Kurt Cobain’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” Fender Mustang Guitar Goes Up For Auction Today
The conservative estimated going rate for the 1969 Fender Mustang guitar with Competition Lake Placid blue finish is $600,000-$800,000, but before the auction even officially started bids were up to $2 million, so it will go for much higher. Another one of Cobain’s guitars (his Martin D-18E, which he used in Unplugged) holds the record for the most expensive guitar ever auctioned — it sold for $6,010,000 in 2020.
(UPDATE (5/22): The guitar ended up being sold for $4.5 million to the Jim Irsay Collection of Indianapolis.)
In an interview with Guitar World in 1991, Cobain talked about the guitar now up for auction: “I’m left-handed, and it’s not very easy to find reasonably priced, high-quality left-handed guitars. But out of all the guitars in the whole world, the Fender Mustang is my favorite. I’ve only owned two of them.”
Also up for auction is a 1965 Dodge Dart 170 4-door sedan that’s the only known surviving car owned and driven by Cobain. The car has been owned by Cobain’s sister Kim for the last 28 years, who bought it from Courtney Love. The vehicle will come with original license plates and a title showing ownership by Cobain and Love. That’s estimated to net between $400,000 and $600,000. Other items include a skateboard deck with an Iron Maiden illustration drawn by Cobain, a Cobain drawing of Michael Jackson, a Gumby Pokey toy that was owned by Cobain and has “Nirvana” written on the side, and some all-access passes that Cobain used.
There will also be some (groan) NFTs up for auction: one relating to the Fender Mustang that features Nirvana guitar tech Earnie Bailey talking about the significance of the guitar and a 360-degree view of the guitar (but, of course, no physical guitar). There will also be an NFT sold of the green short-sleeve sweater that Cobain wears in the “Smells Like Teen Spirit” video, though the sweater itself is not up for auction. Also up for auction is an NFT of a pair of black Converse shoes owned by Cobain that have “Fuhgawz” and “Foogauzie” written on them — again, no actual shoe.
Check out some photos of the items up for auction below. If you have that kind of money (congrats — also, send me some?), you can head over here.