Kurt Cobain’s Smells Like Teen Spirit electric guitar auctioned for £3.5m | Ents & Arts News


Kurt Cobain’s 1969 Fender Mustang guitar, which he used in the Nirvana Smells Like Teen Spirit video, has sold for $4.5m (£3.5m) at auction.

Finished in placid lake blue, the electric guitar has been on display at Seattle’s Experience Music Project, now renamed the Museum of Pop Culture, for 12 years.

It was sold to the Jim Irsay Collection of Indianapolis in a bidding war between collectors around the world who participated in the online and telephone sale Sunday at Julien’s Auctions.

The final bid far exceeded the initial estimate of $600,000 (£477,145).

Cobain considered the left-handed guitar his favorite.

In a 1991 interview with Guitar World, he said, “I’m left-handed and it’s not very easy to find high-quality left-handed guitars at a reasonable price.

“But of all the guitars in the world, the Fender Mustang is my favorite. I’ve only owned two.”

Smells Like Teen Spirit has become one of the most iconic songs and music videos of all time.

The track was featured on Nirvana’s second studio album – Nevermind, released in September 1991 – which charted well worldwide.

The guitar was also used in the recording studio during the In Utero recording sessions, as well as many prominent live performances.

Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain pictured on stage in December 1993, four months before his death. Photo: AP/Scott Weiner/MediaPunch/IPX


Cobain, who suffered from depression, died aged 27 in April 1994.

A portion of the proceeds will go to Kicking The Stigma, a mental health awareness initiative.

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