guitar comes from the collection of musician Sluggo Crawley: 

"Kurt asked me if he could have the smashed Gibson SG I had hanging on my wall. So I said, Sure, but now I won't have one for my wall. Kurt replied, I'll be right back. He went out to their van and presented me a 1973 Fender Mustang that he deemed beyond repair." ..."In sort of mock guitar hero worship, I asked him to sign it for me."

Kurt Cobain has signed the guitar:

"Yo Sluggo / Thank for the trade/ If its illegal to Rock and Roll, then throw my ass in jail/ Nirvana." 

Juliens have a fine history with Nirvana and Kurt Cobain memorabilia having previously sold another of Kurt's smashed guitars for $153,600 in 2020.

The cream made-in-Japan Fender Stratocaster had been played by Kurt at the Buenos Aires, Argentina concert on October 30 1992, smashed on stage, and subsequently signed by Kurt, Dave Grohl and bassist Krist Novoselic.

The same auction saw Juliens sell a black Fender Stratocaster owned by Cobain and used on the 1993-1994 In Utero tour, for $128,000.

Billionaire Jim Irsay has been the big buyer of Kurt Cobain memorabilia in recent months having forked out $4.55m for the iconic left-handed Fender Mustang guitar that Cobain played in Nirvana’s ‘Smells like Teen Spirit” music video.

In his final interview with Guitar World Kurt Cobain had said "Out of all the guitars in the whole world, the Fender Mustang is my favorite. I’ve only owned two of them."

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