Kurt Cobain’s ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ guitar up for auction


A portion of the proceeds will be donated to charity

Julien’s Auctions has announced that the Fender Mustang electric guitar played by Kurt Cobain in Nirvana’s iconic “Smells Like Teen Spirit” music video will be publicly auctioned for the first time as part of their three-day Music Icons auction which will take place taking place Friday, May 20, Saturday, May 21, and Sunday, May 22 at Hard Rock Cafe New York and online.

In honor of Mental Health Awareness Month coming up in May, a portion of the proceeds from the auction of this legendary guitar and select Kurt Cobain items will benefit “Kicking The Stigma”, the Colts’ national initiative. of Indianapolis and the Jim Irsay family to raise awareness about mental health disorders and eliminate the stigma too often associated with these illnesses.

In its now classic opening riff, Nirvana’s single “Smells Like Teen Spirit” created a seismic shift in the musical universe by heralding the alternative/grunge era of the 90s and becoming one of the songs and music videos most iconic of all. weather. The Gen X anthem from their second album It doesn’t matter which celebrated its 30th anniversary last fall, transformed the underground Seattle-based trio of Kurt Cobain, Krist Novoselic and Dave Grohl overnight into the biggest band in the world, bursting onto the music scene and into the air pop culture time with a burst of energy unlike anything felt or seen before in rock history. The song issued a call to arms for teenage rebellion that was punctuated by the intensity of Cobain’s unforgettable performance in the legendary video and its powerful imagery of anarchy and alienation that would later define the grunge revolution. The video depicting a high school pep rally turning into a mosh pit frenzy was quietly released on September 29, 1991, on MTV. 120 minutesand propelled the band stratospherically to stardom with It doesn’t matter going gold just five weeks after its release.

Julien’s Auctions is proud to present the electric guitar that changed music and the world – one of the most important and iconic guitars owned and played by Kurt Cobain that will ever be auctioned. The conservative starting estimate for Cobain’s 1969 Fender Mustang left-handed guitar in Competition Lake Placid blue finish with matching headstock is estimated to be between $600,000 and $800,000.

In Cobain’s final interview with Guitar World, he spoke about his taste for the guitar: “I’m left-handed, and it’s not very easy to find high-quality left-handed guitars at reasonable prices. But of all the guitars in the world, the Fender Mustang is my favorite. I only owned two. The guitar has been prominently displayed at Seattle’s Experience Music Project, now named MoPOP Museum of Pop Culture, for the past 12 years and has also been photographed and featured in the prestigious The Guitar Collection, limited-edition high-end photography collector. book containing 150 of the most elite guitars of all time, including guitars played and used by legends John Lennon, Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, Emmylou Harris, and more.

Additionally, an exclusive NFT (Non Fungible Token) will be offered with a narration struck as part of this NFT by longtime Cobain guitar tech Earnie Bailey discussing the historical significance of this preeminent guitar (estimate: 6 $000 – $8000). A 360° digital representation of the Fender guitar, this NFT, a unique, non-interchangeable unit of data stored on the blockchain, is a 1 of 1 edition where the winner of this article will share this exclusive to Cobain history as sole owner of the NFT.

Another highlight of the auction will be Cobain’s 1965 Dodge Dart 170 4-door sedan, the only known surviving car owned and driven by the famous musician. The affectionate name “Baby Blue” is conservatively estimated between $400,000 and $600,000 and will come with an exclusive NFT from the collection of Kurt’s sister, Kim Cobain, who has owned the car for 28 years. Cobain’s 1965 Dodge Dart 170 4-Door Sedan, the light blue Dodge, was detailed in the 1994 book Heavier Than Heaven: A Biography of Kurt Cobain by Charles R. Cross, as in this excerpt: “Kurt and Courtney were arguing when they took a taxi to the American Dream car lot. He bought a sky blue 1965 Dodge Dart for $2,500. Kurt was not interested in a remarkable vehicle, even as a famous musician and this car would serve more than just transportation, as he saw the art in the design of older vehicles. Kim bought the car from Courtney Love after Kurt died, and the vehicle retains much of its originality to this day. The working vehicle has a new water pump, gas tank, heater core and radiator repairs, which Kim personally worked on alongside her mechanic. Also included are the vehicle’s original license plates along with the Dodge Dart and a vehicle title showing ownership by Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love.

Another artifact tied to the “Smells Like Teen Spirit” lore will be an NFT of Kurt Cobain’s signature Fetalini green striped short-sleeved shirt, owned and personally worn, which was featured in Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” music video. (estimate: $6,000 – $8,000). The medium-sized, 100% acrylic sweater has remained in the Cobain family since it was owned by Kurt and was given to his mother after the music video and accompanying performance was completed. The sweater’s exclusive NFT will come to life through exclusive audio narration by Kim Cobain, which is minted as part of this NFT. 360° digital representation of the sweater, this NFT is a 1 of 1 edition of the physical item and does not include the physical item owned by Kim Cobain. The winner of this article will share this exclusive from Cobain’s story as the sole owner of the NFT.

