A Kurt Cobain-signed guitar was sold at auction this weekend for the same amount it might take to buy off your home (plus, a second home). But if thought this recent sale was a lot of money, this is but a percentage of what a couple of other Cobain guitars sold for. So while you might see headlines that scream, "Cobain guitar sells!" trust me when I say Cobain guitars have gone for much more.
The guitar in question - a black Fender Stratocaster that Cobain smashed on stage in 1991 and is no longer playable - sold for $595,000 at Julien's Auctions at an event called Music Icons. The guitar was originally supposed to sell for $60,000 but clearly went for much more. If you are doing the math at home, the original expected sale price was 10 percent of what the instrument actually sold for.
This is important to note because the guitar selling for nearly $600,000 is just 10 percent of the sale of another Cobain guitar that was sold in 2020. That guitar was the one Cobain played for the well-known MTV Unplugged set Nirvana played in 1993. The $6 million guitar was a 1959 Martin D-18E.
Kurt Cobain guitar fetches nearly $600,000 at auction
Yet another Cobain guitar sold for $4.5 million last year. The instrument in that sale was the one Cobain held in the video for 1991's "Smells Like Teen Spirit." The guitar was sold to the Jim Irsay Collection (Irsay is the owner of the Indianapolis Colts of the NFL) and a portion of the proceeds went to Kicking The Stigma which is Irsay's initiative to help raise awareness about mental health disorders.
The guitar that was sold this weekend was signed by Cobain but also fellow Nirvana bandmates Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic. On the neck of the guitar was an engraving that read "Boddah Lives." Boddah was the name of Cobain's childhood imaginary friend.