The 1969 Fender Guitar Kurt Cobain Used in Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” Video Sold at Auction for $4.5M

Adrian GarroCategories:Latest News

Rock Cellar Magazine

The blue 1969 Fender Mustang Kurt Cobain of Nirvana used in his band’s genre-busting, decade-defining and legendary music video for 1991’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” just sold at auction for a mighty sum of $4,550,000.

The guitar, which sold via Julien’s Auctions to the Jim Irsay Collection in Indianapolis, was estimated by Julien’s to reach $600,000 – $800,000, attaining 27 bids in total that ultimately drove the total higher and higher.

CBS News noted that the Cobain family, which owned the guitar before it sold, is donating some of the proceeds to Kicking The Stigma, the Irsays’ initiative to raise awareness about mental health, according to the collection. 

Here’s the guitar in action:

In addition to featuring in the “Teen Spirit” video, this particular Fender guitar was used by Kurt Cobain in the studio sessions for both the Nevermind and In Utero albums, as well as numerous prominent Nirvana live performances, according to Julien’s, making it an especially noteworthy bit of Nirvana memorabilia.

Irsay, who purchased the guitar to add to his prominent collection of music memorabilia, is owner and CEO of the NFL’s Indianapolis Colts.

“I am thrilled to preserve and protect another piece of American culture that changed the way we listened to and looked at the world,” Irsay said in a statement. “The fact that a portion of the proceeds will go toward our effort to kick the stigma surrounding mental illnesses makes this acquisition even more special to me.”

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