Nirvana Bass Destroyed In ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ Video Up For Auction

The bass that was destroyed by Nirvana in the video for “Smells Like Teen Spirit” is now up for auction, according to NBC News. The smashed instrument is expected to sell for around $40,000.

On November 29, the bass guitar played by Krist Novoselic and destroyed by Kurt Cobain in the band’s iconic video will be available to the highest bidder. Although some may balk at the idea of spending thousands of dollars on a busted bass, many view this as an opportunity to own a piece of music history.

The guitar is being offered up by an extra in the video, who was a teenager at the time of the shoot. After production had wrapped, the kid made off with the destroyed Japanese Zen-On bass. Now anyone with enough scratch in the bank account can bring the instrument home. Christie’s of London will reportedly handle the auction.

According to the Independent, Novoselic purchased the bass guitar at a pawn shop before the shoot. Knowing that the instrument would ultimately be destroyed by the end of production, Krist opted for something inexpensive.

“Smells Like Teen Spirit” was the first single off of the band’s second album, 1991’s Nevermind. The video quickly became a hit thanks to heavy rotation on MTV, which helped launch the group into the stratosphere. The alternative rock revolution was effectively underway, much to the dismay of countless hair metal bands and pop stars across the globe.


During filming of the video, Kurt Cobain convinced producers to allow the extras to mosh during one of the takes. It wasn’t long before chaos had consumed the set.

“Once the kids came out dancing they just said ‘f**k you,’ because they were so tired of this sh**t throughout the day,” Cobain explained.

If you have fond memories of moshing to “Smells Like Teen Spirit” in your bedroom, then you may be interested in owning the bass guitar destroyed in the video. Would you pay $40,000 for a broken instrument?