Julien’s Auctions‘ three-day blockbuster music auction event “music icons” which took place on Friday May 20th, Saturday May 21st and Sunday May 22nd culminated today in the much-anticipated sale of the mythical electric guitar that changed music and the world: Kurt Cobain‘s 1969 Fender Mustang electric guitar NIRVANA‘s breakthrough hit and seminal music video from 1991 “Smells like Teen Spirit”.
One of the most important and iconic guitars she owns and plays Kurt Cobain Ever auctioned, it sold for $4.5 million, far exceeding its original estimate of $600,000. The guitar was purchased from The Jim Irish Collection in Indianapolis in a bidding war between collectors and bidders around the world, participating live at the Hard Rock Cafe New York, online at juliensauctions.com and over the phone. In honor of Mental Health Awareness Month, the cobain Family donates a portion of proceeds from legendary guitar and votes Kurt Cobain article to Kicking the stigmathat I say‘ initiative to raise awareness of mental health disorders and remove the stigma associated with these diseases. Through donations and personal donations from Irsay Family has provided more than $16 million to local and national organizations to expand treatment, research and awareness in Indiana and beyond.
“I’m thrilled to preserve and protect another piece of American culture that has changed the way we see the world,” he said Jim Irsayowner and manager of NFL‘s Indianapolis Colts. “The fact that a portion of the proceeds will go towards our efforts to remove the stigma surrounding mental health makes this acquisition even more special to me.”
“To have this legendary guitar, one of the most culturally significant and historically significant guitars ever Kurt Cobain and to return to my home state of Indiana throughout rock music history to be a part of it Jim IrsayThe prestigious collection of memorabilia is a great honor and a personal highlight of my life,” he said Darren JulienPresident/CEO of Julien’s Auctions who hails from Auburn, Indiana. “This one-off auction has been one of the greatest privileges of my professional career and I am delighted that the proceeds will also benefit much-needed attention to mental health awareness.”
NIRVANA‘s breakout hit single “Smells like Teen Spirit” created a seismic shift in the musical universe and a cultural moment in history, ushering in the alternative/grunge era of the ’90s and becoming one of the most iconic songs and music videos of all time. The Generation X anthem from their second album “Doesn’t matter” which celebrated its 30th anniversary last fall, transformed the Seattle underground trio Kurt Cobain, Krist Novoselic and Dave Grohl overnight in the biggest band in the world. The song provided a call to arms for a teenage rebellion that was punctuated by the intensity of cobain‘s memorable performance in the iconic video and powerful imagery of anarchy and alienation that would go on to define the grunge revolution. The video, which shows a high school pep rally turning into a mosh pit frenzy, quietly debuted on September 29, 1991 MTV‘s “120 minutes” and stratospherically drove the band to superstardom “Doesn’t matter” turning gold just five weeks after its release.
cobain considered this 1969 Fender Mustang, a left-handed Competition Lake Placid Blue finish guitar with matching headstock, to be one of his favorite guitars and said so in his last interview guitar world: “I’m left-handed, and it’s not easy to find cheap, high-quality left-handed guitars. But of all the guitars around the world, the Fender Mustang is my favorite. I’ve only owned two of them.” The guitar was also used in the recording studio during the two “Doesn’t matter” and “in utero” Recording sessions as well as numerous prominent live performances. It was prominently displayed at Seattle’s Experience Music Project, now called the MoPOP Museum of Pop Culture, photographed, and selected for the acclaimed The Guitar Collection.
Other rare and sensational items personally owned and used by the famous musician and sold today were (with estimates): cobain‘s 1965 “Baby Blue” Dodge Dart 170 4-door sedan – the only known surviving car owned and driven by him Kurt Cobain ($375,000). The sale of the light blue Dodge was accompanied by an exclusive NFT from the collection Kurts sister Kim Cobain who owned the car for the past 28 years; cobain‘s personally drawn 1985 IRON MAIDEN “Killers” Skateboard deck artwork featuring IRON MAIDEN mascot”Eddie” plus NFT accompanying the physical item ($35,200); cobain‘s original artwork by Michael Jackson plus NFT accompanying the physical item ($87,500) and more.
A collection of exclusive NFTs by Kurt Cobain Iconography were also highlights including: an NFT of Kurt Cobain‘s iconic personally worn green striped short sleeve sweater by Fetalini, which was featured in NIRVANA‘s “Smells like Teen Spirit” music video with Kim Cobain‘s exclusive audio commentary ($10,240) and a 360-degree digital rendition with Kim Cobain‘s exclusive audio commentary on a pair of black canvas Converse Jack Purcell shoes owned and worn by Kurt Cobain ($10,240) with the left shoe reading “Fuhgawz” and the right shoe reading “Foogauzie.”
