Category Archives: kurt cobain

Auction for Kurt Cobain’s Custom Fender Mustang (1993)

One of Kurt Cobain’s custom built Fender Mustangs is up for auction at Julien’s Auctions. This guitar was built by Scott Zimmerman in 1993 and includes a letter from him detailing the creation process of the ’93-’94 Mustangs.

This guitar was originally gifted to Bobby Costello and then went on to be displayed in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame from 2002-2011. (more info HERE)

Starting bid is $75,000.

Link to auction listing: https://www.julienslive.com/m/lot-details/index/catalog/313/lot/124816

We are archiving the photos and text of the listing for historical purposes in the event the original web site removes the info. (below from julienslive.com)

A left-handed Fender Mustang guitar in turquoise with red mottled pickguard, custom built for Kurt Cobain in 1993. Serial number PO13572. The headstock has a small stamp that reads “Offset Contour Body Patented.” The guitar was built by Scott Zimmerman, who was contacted by Fender Guitar’s artist relations manager in 1993 because the Fender Custom shop was not equipped to build left-handed Mustangs at the time. According to an accompanying letter from Zimmerman, he worked with FujiGen, a major Japanese instrument factory, to build this guitar. Ten guitars at a minimum had to be ordered with FujiGen, and this specific one was shipped on October 22, 1993. Only the two guitars shipped on that date have the “Offset Contour Body Patented” stamp. Accompanied by a handwritten letter signed by Courtney Love Cobain on her personal stationery, stating in part that this was one of Kurt’s favorite guitars when they delivered all of them; a hardshell case; and images of the guitar while on exhibit at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. While on exhibit at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, a fan jumped over the barrier and stole two of the knobs off the guitar. The museum replaced the two knobs that exist now with exact knobs.

EXHIBITED Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Cleveland, Ohio, 2002-2011

Fender introduces Kurt Cobain Mustang guitar

Cobain Mustang in Fender Booth
Cobain Mustang in Fender Booth

So you’ve been asking for it for years and years and Fender has finally made it available.  The latest NAMM press release has recently come out introducing the Kurt Cobain Mustang. (Also reported in the jag-stang.com forum and by many sites inc musicradar and premierguitar)

With the Kurt Cobain Jaguar released last year and now the Kurt Cobain Mustang Fender has made available both the guitars jag-stang.com visitors have been asking for for many years. While the Jaguar retails for $1299.99 US it is expected the Mustang will retail around $999.

Press release and guitar images copied below.


SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (Jan. 16, 2012) — When Kurt Cobain hit the stage, it was very often with a Mustang® guitar—an enigmatic anti-hero figure with an esoteric anti-hero instrument. It’s with great pride then that Fender introduces the Kurt Cobain Mustang, which evokes the man, the band, the sound and the times, and gives an authentically crafted nod to one of the most unlikely guitars to ever find itself at the center of a musical maelstrom.

Cobain liked Mustangs a lot. For one, he preferred offbeat guitars that didn’t cost zillions of dollars, and the Mustang certainly fit those two criteria. Also, being somewhat physically diminutive himself, he liked to perform live with slightly more diminutive guitars, like Fender Mustang and Jaguar® guitars, which better fit his hands and his reach.

See for yourself—go back and watch the famous 1991 video for “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” and there heis and there it is slung over his shoulder. Or think back to when you saw them on the ’93-’94 In Utero tour, when he seldom went onstage with anything but a Mustang. Quite often and especially later on, Mustang guitars were a big part of what Kurt Cobain was all about, musically.

Inspired by his arsenal of modded guitars, the new Fender Kurt Cobain Mustang takes you back there, with highly distinctive features including an angled single-coil Mustang neck pickup and ferocious Seymour Duncan® JB humbucking bridge pickup mounted directly to the body, dual on-off/phase in-out switches for each pickup, a polyester-finished alder body and an Adjusto-Matic™ bridge with dynamic vibrato tailpiece.

