Sunday 5 July 2020
The guitar that grunge rock icon Kurt Cobain played during his legendary 1993 MTV Unplugged performance sold at a record price. Photo: Shutterstock/AFP

Kurt Cobain and Nirvana fans would certainly love to get their hands on this guitar, but you’d only be able to do so if you had very deep pockets.

The retro acoustic-electric 1959 Martin D-18E that Cobain strummed for Nirvana’s career-defining performance in New York, just five months before his suicide when he was 27, was sold after a bidding war. The buyer was revealed by Julien’s Auctions to be Peter Freedman, founder of RODE Microphones. The cost? A cool US$6.01 million after fees and commission. The instrument was the most expensive guitar ever sold at auction, among other records. Its starting estimate was US$1 million.

Freedman said he plans to display the guitar in a worldwide tour, with proceeds going to benefit performing arts. “When I heard that this iconic guitar was up for auction I immediately knew it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to secure it and use it as a vehicle to spotlight the struggles that those in the performing arts are facing and have always faced,” the Australian was quoted as saying by Julien’s Auctions.

Owning a piece of Cobain and Nirvana comes at no small price. Photo: AFP

The guitar was sold with its original hard-shell case, which Cobain had decorated with a flyer from punk rock band Poison Idea’s 1990 album Feel the Darkness. There are also bonus goodies inside for the buyer: a half-used pack of Martin guitar strings, three picks, and a “suede ‘stash’ bag” decorated with a small silver spoon, fork and knife.

Until now, the most expensive guitar in history was a Fender Stratocaster, dubbed “Black Strat,” used by Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour. It had been sold by the musician for nearly US$4 million during a charity sale in June 2019.

Nirvana’s acoustic performance during the taping for the popular MTV Unplugged series on 18 November 1993 became what is considered one of history’s greatest live albums. It included renditions of Nirvana’s hits About A Girl and Come As You Are along with covers including David Bowie’s The Man Who Sold the World.

In October 2019 Cobain’s cigarette-singed cardigan worn during the “Unplugged” performance sold for US$334,000.


Source: AFP Relax News