The busted black Fender Stratocaster has been put back together but is no longer playable. Twitter/Julien’s Auctions

A smashed guitar that belonged to Kurt Cobain, the front man of Nirvana, was sold at an auction for nearly $600,000, surpassing its initial estimate. 

The guitar was famously smashed on stage by Kurt Cobain, the lead singer of Nirvana. Broken during a live performance, the black Fender Stratocaster was repaired but is no longer playable. 

Signed by all three members of Nirvana during their rise to global fame, the instrument exceeded the auction house’s initial estimate of $60,000. The auction house had anticipated a sale price of $60,000 but was astonished by the final bid, considering the significance of the instrument and Cobain’s impact on the music industry. 

The ongoing auction also features memorabilia from other iconic artists such as Eddie Van Halen, Elvis Presley, and Freddie Mercury.

Pete Townsend, Joe Strummer and Kurt Cobain smashing up musical instruments because they believe its Kerrang. Twitter
Pete Townsend, Joe Strummer and Kurt Cobain smashing up musical instruments because they believe it’s “Kerrang”. Twitter

Kody Frederick of Julien’s Auctions, speaking earlier this month, pointed out the visible damage on the guitar caused by Cobain’s aggressive stage presence. Cobain was known for his intense performances, characterized by anger and a raw energy that could be felt by the audience. The broken guitar, seen as a symbol of Cobain’s turbulent and influential era of music, holds significant historical value. 

Nirvana, with Cobain as the primary songwriter, created iconic hits such as “Come As You Are,” “Lithium,” and the breakout 1991 hit “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” The latter became an anthem for a generation of disaffected youth. Cobain battled substance addiction and depression throughout his life and had a tumultuous relationship with his wife, Courtney Love. Tragically, he took his own life in April 1994, leaving a lasting impact on the music industry.

The auction, spanning three days and concluding on Sunday, also features memorabilia from other legendary artists such as Eddie Van Halen, Elvis Presley, Freddie Mercury, Bill Wyman, and Janet Jackson. This event offers fans and collectors a unique opportunity to own a piece of music history associated with these influential figures.

The remarkable sale of Cobain’s smashed guitar highlights the enduring appeal and value of rock memorabilia, as well as the profound impact that Cobain and Nirvana had on the music world. It serves as a testament to the lasting legacy of an artist who expressed his emotions and frustrations through his music and stage presence.

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