(Gardena) A guitar smashed on stage by tempestuous rock idol Kurt Cobain, lead singer of Nirvana, is going up for auction in late May in the United States.

The damaged black instrument, a Fender Stratocaster, has been reassembled but can no longer be used to play, according to Kody Frederick of Julien’s Auctions.

Still, the guitar was signed by the three members of Nirvana, a mythical formation with eternal successes, such as Smells Like Teen Spirit or Come As You Are. They were then on the rise.

The auction house thinks it will sell for $80,000.

The cracks caused by Kurt Cobain when he broke the guitar are still visible, Kody Frederick told AFP.

“When he was on stage, when he was performing, Kurt Cobain was a machine. He was angry and it showed. Especially in the way he treated his instruments. »

In a way, this “damaged” guitar of a “damaged musician” represents that “raw and stormy time in the history of music”.

With its grunge sound, Nirvana conquered the hearts of young people from the end of the 1980s, offering them anthems of post-adolescent disenchantment and giving rock a new lease of life.

Kurt Cobain, singer and guitarist with disheveled blond hair, is propelled to the top. Perhaps too high for this vivacious flay, who struggles with addiction and depression and has a complex relationship with his wife, singer Courtney Love.

He committed suicide in April 1994, aged 27. Nearly 30 years after his death, the mark he left on rock music — and on the minds of generations of teenagers and young adults — remains visible.

The auction, which will take place in New York from May 19-21, also includes a handwritten track list by Kurt Cobain for a concert in Seattle in April 1991, which is expected to be priced at $6,000.

On stage that evening, Nirvana had played a version of Smells Like Teen Spirit a few months before the release of the title and Nevermind, the group’s flagship album that sold more than 30 million copies.

The sale also includes pieces related to Eddie Van Halen, Elvis Presley or Freddie Mercury.