Back in February, Phoebe Bridgers gave an instantly iconic performance on Saturday Night Live that concluded with her smashing her guitar onstage. The act earned our Artist of the Year both praise and melodramatic criticism. Apparently it also gave her an added level of fame, because Bridgers’ guitar has just sold in a charity auction for a whopping $101,500.
GLAAD listed the mangled black Danelectro guitar last Thursday during the GLAAD Music Awards, at which Bridgers (who identifies as bisexual) was nominated for outstanding breakthrough music artist. Initially, bidders spent modest sums before bumping the price into the five-figure range. But on Sunday, as the deadline drew near, fans suddenly spent over six digits to own broken gear by the Grammy-nominated musician, reports Variety. For comparison, a Danelectro electric guitar in black — the same guitar used by Bridgers during her SNL smash — costs roughly $500 brand new.
Bridgers was shocked by the amount of money her destroyed guitar raked in, simply tweeting, “Uh.” It looks like the folks who organized the auction were similarly stunned, too. Anthony Ramos, the supervising producer of the GLAAD Media Awards, told Variety that they knew Bridgers had a “loyal fan base” and was hoping to raise about $25,000 from the item, but never expected this high of a bid.
“Obviously we were very pleasantly surprised. I’m so thankful someone wanted to support our work and wanted that guitar so badly,” said Ramos. “[The bidder] is someone who’s either a huge Phoebe Bridgers fan or someone who is really into broken guitars or someone who really wants to help us accelerate our work for the LGBTQ community, and hopefully it’s someone who checks all three of those boxes. The other side of it is that we’re so grateful to Phoebe for donating the guitar but also for being someone who’s a visible and out part of the community in rock music. She made a great album, and we love all she’s doing and love working with her.”
Not everyone was pleased to see Bridgers celebrate Punisher, one of the year’s best albums, by making a “bucket list” dream come true. David Crosby was one of many high-profile critics to obsessively tweet at Bridgers and complain about her “pathetic” stunt. Thankfully, it didn’t take long for everyone from Dave Grohl to CNN to defend her actions and point out how iconic the move is for rockstars old and young.
As for Bridgers, she couldn’t care less if her guitar smash offended people. “I stand by it!” she said in March. “The fact that it made people so mad is kind of what’s punk rock about it. No thought whatsoever went into what it represented or meant: I’d never done it before, so might as well do it [on SNL], where it’s gonna be immortalized. It’s hilarious to me that people care so much.”
— traitor joe (@phoebe_bridgers) April 11, 2021