Smells Like Mental Health Awareness Month

“The experience I have had is that once you start talking about experiencing a mental health struggle, you realize that actually you’re part of a quite a big club.”

– Prince Harry

The guitar Kurt Cobain played/used in the video for “Smells Like Teen Spirit” just sold at auction for $4,500,000.00, about $4,000,000.00 more than expected, by Colts owner Jim Isray. That places it as the fourth most expensive piece of “known” music memorabilia ever (Kurt also takes the top spot for his guitar from the MTV Unplugged show, which sold for more than $8,000,000.00 at auction).

When I heard about this auction a month or so ago, I was kind of like “yeah, yeah, yeah, someone needs money”. The guitar had been on display somewhere for quite a while before the announcement, so I thought hey, let’s let it be.

It was expected to sell between $400,00.00 and $600,00.00. It far exceeded that goal, I’d say.

But I just recently found out that the guitar was auctioned in honor of May being Mental Health Awareness Month. Not only that, but a huge portion of the money also goes to an organization ran by the Colts and the Isray family called Kicking The Stigma, which gives away grants to Indiana-based mental health programs.

Isray even spoke on the guitar’s important place.

“This guitar is big, and it relates so much to stigma,” he said. “When you have mental illness, people die. These are fatal diseases — bipolar, schizophrenia, post-partem depression, alcoholic addictions. With fatal diseases, people die, and they don’t choose to die. … Those of us who are alive, we’re not stronger or better. We didn’t get our act together more. We didn’t have more character. That’s where it’s so false.”

Whatever his motives may be, I don’t care. I appreciate the gesture, even if that’s all it is.

I don’t think Kurt Cobain would have been too ecstatic about two of his guitars selling for more than $12,000,000.00. I could understand how that would seem unreasonable or outright insane to a person. But I do think he would definitely approve of some of that exorbitant amount of money spent going to an organization called Kicking the Stigma, an organization with the goal of raising awareness about mental illness.

Happy MHAM!

2 thoughts on “Smells Like Mental Health Awareness Month

  1. WOW! It is hard to believe that a guitar could sell for that much. And… I am incredibly grateful to whomever decided that a portion of the proceeds would go towards such a great cause. That is beautiful news 🙂

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