Julien’s Auctions made headlines around the world with its sales Kurt Cobain‘s “MTV unplugged” 1959 Martin D-18E acoustic-electric guitar that sold for $6 million in 2020, making it the world’s most expensive guitar ever sold and collected at auction Julien’s his third place in the Guinness Book of World Records. Julien’s has broken records with sales Kurt Cobain‘s memorabilia including cobain‘s cardigan worn “MTV unplugged” in New York, which sold for a record $334,000 “in utero” Tour Fender Mustang guitar that sold for $340,000, a self-portrait caricature drawing by cobain of himself playing guitar, signed “Kurdt Kobain Rock Star” which sold for over $281,000, his cardigan he wore at his most recent photo shoot which sold for $75,000, and a NIRVANA Paper plate set list inscribed cobain‘s manuscript, which sold for a record $22,400.
Over 1,300 items have been sold at Julien’s Auctions‘ “music icons” Event this weekend at the Hard Rock Cafe New York which raised nearly $15,000,000 in total. The auction kicked off Friday with Property From The Archives Of Alex Lifeson, the record-breaking auction house for the stars’ tribute to one of progressive rock metal’s most influential music icons and guitar heroes. Over 100 lots of signature guitars, instruments, wardrobe, gear and memorabilia owned and used Alex Lifesonthe legendary Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame Guitarist and co-founder of HURRY, one of the best-selling progressive rock groups of all time, were offered to the public for the first time, shattering all original estimates. Highlights included (with winning bids): life son‘s most iconic and important guitar, “Whitey”, a ES-355TD electric guitar specially built for Gibson Alex Lifeson In the Gibson Factory in Kalamazoo and life son‘s main guitar from 1976-2015, all his time with HURRY, which sold for a staggering $384,000. This magnificent guitar was part of HURRY‘s most explosive era of creativity and legendary music: “A Farewell to Kings” (1977) to “Test for Echo” (1996) and can be seen being acted out by him life son on stage during all tours “A Farewell to Kings” (1977-1978) to “R40” (2015) also featured in most of RUSH’s accompanying music videos “A Farewell to Kings”, “hemispheres” and “Moving pictures”as well as “Show Don’t Tell” out of “Presto” (1989); his 1970 Gibson Les Paul electric guitar acquired from life son At HURRY‘s inaugural tour in 1974 and played extensively by life son to all HURRY Albums and tours by “night flight” and “2112” to “hemispheres” ($224,000); a 1981 Gibson Howard Roberts Fusion electric guitar that served as Alex Lifeson‘s main guitar on the 1981 “Moving pictures” Tour as well as on numerous tours throughout 2007 “Snakes and Arrows” Tour ($218,750); his modified white Fender Stratocaster electric guitar known as the “Hentor Sportscaster” used by life son recording most albums since “Moving pictures” (1981), in particular “Grace Under Pressure” (1984) and considered life son‘s favorite guitar for soloing, including soloing off HURRY‘s billboard blow “Spotlight” ($187,500); used his 1976 Gibson Dove acoustic guitar from life son to write “closer to the heart” and other songs from 1977 HURRY album “A Farewell to Kings” and played on numerous tours, including “A Farewell to Kings” (1977-1978),“hemispheres” (1978-1979) and “Moving pictures” (1981) ($128,000); a black 1991 Paul Reed Smith CE 24 electric guitar that served as life son‘s Main Guitar from 1991-2004 ($112,500); a 1976 Ovation classic guitar used by life son on tour 1994-2015 ($102,400); a 1957 Gibson Les Paul Gold Top electric guitar played by Alex Lifeson during a performance BIG SUGAR in 2017 ($128,000); a 2015 limited edition Gibson EDS-1275 double-neck electric guitar designed specifically for HURRY40th anniversary “R40” Tour and performed live by life son on songs that require both a six-string and twelve-string guitar, inclusive “xanadu” from the 1977 album “A Farewell to Kings” that sold for $89,600 and many more.
Other highlights of the marquee auction included (with their winning bids): a 1980 Gibson Les Paul Deluxe Electric Guitar, owned and “bath motor fingers” album played by SOUND GARDEN‘s Chris Cornell ($76,800); a spiral-bound Mead notebook containing 17 pages of handwritten text, doodles, and other personal notes by GUNS N’ ROSES‘ Axel Rose ($38,400); a Charvel EVH Art Series electric guitar, hand stripped and played on stage by Eddie van Halen ($57,600); a 14k white gold guitar SLASH pendant personally owned by Rychlik Designs slash ($16,000) and his 2006 Gibson Custom Shop Les Paul 1959 Reissue Electric Guitar ($51,200) and more.