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Hello, hello, hello, how high will you go to entertain yourself?

Lifestyle

Hello, hello, hello, how high will you go to entertain yourself?

Kurt Cobain’s guitar in Nirvana’s ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ video is expected to fetch nearly R12m on auction

Omar Younis
Kurt Cobain committed suicide on April 5 1994.
DRAINED Kurt Cobain committed suicide on April 5 1994.
Image: Supplied

The iconic blue guitar Kurt Cobain rocked out with in Nirvana’s seminal 1990s music video Smells Like Teen Spirit is expected to fetch up to $800,000 (about R11.7m) when it is auctioned next month. 

With Smells Like Teen Spirit racking up more than 1.4-billion views on YouTube, the 1969 blue Fender is arguably one of the most famous in rock, said Martin Nolan, executive director of Julien’s Auctions in the US.

The guitar comes with its original case and guitar strap, so that’s ... really important to collectors when they come to the auction to know the originality.
Martin Nolan, Julien’s Auctions

“This is one of the most iconic guitars ever to come to the auction block. This is the blue Mustang Fender guitar, one of Kurt Cobain's favourite guitars of all time,” said Nolan, standing beside a display of Cobain memorabilia at the auction house’s Beverly Hills showroom.

“The guitar comes with its original case and guitar strap, so that’s ... really important to collectors when they come to the auction to know the originality,” said Nolan, who noted that the guitar has stayed with the family since Cobain’s death in 1994.

The guitar is the star lot in the auction house’s Music Icons sale, taking place in New York and online from May 20 to 22.

Nolan said the auction house has conservatively estimated a price range for the guitar of $600,000 (about R8.8m) to $800,000, but said “that’s a very conservative auction estimate”.

A portion of the proceeds will go to a mental health charity, he added.

The auction also features an original Cobain artwork of Michael Jackson that is expected to fetch up to $40,000 (about R580,000) and one of his cars, a 1965 Dodge Dart, expected to fetch between $400,000 (about R5.8m) to $600,000.

— Reuters

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