SEATTLE (AP) – A smashed guitar from the late grunge rocker Kurt Cobain has been sold to an unidentified private collector for $100,000.
Helen Hall, a broker in England, says it’s the second-highest known price for an item of Cobain memorabilia. The seller was punk rocker Sluggo of The Grannies and Hullabaloo.
The sale was confirmed Tuesday by Jacob McMurray, senior curator at the Experience Music Project in Seattle, where the taped-up Fender Mustang guitar in sunburst finish was displayed for a time.
“It’s a really cool-looking guitar because it’s smashed and held together with duct tape and Kurt Cobain wrote on it,” McMurray said.
Sluggo said he traded a working guitar for the smashed one during the first U.S. tour of Cobain’s band, Nirvana.
McMurray said Nirvana, living hand-to-mouth, was on a tour in New Jersey when Cobain smashed the guitar on stage and went looking for one to play at his next gig.
The swap was made while Cobain was staying at the apartment of Sluggo, who goes only by that name, and Sluggo’s girlfriend, McMurray said.
He said he hoped the buyer would allow the instrument to return to Seattle for a Cobain exhibit he is preparing for 2010.
“There’s not a huge amount of broken Nirvana guitars out there,” McMurray said, adding that most amount to “little slivers and fragments.”
A news release from Hall said the highest price paid for a piece of Cobain memorabilia was $131,000 at a 2006 auction for his Mosrite Gospel Mark IV guitar.