Kurt Cobain's Mark IV-style Mosrite Gospel guitar sold for $100,000
Kurt Donald Cobain was an American musician and artist.
He was best known as the lead singer, guitarist, and primary songwriter of the grunge band Nirvana. Cobain formed Nirvana with Krist Novoselic in Aberdeen, Washington, in 1985 and established it as part of the Seattle music scene, having its debut album Bleach released on the independent record label Sub Pop in 1989.
After signing with major label DGC Records, the band found breakthrough success with "Smells Like Teen Spirit" from its second album Nevermind (1991). Following the success of Nevermind, Nirvana was labeled "the flagship band" of Generation X, and Cobain hailed as "the spokesman of a generation". Cobain, however, was often uncomfortable and frustrated, believing his message and artistic vision to have been misinterpreted by the public, with his personal issues often subject to media attention. He challenged Nirvana's audience with its final studio album In Utero (1993). It did not match the sales figures of Nevermind but was still a critical and commercial success.
This Day In Music, in 2004, Kurt Cobain's Mark IV-style Mosrite Gospel guitar sold for $100,000 at the Icons of 20th Century Music auction held in Dallas, Texas. Other items sold included Elton John and Bernie Taupin's song writing piano which sold for $140,000 and a 1966 Rickenbacker guitar owned by The Byrds Roger McGuinn's sold for $99,000.
The guitar was for a long time in the possession of Sluggo, a punk guitarist of whom the media says he’s a friend of the late Nirvana frontman. He got it after Kurt smashed it onstage in New Jersey, during the band’s first US tour. Out of nostalgia, or perhaps anticipating the heights of fame Kurt would reach, Sluggo held onto the broken guitar until a few years ago when, without giving it up, he allowed for it to be displayed at Seattle’s Experience Music Project museum.
Sluggo claims he was in a position to sell the guitar because it was rightfully his, Kurt having traded it for a new one from him, in order to be able to perform the next day. The name of the purchaser has not been revealed to the media, and nothing is known of his identity, other than the fact that he’s supposedly a collector.
The sale was confirmed the other day by Jacob Murray, curator at the Music Project museum, who spoke to Yahoo! News about what it meant having such an important piece on display. “It’s a really cool looking guitar because it’s smashed and held together with duct tape and Kurt Cobain wrote on it. There’s not a huge amount of broken Nirvana guitars out there,” Murray is quoted as saying.
Several media outlets inform that the Fender Mustang guitar now ranks second in the top of all Cobain memorabilia, the first position being occupied by the Mosrite Gospel Mark IV guitar, which sold for $131,000 at a 2006 auction.