Guitar played by Kurt Cobain in “Smells Like Teen Spirit” video fetches $4.55 million at memorabilia auction

Guitar played by Kurt Cobain in “Smells Like Teen Spirit” video fetches .55 million at memorabilia auction
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The guitar that Kurt Cobain played in Nirvana‘s iconic “Smells Like Teen Spirit” video, a 1969 left-handed Fender Mustang with a Lake Placid Blue finish, sold for $4.55 million during Julien’s Auctions’ latest “Music Icons” memorabilia sale, held over the weekend.

The instrument was purchased by Indianapolis Colts owner and renowned music-memorabilia collector Jim Irsay‘s The Jim Irsay Collection after a bidding war with other participants live at New York City’s Hard Rock Café, online at and via the phone.

In commemoration of Mental Health Awareness Month, the Cobain family is donating some proceeds from the guitar’s sale and other Kurt-related items that were auctioned to Kicking the Stigma, an initiative launched by the Irsay family to raise awareness about mental health disorders.

“I am thrilled to preserve and protect another piece of American culture that changed the way we looked at world,” says Irsay. “The fact that a portion of the proceeds will go toward our effort to kick the stigma surrounding mental health makes this acquisition even more special to me.”

Meanwhile, a 1965 Dodge Dart that Cobain owned and drove was auctioned for $375,000.

Other historic instruments that sold during the auction, which was held May 20, 21 and 22, included Rush member Alex Lifeson‘s custom-built 1976 Gibson ES-355TD guitar, known as “Whitey,” and a 1964 Fender Jazzmaster guitar once owned by Jimi Hendrix. Both guitars sold for $384,000.

A variety of guitars owned by Lifeson were sold at the auction, including five others that fetched at least $112,000, among them a 1970 Gibson Les Paul electric model that Alex played on most of the band’s albums during the mid-to-late 1970s that sold for $224,000.

Visit for full details about the auction.

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