Kurt Cobain’s ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ guitar could nab $800K at auction



Smells like big money.

The guitar that Kurt Cobain played in Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” music video is set to go to auction — and, hello, hello, hello, early estimates are not low.

The iconic blue guitar from the band’s iconic ’90s hit is headed to the block next month, and it’s expected to fetch bids as high as $800,000

“Smells Like Teen Spirit” went on to become an anthem of a generation and the grunge movement, which took in Cobain’s scruffy rock star persona and crowned him king.

The left-handed 1969 Fender Mustang is arguably one of the most famous in rock and roll history, according to Martin Nolan, the executive director of Julien’s Auctions.

“This is one of the most iconic guitars ever to come to the auction block; this is the blue Mustang Fender guitar, one of Kurt Cobain’s favorite guitars of all time,” Nolan told Reuters.

“The guitar comes with its original case and, also, the guitar strap, so that’s … really important to collectors when they come to the auction to know the originality,” Nolan added.

Cobain’s 1965 Dodge Dart, which he nicknamed “Baby Blue,” is estimated to sell for as much as $600,000. Julien’s AuctionsNolan noted that while the price range is approximated between $600,000 to $800,000, he explained that it’s “a very conservative auction estimate” for an item of this caliber in music history.

“To see this fabled guitar, one of the most culturally significant and historically important guitars not only of Kurt Cobain and Nirvana’s legacy but in all of rock music history, come to our auction house has been one of our greatest privileges and most distinguished honors,” said Darren Julien, who is the president and chief executive officer of the auction house.

He noted that the guitar has stayed with the family since Cobain’s tragically infamous death in 1994. A portion of the proceeds will go to Kicking the Stigma, a mental health charity, in conjunction with Mental Health Awareness Month in May.

The firm’s Music Icons auction will take place in New York and online between May 20 and 22. It will also feature a number of other lots — among them, Cobain’s only known surviving car, a 1965 Dodge Dart he nicknamed “Baby Blue,” which is expected to fetch between $400,000 to $600,000. Also up for grabs: some of Cobain’s original artwork, including a painting of Michael Jackson and his illustration for the 1985 Iron Maiden “Killers” skateboard deck.

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