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Smashed Kurt Cobain guitar sells for almost £500,000

An electric guitar smashed by Kurt Cobain in a recording studio has sold for almost PS500,000 at auction.

The black Fender Stratocaster, which was damaged during the making of Nirvana‘s hit album Nevermind, sold for $595,900 (PS479,751) – more than 10 times its original estimate.

Cobain smashed the instrument while recording Endless, Nameless, the hidden final track on the 1991 album.

It was later reassembled but cannot be played.


But the six-string does feature the signature of Cobain, along with bandmates Krist Novoselic and Dave Grohl.

It also includes an inscription by Cobain addressed to the late Screaming Trees singer Mark Lanegan, who died last year at the age of 57.

Cobain wrote: “Hell-o Mark! Love, Your Pal, Kurdt Kobain [sic] washed up rock star”.

More on Kurt Cobain

Image: Kurt Cobain’s message to fellow singer and friend Mark Lanegan

The American singer also scratched “Boddah Lives” on the neck plate on the back of the instrument – a reference to his imaginary childhood friend.

The guitar, which was sold by Julien’s Auctions at the Hard Rock Cafe in New York over the weekend, was given to Lanegan during Nirvana’s Nevermind tour in late 1992.

A handwritten setlist from the band’s debut performance of Smells Like Teen Spirit also sold at the same auction for $50,800 (PS40,900).

Cobain, who took his own life in 1994 at the age of 27, smashed a string of guitars during his career.

The sale comes after a 1969 Fender Mustang, which Cobain once described as his favourite guitar “in the whole world” – and which was used in the music video for Smells Like Teen Spirit – sold for PS3.5m at auction last year.


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