Owning a piece of rock history is pretty cool, but owning a piece of unplayable rock history for the price of a pretty nice house feels a little rougher. Yes, someone paid a whopping $595,000 for a smashed 1990 Japanese Fender Stratocaster played by Kurt Cobain and signed by all three members of Nirvana – one of which was made out to the late and great Mark Lanegan – at the Julien’s Auctions’ Music Icons series.
The Strat was played on stage during Nirvana‘s 1992 Nevermind tour and was eventually gifted to Lanegan, who died in 2022. The Strat was originally estimated to go for between $60,000 and $80,000 even though previous Cobain-smashed guitars went for $150,000 and $486,000. So yeah, people have money… and they’re spending it on guitars with signatures not made out to them.
Other items that went at the auction included:
- A New York Yankee’s bomber jacket, stage-worn by Freddie Mercury during Queen’s “News of the World” tour stop in 1977 at Madison Square Garden ($57,150) and a pair of futuristic virtual reality sunglasses worn by the Queen frontman as the title character in the 1989 music video for Queen’s single “The Invisible Man” ($32,500);
- A two-piece gold lurex suit, designed by costume designer Ret Turner, worn by David Bowie on the cover of Filter Magazine in 2003 ($25,400);
- A Takamine acoustic guitar, used by Tom Petty while on tour circa 1981-1986 ($35,750);
- A small Basildon Bond brand “Handy Jotter” sketch book used by John Lennon that includes 18 sketches and drawings by John Lennon ($35,750);
- A Yamaha CP10 electric piano ($31,750) and a JVC RC-M70 hi-fi system with tape recorder ($10,400) used by John Lennon and Yoko Ono during the production of their final album, Double Fantasy;
- A shell patterned D&G dress, worn by Amy Winehouse in the music video for “F*ck Me Pumps” off of her 2003 debut album, Frank ($26,000);
- A pair of wooden drumsticks, custom-made for and used by Ringo Starr ($22,100);
- An original MCI JH-16 prototype tape recorder machine studio used during the production of the sole Derek and the Dominos 1970 studio album Layla And Other Assorted Love Songs ($57,150);
- Niall Horan’s very first guitar, a Yamaha acoustic that played a significant role in his journey to becoming a founding member of One Direction ($12,700);
- A black Gibson SG electric guitar donated by Gibson Gives with a colorful monster face hand-painted and signed by Robby Krieger of The Doors covering the entire front of the body $13,000);
- A 2010 Epiphone Lucille electric guitar signed by B.B. King ($10,400);A 1978 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz personally owned and driven by Neil Young ($13,000);
- A limited-edition 2015 Moog EMMS synthesizer commemorating the original version used by Keith Emerson of the progressive rock band Emerson, Lake & Palmer ($78,000);
- A framed display featuring a cymbal and two pairs of drumsticks used by Neil Peart with Rush ($13,000) and more.