Kurt Cobain Smashed Nirvana Guitar Sells for Nearly 10 Times Original Estimate at Auction
Nirvana memorabilia continues to sell well at auction, with the most significant item at a recent Julien's Auction event going for nearly 10 times the estimated bid price. That would be a Kurt Cobain smashed and band-signed Fender Stratocaster electric guitar from the Nevermind era of the band, which just went for $596,900 at auction, well above the $60K-$80K estimate placed before the auction started.
The left-handed black Fender Strat had been smashed by Cobain and then was later signed by all members of the band with inscriptions to Screaming Trees frontman Mark Lanegan who was the original recipient of the instrument. "Hell-o Mark! Love your pal, Kurdt Kobain / Washed up rockstar," wrote Cobain in his message to Lanegan. The Nirvana frontman reportedly gifted the guitar to Lanegan in the fall of 1992, while Nirvana were out on the North American leg of their Nevermind trek. The item came with a signed letter of Provenance from the previous owner. Get a closer look and additional details here.
One other Nirvana item saw a significant markup at auction, and that was a 1991 handwritten setlist from the band's OK Hotel performance. It was estimated to go for $4K to $8K, but the winning bid ended up being $50,800.
The setlist was believed to have been written by Dave Grohl for the band's April 17, 1991 show at the OK Hotel in Seattle. It was written in pink marker and includes such Nirvana favorites as "Love Buzz," "Been a Son," "About a Girl," "Smells Like Teen Spirit," "Verse Chorus Verse" and "In Bloom" among others.
The list was written on the back of a printed flyer that reads, "Guitar Lessons with Tommy Rose - G.I.T. honors graduate with multitudes of experience and qualifications. Aquire knowledge in theory, chords, and today's hot chops! My goal is to have you create your own individual style. Call after 5:00 P.M. 546-8464."
This particular show found Nirvana headlining with sets from Fits of Depression and Bikini Kill. This show was reportedly also the live debut of "Smells Like Teen Spirit," a track that kicked off the grunge revolution..
The Seattle-based rock bar and music venue was a staple of the Seattle music scene in the late '80s and early '90s, but suffered major damage from a 2001 earthquake and eventually closed. Get more details about the setlist right here.
Overall, it was a great day for Nirvana fans looking to purchase memorabilia. A Nevermind record album insert sold for $4,550. A band-signed "Blew" CD single went for $2,925. A band-signed Bleach album was auctioned for an $8,850 price tag and a vocal processor rackmount road case went for $5,200.