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Eric Clapton and Kurt Cobain guitars could fetch up to $2 million each at auction

Eric Clapton and Kurt Cobain guitars could fetch up to $2 million each at auction

Oct 10 (Reuters) - Two iconic guitars played by Eric Clapton and Nirvana's Kurt Cobain could each fetch $1 million to $2 million when they go up for auction in November.

By Rollo Ross

Clapton’s “The Fool”, a psychedelic painted guitar, was known for its unique sound. The Beatles’ George Harrison gave it to Clapton after his guitar was stolen.

“It was the guitar he used to create the very famous woman tone that guitar players today try and recreate 50 years since,” said Martin Nolan, founder of Julien’s Auctions.

With hits such as “Bell Bottom Blues,” “Cocaine” and “Layla,” Clapton has won 18 Grammy Awards and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000.

The other guitar, also estimated between $1 million and $2 million, is Kurt Cobain’s guitar, the “SkyStang I”, which Cobain played during his final public performance on Nirvana’s “In Utero” concert tour.

Described as his “workhorse” because of the amount he used it during the tour, the guitar still has the same strings and even features black tape covering over the Fender brand name, as “Kurt hated corporate sponsorship and corporate branding,” according to Nolan.

The world record for a guitar was set in June 2020 when Cobain’s 1959 Martin D-18E guitar that he played for his 1993 appearance on “MTV Unplugged” sold for over $6 million.

Cobain popularized grunge rock in the early 1990s. Nirvana broke through to mainstream pop success with the smash hit “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” the first single from the band’s second album, “Nevermind,” released in 1991.

The auction also features items belonging to Cobain, including his cardigan, jeans, and a pack of cigarettes, all of which he left behind at rehab.

The lead singer of Nirvana was found dead, aged 27, of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in his Seattle home in April 1994.

A portion of the guitar proceeds will go to Kicking the Stigma, a mental health initiative.

There are over 1,000 items going up for auction at Nashville’s Hard Rock Cafe between Nov. 16-18 at the “Played, Worn & Torn: Rock ‘n’ Roll Iconic Guitars and Memorabilia” event.

Also for sale are Amy Winehouse’s bustier from her performance at the Brit Awards, jewelry belonging to Prince and Elvis Presley, and items from the estate of Frank Zappa, including the first guitar he ever bought.

(Reporting by Rollo Ross in Los Angeles; Additional reporting by Remi Acosta; Editing by Lisa Shumaker and Michael Perry)

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