Kurt Cobain’s ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ Guitar Could Sell For $800,000 At Auction

“Out of all the guitars in the whole world, the Fender Mustang is my favorite,” Cobain said of his famous six-string.

The guitar seen slung around Kurt Cobain’s shoulders in Nirvana’s iconic “Smells Like Teen Spirit” video could be yours.

(Left: YouTube/Nirvana, Right: Julien’s Auctions)

This 1969 Fender Mustang is arguably one of the most recognizable guitars of all time. The left-handed six-string in Competition Lake Placid blue was featured in the video for the grunge anthem that catapulted the genre into the mainstream with its depiction of a high school pep rally-turned-punk show and legendary four-chord riff.

At well over 1.4 billion views, it’s one of just six 1990s music videos to break the 1 billion mark, ET Canada reports.

In Cobain’s final interview with Guitar World, he explained why this particular Fender model was his favorite.

“I’m left-handed, and it’s not very easy to find reasonably priced, high-quality left-handed guitars. But out of all the guitars in the whole world, the Fender Mustang is my favorite. I’ve only owned two of them.” 

Nevertheless, it still fell victim to rock star antics. The music mag adds that the late Nirvana frontman smashed his beloved axe on a mixing board at a Dallas show in 1991, resulting in a broken neck joint that required repair.

Cobain’s Fender Mustang was also featured in The Guitar Collection, a coffee table book featuring 150 elite instruments strummed by legendary players including John Lennon, Eric Clapton Jimmy Page, Emmylou Harris and others.

And because it’s 2022, there’s also an NFT involved—here’s more from Julien’s Auctions:

Additionally, on offer will be an exclusive NFT (Non Fungible Token) with a minted narration as part of this NFT by Cobain’s long time guitar tech, Earnie Bailey discussing the historical significance of this preeminent guitar (estimate: $6,000 – $8,000).

A 360°digital representation of the Fender guitar, this NFT, a unique and non-interchangeable unit of data stored on the blockchain, is a 1 of 1 Edition where the winner of this item will share in that exclusivity of Cobain history as the sole owner of the NFT.

The “Smells Like Teen Spirit” Fender Mustang is expected to sell for $600,000-$800,000. A sizable sum, but nowhere near as pricey as the $6 million that the 1959 Martin D-18E played by Cobain during Nirvana’s MTV Unplugged live show netted at another Julien’s Auctions event in 2020.

It’s just one piece of Cobain memorabilia up for grabs at the auction house’s Music Icons sale, scheduled for May 20-22 at the Hard Rock Cafe New York.

The only known surviving automobile owned Cobain, a 1965 Dodge Dart 170 sedan nicknamed “Baby Blue,” is valued at $400,000-$600,000; an Iron Maiden skatedeck drawn by Cobain is valued at $20,000-$40,000; and Cobain’s caricature-style portrait of Michael Jackson is valued at $40,000-$60,000.