Kurt Cobain’s ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ guitar sold for $4.6 million at auction

Jim Irsay, owner and chief executive of the Indianapolis Colts, bought his own piece of grunge history for $4.6 million

Kurt Cobain’s 1969 Fender Mustang guitar went for $4.6 million at auction this weekend – the equivalent of £3.6 million. The guitar is most famous for its appearance in Nirvana’s ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ music video, and also features on recordings for Nevermind and In Utero. It was used in live performances by Cobain many times and has been displayed at Seattle’s Museum of Pop Culture.

The instrument was originally expected to sell for $600,000, but Jim Irsay paid much more than that to add it to his collection.

Nirvana - Smells Like Teen Spirit (Official Music Video)

“To have this legendary guitar, one of the most culturally significant and historically important guitars of Kurt Cobain and in all of rock music history, return to my home state of Indiana to be part of Jim Irsay’s renowned memorabilia collection is a great honour and personal highlight of my life,” said Julien’s Auctions President and CEO Darren Julien.

Cobain’s estate have announced that a portion of the proceeds will go to Irsay’s mental health initiative Kicking The Stigma.

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