Kurt Cobain’s Oldest Smashed Guitar Fetches Nearly $500K At An Auction

Smashing a guitar on stage is about the most rock and roll thing a musician can do. And nobody did it quite as vigorously (and often) as Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain. In fact, Cobain’s on-stage antics are so revered that what looks to be the oldest err…surviving, smashed guitar by the late guitarist just sold for almost $500K in an auction.

The smashed and autographed 1973 Fender Mustang was used by Cobain on Nirvana’s first-ever tour in 1989. It was one of the more than 1500 items available as part of Julien’s Auctions “Icons and Idols: Rock ‘N’ Roll” lot that was up for sale. It was estimated at $200,000 but sold for $486,400. Who says you can’t put a price on rock and roll history?

Other items in the auction included a pair of shades that Michael Jackson wore on the 1984 Victory Tour, Amy Winehouse’s hoodie, a Nicki Minaj Stage stage-worn cage body suit from 2010, and even some of Elvis Presley’s rings. But those netted anywhere from $320 (the Winehouse hoodie) to $3,520 (an Elvis ring) and couldn’t hold a candle to the half a mil that the Cobain guitar sold for.

The guitar was smashed in Pennsylvania after Nirvana played “Blew.” The listing explains that Cobain traded it to Hullabaloo‘s Sluggo Cawley for a smashed Gibson SG. Cawley asked Cobain to sign the guitar, which he did and wrote, “Yo Sluggo, thank [sic] for the trade. If it’s illegal to Rock and Roll, then throw my a** in jail/Nirvana.”