KUALA LUMPUR, May 24 — The guitar used by Nirvana's Kurt Cobain to perform Smells Like Teen Spirit has been sold to a collector for US$4.55 million (RM20 million), surpassing its original estimate of US$600,000 (RM2.6 million).
The frontman played the blue and white 1969 Fender Mustang left-handed electric guitar to record the band's seminal 1991 grunge anthem, Daily Mail reported.
It was also used in the song's music video.
The instrument, which Cobain acquired from a Los Angeles guitar shop in 1990, was later used in many live Nirvana performances.
In an interview prior to his death by suicide, Cobain reportedly said he was left-handed, and it was 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. I have only owned two of them."
Cobain's family will donate a portion of the proceeds of the sale to a mental health initiative run by the new buyer Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay.
Irsay is said to be a major guitar collector, having bought instruments previously owned by Elvis Presley, George Harrison, Prince, Bob Dylan and David Gilmour, among others.
Responding to his successful bid, the 62-year-old said he was thrilled to preserve and protect another piece of American culture that changed the way we looked at the world.
Prior to the sale of this Fender Mustang, Cobain's acoustic guitar from Nirvana's iconic 1993 MTV Unplugged in New York performance sold for a record-breaking US$6million (RM26.3 million) at auction in June 2020.
The 1959 Martin D-18E was estimated to fetch between US$1million (RM4.4 million) and US$2 million (RM8.8 million) at the online 'Music Icons' sale hosted by Julien's Auctions, but it ended up breaking the record for the most expensive guitar.