A standout NFT offering from Kim Cobain’s collection will be a 360° digital representation with his exclusive audio narration on a pair of black canvas Converse Jack Purcell shoes that belonged and were worn by Kurt Cobain (estimate: $2,000-$4,000 $) with the left shoe that reads “Fuhgawz” and the right shoe “Foogauzie”. Cobain is rumored to have written “Fuhgawz” on his left shoe in reference to Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder who purposely misspelled “Fugazi” on his shirt before a photo shoot. The shoes can be seen worn in numerous photographs and videos of Kurt Cobain, including at the 1993 MTV Music Awards. This NFT is a 1 of 1 edition of the physical item and does not include the physical item. Kim Cobain is the owner of the physical object. The winner of this article will share this exclusive from Cobain’s story as the sole owner of the NFT.

Other outstanding Kurt Cobain highlights include (with estimates):

Kurt Cobain’s 1985 Iron Maiden skateboard artwork “Killers” personally drawn with Iron Maiden mascot “Eddie” plus NFT ($20,000-$40,000). During this time, Kurt aimed to create custom artwork on skateboard decks and t-shirts in order to earn money. In a Letter of Authenticity, a friend of the skateboard owner who witnessed the artwork’s completion noted that “Kurt was staying with my parents on 1st Street in Aberdeen, Washington,” and that is where he created this piece. An exclusive NFT of Kim Cobain’s collection, featuring a 360° digital representation of the skateboard deck with exclusive audio narration by Kim Cobain accompanies the sale of the physical item.

Michael Jackson’s Original Cobain Artwork plus NFT ($40,000-$60,000). His drawing of Michael Jackson wearing a red jacket, single white glove and sunglasses features Cobain’s signature in the lower right corner. An exclusive NFT of Kim Cobain’s collection, featuring an animated digital representation of the artwork with Kim Cobain’s exclusive audio narration accompanies the sale of the physical item.

Cobain personally owned all of the 1993 Nirvana In Utero concert tour passes ($1,000-$2,000).

Cobain’s original United Airlines boarding pass for a flight from Seattle, Washington to O’Hare International Airport in Chicago, Illinois on April 20 (flight year unknown). ($400-$600).

A Nirvana Nevermind tour calendar for their 1992 Australian tour which was personally owned by Kurt Cobain. This calendar highlights show and flight times, accommodation, venue details and daily itineraries, a diagram of the first big day in Sydney, Australia on Saturday 25th January 1992, showing details such as restroom locations, t-shirt vendors, food and skate ramp locations ($1,000-$2,000).

Cobain’s personally owned Pokey toy, the Gumby clay animation series bendable figure with “Nirvana” written on one side ($2,000-$3,000).

Cobain personally owned a tour pass for the August 1992 Nirvana album Nevermind with the now iconic cover of the It doesn’t matter album as well as writing, “Aust. Tour ’92/Access All Areas ($1,000-$2,000).

Cobain’s Nevermind Personal Travel Itinerary, Nirvana Backstage Pass, Planet Ticket Stub, and more (range $300-$2,000 each bundle).

The Irsays launched Kicking The Stigma in late 2020 to raise awareness of mental health disorders and eliminate the stigma often associated with these illnesses. Through national public service announcements, poignant digital content from athletes, celebrities and influencers, and newly created Kicking The Stigma Action Grants, the effort garnered national attention by highlighting light and normalizing the conversation surrounding mental health. Through grants and personal donations from the Irsays, more than $16 million has been committed to raising awareness and helping nonprofits and other organizations expand mental health treatment and research in Indiana and beyond.

Julien’s Auctions made headlines around the world with the sale of Kurt Cobain’s MTV unplugged 1959 Martin D-18E electro-acoustic guitar, which sold for $6 million in 2020, making it the world’s most expensive guitar ever sold at auction and earning Julien his third Guinness Book placement world records. Julien’s broke records with the sale of Kurt Cobain memorabilia, including Cobain’s cardigan worn on MTV Unplugged in New York, which sold for a record $334,000, his Fender Mustang guitar from the In Utero tour which sold for $340,000, a cartoonish self-portrait drawn by Cobain of himself playing the guitar signed “Kurdt Kobain Rock Star” which sold for over $281,000, his cardigan worn in his last photo shoot which sold for $75,000 and a handwritten list of Nirvana paper plates by Cobain which sold for a record $22,400.

Fans can also get a chance to view these rock’n’roll artifacts at Julien’s Auctions Gallery in Beverly Hills from April 11-15, in the Hard Rock Cafe Piccadilly Circus window display in London from April 28-May 3 and then at the Hard Rock Café in Times Square New York May 16-20 before the auction.


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