Other features include the classic 24” Mustang scale length, C-shaped maple neck with urethane finish, 7.25”-radius rosewood fingerboard with 22 vintage-style frets and vintage-style ivory dot inlays, four-ply pickguard (Aged White Pearl on Fiesta Red and Dark Lake Placid Blue with stripe models; Tortoiseshell on Sonic Blue model), master volume and tone controls, vintage-style tuners, and chrome hardware. Finish options include Fiesta red, Sonic Blue and Dark Lake Placid Blue with stripe. Available in right and left-handed models. For more information, go to www.fender.com.


Cobain Mustang in Fender Booth
Cobain Mustang in Fender Booth

Above from Fender Japan blog: http://fenderjapan.co.jp/blog/?p=770

Kurt Cobain Fender Mustang
Kurt Cobain Fender Mustang

Kurt Cobain Fender Mustang
Kurt Cobain Fender Mustang

Kurt Cobain Fender Mustang
Kurt Cobain Fender Mustang

Kurt Cobain Fender Jaguar Updates

More info on the Fender Kurt Cobain Jaguar coming out recently since our original post about the new guitar.

Fender now has an official product page for the guitar. [fender official page]

Musicians Friend is listing the guitar in right handed and left handed models available 10/10/2011 at a price of $1299.99. [ Right Handed / Left Handed ]

Fender Kurt Cobain Jaguar
Fender Kurt Cobain Jaguar

Nirvana – "Live at Reading" released

If you’re a big Nirvana fan you likely already know how great their 1992 Reading Festival performance was and probably have your own bootleg of it. Now, on the 20th anniversary of the Bleach album release, you can not only pickup up the remastered Bleach album but a “Live at Reading” album on CD/DVD/Vinyl.

Nirvana Live At Reading

It’s a fantastic live album that you should have in your collection if you don’t already. Check out a review at snobmusic.

Tracklisting

  1. Breed
  2. Drain You
  3. Aneurysm
  4. School
  5. Sliver
  6. In Bloom
  7. Come As You Are
  8. Lithium
  9. About A Girl
  10. Tourette’s
  11. Polly
  12. Lounge Act
  13. Smells Like Teen Spirit
  14. On A Plain
  15. Negative Creep
  16. Been A Son
  17. All Apologies
  18. Blew
  19. Dumb
  20. Stay Away
  21. Spank Thru
  22. Love Buzz (DVD ONLY)
  23. The Money Will Roll Right In
  24. D-7
  25. Territorial Pissing

Kurt’s red Jag-Stang @ Fender Museum

It’s been well known that there were 2 original prototype jag-stangs made by Fender at the time Kurt Cobain died. There was a sonic blue prototype that was played by Kurt on a few European tour dates. (see video in previous post) It was given to Peter Buck of REM after Cobain died. You can see Buck playing the lefty jag-stang flipped righty in the REM video “what´s the frequency kenneth”. Does anyone know where the blue jag-stang is today?

The fiesta red prototype never made it to Kurt. Fender was preparing to ship the guitar to Kurt when they got news of his death. It originally ended up in the Fender Museum. Forum member ‘prospect’ posted some of his great photos and information from the Fender museum which is shared below. [forum link]

These photos are from Fender’s Museum in California from a few years back. It is my understanding that this is now currently on display either in Seattle or Cleveland.

On Kurt’s drawing the surrounding information you see is for when it was scanned for “Journals”. The “blacked out” area is contact information for Kurt and his guitar tech which was to not be printed in “Journals”.

(Click images below for larger versions)

If you have any more info on the current locations of the fiesta red or sonic blue prototype jag-stangs let us know.

Kurt Cobain Using the Fender Jag-Stang Live

While Kurt wasn’t alive long enough for us to see him play the jag-stang very much there were some shows during the ’94 European tour where he did.

Below is one of the better quality videos of Kurt playing the jag-stang on the song Dumb from the Slovenia 2/27/94 tour date. Thanks to Ryan for suggesting us post this on our blog!  If you see other cool jag-stang videos that we should post let us know.