The guitar Kurt Cobain played in the “Smells Like Teen Spirit” video is going up for sale.

Kurt Cobain was a fan of the Fender Mustang, a solid body guitar that began production in 1964 as a beginner/student model (specifically, a redesign of the Musicmaster). It was shorter than the Stratocaster by about an inch-and-a-half, making it somewhat easier to play for new guitarists. After it was canceled in 1982, it began to take on a weird cult status, especially with alt-rock bands.

Kurt Cobain became a big fan. The Mustang turned into his favourite guitar. He owned two of them.

That’s a left-handed 1969 Mustang in this video finished in Lake Placid Blue.

That exact guitar (including the original strap and case) will go up for auction next month through Julien’s with a (probably stupidly low) guide price of between $US600,000 and $US$800,000. The seller–listed as “Cobain’s family”–says that a chunk of the proceeds will be donated to a mental health charity called Kicking The Stigma.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

One thought on “The guitar Kurt Cobain played in the “Smells Like Teen Spirit” video is going up for sale.

  • April 12, 2022 at 11:55 am
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    Hi Alan,

    Near the end of the video, Kurt is brandishing a broken guitar. I always thought he destroyed the guitar during the video shoot. Is he using a placebo of sorts? Just curious if you knew.

    Reply

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