This past weekend, the 1969 Fender Mustang that Kurt Cobain played in Nirvana’s iconic “Smells Like Teen Spirit” video went up for auction via Julien’s Auctions. The starting price was expected to be somewhere between $600,000 and $800,000, but the guitar went for a whole lot more than that: Forbes reports the guitar sold for $4.5 million. Furthermore, the buyer is somebody sports fans know well: billionaire Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay.
Irsay himself confirmed the news on Twitter, noting he purchased the six-string for The Jim Irsay Collection, the website of which notes, “Jim Irsay’s passion for rock music, American history, and pop culture led him to assemble a robust collection of historic and culturally significant artifacts over several decades that together make up The Jim Irsay Collection. An active philanthropist, Mr. Irsay hopes to establish a museum to share these treasures with the world.”
Irsay also said Cobain’s estate donated a portion of the proceeds to Kicking The Stigma, Irsay’s initiative focused on mental health and raising money for Indiana-area nonprofits.
I am grateful to the Cobain family for donating a portion of the auction proceeds to our Kicking the Stigma initiative on mental health. 🙏
— Jim Irsay (@JimIrsay) May 22, 2022
In other recent Nirvana news, the band’s “Something In The Way” made its debut on the Billboard Hot 100 chart back in April (31 years after its release) thanks to The Batman. Cobain’s final days are also being turned into an opera.
Revisit the “Smells Like Teen Spirit” video below.