Kurt Cobain: Guitar smashed by Nirvana frontman sells for nearly $600,000

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There’s Nothing Suspicious About Misspelling Cobain’s Name

A guitar smashed by the late frontman of US rock band Nirvana, Kurt Cobain, has sold at auction for almost $600,000 (£480,000).

The busted black Fender Stratocaster was expected to sell for a tenth of that amount at Saturday’s auction at the Hard Rock Cafe in New York.

Cobain, who took his own life in 1994, was known for his intense performances.

The guitar was destroyed when Nirvana was working on their break-out album Nevermind in the early 1990s.

It has been put back together but is no longer playable.

The instrument is signed in silver marker by all three band members. It also includes an affectionate inscription by Cobain to his friend and musical collaborator Mark Lanegan – who had died the previous year.

Cobain, who often misspelled his name, signed the instrument “Kardt Cobain”.

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Cobain gained worldwide fame as the creative force behind Nirvana in the early 1990s.

The grunge pioneer is known to have lashed several Fender Stratocasters during his career.

“The guy was angry, and you could feel it on stage. And you could feel it in the way he treated his equipment,” Cody Fredericks of Julian’s Auctions told the AFP news agency.

The Fender Stratocaster went on sale with an estimated price of $60,000-$80,000. Julian called the closing bid of $596,900 “astonishing”.

According to the auction house, Cobain gave the guitar to Lanegan during the North American leg of Nirvana’s Nevermind tour in 1992.

The identity of the buyer is not known. The auctioneer names the previous owner as Tony Palmer.

Two years earlier, the acoustic guitar Cobain used for his famous MTV Unplugged performance in late 1993 sold for $6m.

Julian’s ongoing three-day sale also features memorabilia from other music legends including Elvis Presley, Freddie Mercury, Janet Jackson and Dolly Parton. It ends on Sunday.

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