Kurt Cobain's Smashed 1973 Fender Mustang Auctions for Almost $500,000 USD

The instrument was owned, played on stage and also signed by the late frontman.

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A 1973 Fender Mustang guitar smashed by Nirvana‘s Kurt Cobain has sold for $486,400 USD over at Julien’s Auctions.

In addition to being smashed, the tobacco sunburst-finished electric guitar was owned, played on stage and signed by the late frontman, inscribing “Yo Sluggo / Thank for the trade/ If its illegal to Rock and Roll, then throw my ass in jail/ Nirvana” and two flower drawings by the upper right portion of the pickguard. The $486,400 USD price tag received a total of 17 bids and surpassed its initial estimated price of $200,000 USD to $400,000 USD.

During Nirvana’s first US tour in support of their 1989 debut album Bleach, Cobain “began to express his joy by smashing a new guitar at every show.” He played this specific Fender Mustang twice during that year, first at Club Dreamerz in Chicago, Illinois on July 8 and then at the Sonic Temple in Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania on July 9, when Cobain smashed the guitar on stage during a performance of “Blew.” The instrument was then traded for Sluggo Cawley’s smashed Gibson SG a few days later, with Cobain under the impression that the Gibson SG can be fixed enough for him to smash it a second time.

“Kurt asked me if he could have the smashed Gibson SG I had hanging on my wall. So I said, Sure, but now I won’t have one for my wall. Kurt replied, I’ll be right back. He went out to their van and presented me a 1973 Fender Mustang that he deemed beyond repair.” He continues, “In sort of mock guitar hero worship, I asked him to sign it for me,” Cawley shared during an interview with Innocent Words in February 2020.

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