Is that this the most costly smashed guitar ever bought? Kurt Cobain’s stage-smashed Fender Stratocaster sells at public sale for $600,000 – 10 instances its preliminary estimate

Is that this the most costly smashed guitar ever bought? Kurt Cobain’s stage-smashed Fender Stratocaster sells at public sale for $600,000 – 10 instances its preliminary estimate
Kurt Cobain's stage-smashed Fender Stratocaster sold at auction for $600,000

(Picture credit score: Jason Childs / Getty / Julien’s Auctions)

A stage-smashed Fender Stratocaster played by Kurt Cobain has fetched virtually $600,000 at public sale, which may effectively make it probably the most worthwhile smashed guitar ever bought. 

We’re, by now, used to seeing Kurt Cobain-associated guitars fetch a premium at auctions, however even common observers and members can have been shocked on the $595,000 price ticket fetched by a damaged Strat that when belong to the Nirvana frontman.

The 1990 Japanese Fender Stratocaster was signed by all three members of the band and incorporates a notable inscription to the late Mark Lanegan, then frontman for The Screaming Timber. 

“Hell-o Mark!” reads the message. “Love, your pal, Kurdt Kobain [sic]/Washed up rockstar.”

The guitar was reportedly performed onstage and met its finish in the course of the band’s 1992 Nevermind tour, earlier than being gifted to Lanegan. As such, the instrument is lacking half its headstock and a slice of the neck all the way down to the third fret, the place it splintered off throughout its onstage reckoning. 

A Fender Stratocaster played and smashed by Nirvana's Kurt Cobain

(Picture credit score: Julien’s Auctions)

Clearly, the context of the Strat’s use, the signatures and its earlier proprietor(s) all appear to have contributed to the ultimate worth. 

The instrument carried an preliminary estimate of $60,000 – $80,000, however that all the time appeared just a little low, notably given two Kurt-smashed Strats sold for $150,000 in 2020 and, simply final yr, a stage-smashed 1973 Fender Mustang owned by Kurt Cobain bought at public sale for $486,000. By our calculations, that Mustang now has the honour of being the second most costly stage-smashed guitar bought at public sale. 

Different contenders embrace Noel Gallagher’s 1960 Gibson ES-355 (famously smashed by his brother Liam Gallagher in the course of the argument that led to Oasis splitting up in 2009), which bought for $403,000.

In the event you have been to broaden the standards to ‘stage broken’, then you possibly can point out Jimi Hendrix’s 1965 Stratocaster, which was the instrument he set fireplace to onstage in London in 1967. That one fetched round $497,557 at public sale in 2008 – although the latest Cobain sale nonetheless comfortably exceeds that sum.

Regardless, there’s definitely a premium related to the Nirvana man’s gear. That is seemingly all the way down to the ever-growing legend across the late Cobain, alongside (we suspect) demographic forces at play – as Gen X’ers hit the wealthiest stage of their lives. 

Certainly, the most expensive guitars sold at auction each belonged to the Nirvana frontman. Kurt Cobain’s Smells Like Teen Spirit Fender Mustang (as featured within the tune’s promo clip) fetched over $4.5 million final yr, whereas his Martin D-18E (aka the MTV Unplugged acoustic guitar) was bought in 2020 and nonetheless holds the highest spot, elevating over $6 million.

Thanks for studying 5 articles this month*

Be a part of now for limitless entry

US pricing $3.99 monthly or $39.00 per yr

UK pricing £2.99 monthly or £29.00 per yr 

Europe pricing €3.49 monthly or €34.00 per yr

*Learn 5 free articles monthly with out a subscription

Be a part of now for limitless entry

Costs from £2.99/$3.99/€3.49

We’d love to remain in contact, join The Choose workforce to contact you with nice information, content material and gives.

Matt is a employees author for Earlier than that he spent 10 years as a contract music journalist, interviewing artists for the likes of Whole Guitar, Guitarist, Guitar World, MusicRadar,, DJ Magazine and Digital Sound. In 2020, he launched, which goals to share the concepts that make inventive life extra sustainable. He performs guitar, however shouldn’t be allowed close to your delay pedals.

Read More

Read Previous

Okyeame Quophi Shades Dr Kwaku Oteng As He Eulogises Bronzy Following His Dismissal

Read Next

“Tremendous Eagle”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *