Billionaire Snatches Up Kurt Cobain's 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' Guitar For Eye-watering Sum

Published At: 25 May 2022 , 11:34 AM

im Irsay, the owner of one of the biggest guitar collections on Earth, has splurged a massive US$4.5 million on Kurt Cobain's iconic 1969 Fender Mustang.

The guitar was used by the lead singer of Nirvana in the 1991 video for their smash hit, Smells Like Teen Spirit. Cobain openly said the guitar was one of the best he had the honour of playing.

“I’m left-handed, and it’s not very easy to find reasonably priced, high-quality left-handed guitars,” he said in an interview with Guitar World in 1991.

“But out of all the guitars in the whole world, the Fender Mustang is my favourite. I’ve only owned two of them.”

The electric blue Fender was worth an estimated $600,000, before selling for 7.5 times that value. Interesting for a guitar that was owned by an artist who famously hated the capitalist system.

Irsay is the owner and chief executive of American Football Team, The Indianapolis Colts. A portion of the sale will benefit not-for-profit initiative Kicking The Stigma, which aims to remove the stigma around mental health disorders.

“Kurt Cobain was as great an artistic and cultural force as any performer in the last 30 years, and this auction celebrates his and Nirvana’s indelible contributions to rock music and popular culture,” the purchaser stated.

“We are humbled and grateful that a portion of this auction’s proceeds will benefit Kicking The Stigma and our efforts to bring the issue of mental health out of the darkness and into the light.”

The Fender isn't the only prized guitar that Irsay owns, also owning a black Stratocaster from Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour which he purchased for US$3.9 million, Bob Dylan’s Strat for US$965,000 and more.

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