In a remarkable moment for rock and roll enthusiasts, two of the most legendary guitars in music history are poised to hit the auction block.
These notable instruments, once wielded by rock legends Eric Clapton and Kurt Cobain, take center stage at Julien’s Auctions’ forthcoming event, aptly named “Played, Worn, and Torn.” With a staggering collection of over 1,000 items, this auction promises to be a monumental event. Both guitars are expected to fetch between $1 million and $2 million, a valuation justified by their rich musical history.
Darren Julien, President and Founder of Julien’s Auctions, expressed, “For Julien’s two-decade anniversary, we’re turning it up to 20 with this definitive music auction of a lifetime that encompasses all genres from Classic Rock, Punk, Hard Rock, Metal, Progressive, Grunge, Rap, Country, the Blues, and beyond. From the stage to the studio, we’ve curated over 1,000 of the most culturally significant and historically important music artifacts ever to be offered for sale to the public.”
Eric Clapton’s iconic guitar, a circa 1964 Gibson SG electric, is famously known as “The Fool.” Its psychedelic paint job was crafted by the Dutch art collective of the same name. Clapton initially played this guitar during Cream’s U.S. debut in 1967 at the RKO 58th Street Theatre in New York. “The Fool” soon became one of Clapton’s primary instruments and was later owned and played by Todd Rundgren. After a 20-year hiatus from the auction scene, it is now returning to captivate enthusiasts once again.
Meanwhile, Kurt Cobain’s guitar is the very one he used during Nirvana’s final public performance of the “In Utero” tour at Munich’s Terminal 1 in March 1994. Recognized as the “Skystang I,” this left-handed Fender Mustang electric guitar in blue is making its auction debut. Cobain’s profound affection for this model led him to order ten left-handed versions in preparation for the tour, with the “Skystang I” delivered in 1993. This instrument stands out as one of the most extensively documented and instantly recognizable of Cobain’s collection, featuring prominently in nearly all of Nirvana’s “In Utero” performances.
Beyond the Clapton and Cobain guitars, Julien’s “Played, Worn, and Torn” auction showcases memorabilia from iconic figures like Elvis Presley, John Lennon, Slash, and more. However, it is the guitars formerly owned by Clapton and Cobain that epitomize the pinnacle of rock and roll history available for bidding.