Kurt Cobain’s ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ Fender Mustang Guitar Sells for $4.5 Million at Auction

Kurt Cobain’s ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ Fender Mustang Guitar Sells for $4.5 Million at Auction

Yesterday, the late Kurt Cobain’s Fender Mustang, seen in Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” video, released September 10, 1991, sold for $4.5 million at auction in New York.

The guitar was auctioned off by Julien’s Auctions which initially listed the guitar’s estimated value at between $600,000 and $800,000. According to Associated Press, The Lake Placid Blue 1969 Fender Competition Mustang was owned by the Cobain family and was on display as part of Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay’s rock memorabilia collection prior to the auction. It was Irsay who made the winning bid at Sunday’s auction to personally and officially own the guitar. The Cobain family will donate a portion of the sale to the Colts’ Kicking The Stigma mental health awareness campaign.

“I am thrilled to preserve and protect another piece of American culture that has changed the way we see the world,” Irsay said. “The fact that a portion of the proceeds will go towards our efforts to fight the stigma around mental health makes this acquisition even more special to me.”

During his career, Cobain was known for playing Mustang guitars and smashing them on stage, even if the guitars he destroyed were out of tune and hastily assembled.

“Of all the guitars in the world, the Fender Mustang is my favorite. They’re cheap and totally inefficient, and they sound like crap and are very small,” Cobain said in a 1991 interview with guitar world.

According to the Associated Press article, Isray planned to place an opening bid of $2 million on the guitar upfront, but ended up spending $5 million to buy the guitar, because he knew it would be worth it. was for a good cause.

Watch “Smells Like Teen Spirit” below.

Back To Top