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Musical instruments with rich histories, played by two of the world’s most iconic guitarists – Eric Clapton and Kurt Cobain – are set to be auctioned next month in a high-profile sale. The event, spearheaded by the reputable Julien’s Auctions, is anticipated to see each guitar fetching up to a staggering $2 million.

The auction will feature Clapton’s legendary Gibson SG, affectionately termed “The Fool.” This instrument became synonymous with Clapton during the nascent stages of his US tour with his band, Cream. A hallmark of the guitar is its unique psychedelic finish, emblematic of the 1967 “Summer of Love”–an epoch that encapsulated the counter-cultural shift of an era. The guitar’s custom design, coupled with its historical significance, makes it one of the most identifiable guitars globally. Clapton’s “woman tone” – a sound that many musicians have since tried to emulate – was pioneered on this very guitar.

Eric Clapton, acclaimed for classic tracks such as “Layla” and “Sunshine of Your Love,” has been consistently recognized as a vanguard in the realm of guitarists for over five decades. A 2008 Rolling Stone magazine ranking had lauded him as the second-greatest guitarist of all time.

Similarly, a piece of the late 20th-century grunge era will be up for auction in the form of Kurt Cobain’s left-handed Fender Mustang electric guitar, known as the blue Skystang I. This specific model, among several that Cobain purchased for Nirvana’s final tour, was notably played during the band’s last live show in Munich in 1994. Martin Nolan, Julien’s executive director, emphasized the guitar’s monumental significance, stating, “While Cobain was notorious for smashing guitars, the Fender Mustang remained untouched, a testament to its significance in his collection.”

Kurt Cobain, whose impact on the music scene remains undiminished, changed the face of the 1990s rock genre with hits such as “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” A 2015 Billboard article highlighted the continued resonance of Nirvana’s tracks, with digital sales reaching millions posthumously.

The auction event is slated to occur from November 16 to 18 at the Hard Rock Cafe in Nashville. Notably, a percentage of the profits accrued from the sale of these legendary guitars will be donated to the mental health initiative, Kicking the Stigma, underscoring the enduring legacy and social responsibility associated with these musical titans.

With AFP