A classic piece of Kurt Cobain memorabilia went under the gavel this weekend at Julien’s Auctions and raked in huge bucks. The Fender Stratocaster signed by the late Nirvana singer and former bandmates Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic — which had been smashed to bits by the singer and reassembled — sold for nearly $600,000 after initially being listed for $60,000.
Julien’s said before the $595,000 sale that the instrument was splintered by Cobain on stage during Nirvana’s Nevermind album era and that it was put back together afterward, but was unplayable. In addition to the trio’s signatures, the guitar also has a message to pal Screaming Trees singer Mark Lanegan from Kurt that read, “Hell-o mark! Love, Your Pal, Kurdt Kobain/ Washed up rockstar.”
The black guitar’s neck plate featured an engraving reading “Boddah Lives,” in reference to Cobain’s imaginary childhood friend and came in a black hard case with the inscription “Abort Christ.” According to a description, Cobain gave the busted guitar to Lanegan in the fall of 1992 during the North American leg of the Nevermind tour. In describing its condition, Julien’s noted that it had been “smashed and reassembled” and that “aside from the broken neck there are many marks and signs of use and abuse including chunks of wood missing from the bottom rear of the body.”
That wasn’t the only high-ticket Nirvana item that went in the auction. A bidder also paid big bucks for a setlist from the band’s April 17, 1991 show at the OK Hotel in Seattle, Washington, which sold for $50,800, from the show that featured the live debut of their soon-to-be-iconic breakthrough hit, “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” which was released in November of that year.
Last May the iconic left-handed 1969 Fender Mustang guitar played by Cobain in the 1991 video for “Smells Like Teen Spirit” sold for $4.5 million.
See a picture of the guitar below.