Kurt Cobain’s ‘favourite’ guitar has been sold for a cool $4.5m (£3.5million) – with parts of the proceeds going to a mental health charity.
The late musician famously played the iconic blue 1969 Fender Mustang electric guitar in Nirvana’s music video for Smells Like Teen Spirit in 1991.
The left-handed guitar, in a Lake Placid blue finish, was sold off as part of Julien’s Auctions’ three-day Music Icons event which took place over the weekend at the Hard Rock Cafe in New York.
The winning bid came from billionaire Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay, who said the guitar will be the latest addition to his vast collection of memorabilia related to rock music, American history and pop culture.
In a statement, Jim announced: ‘I am thrilled to preserve and protect another piece of American culture that changed the way we looked at world.
‘The fact that a portion of the proceeds will go toward our effort to kick the stigma surrounding mental health makes this acquisition even more special to me.’
The Cobain family are said to be giving a portion of the sale to the NFL team’s Kicking The Stigma mental health awareness campaign, which will support expanded programming by Mental Health America Indiana, NAMI Greater Indianapolis, Project Healthy Minds and Bring Change to Mind.
The fund also will provide grants to other Indiana-based nonprofits working in education, support and advocacy of mental health.
Cobain died from a self-inflicted gun shot wound aged 27 in 1994.
Cobain spoke of his love of Mustang guitars back in ’91, telling Guitar world: ‘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 favourite.’
In a press statement, Julien’s Auctions president and CEO Darren Julien commented that auctioning the guitar had been ‘one of our greatest privileges and most distinguished honours’.
‘[It is] one of the most culturally significant and historically important guitars not only of Kurt Cobain and Nirvana’s legacy but in all of rock music history,’ he said.
‘Rarely do personally-owned items from Kurt Cobain with this incredible and unprecedented provenance of his life and career become available for public sale.’