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Who said Kurt didn't like the Jagstang ?


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a while back I was discussing guitars with a friend who gave me a book on Nirvana, it talks more about the latter years 93 - 94

It mentions a few quotes from Earnie Bailey that when Kurt got the Jagstang he was pretty excited, but from the time he had started the project with Fender he had Bailey already started modding mustangs with JB buckers and JB Hot rails, when the Jagstang arrived it was more spec'd up to pickups Kurt wasn't using anymore, Earnie's priority was to mod the Mustangs and Strats Kurt was using for the tour.

When Earnie got around to putting the JB in the Jagstang as well as the 500K pots, apparently Kurt liked the guitar enough to start using it regularly and any final design queues were to orbit around Bridge mods, pickup changes and a tiny bit of minor contouring

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Well the fender jagstang is NOTHING like the 3 tone sunburst mockup he (kurt) came up with, its a totally different shape and has no contours. Kurt said"whatever bridge and tailpiece works best" fender should have known that the Jazzmaster tremolo and a tune-O-Matic work(and look) best on this guitar.

I've made a photoshop/templates of what Kurts mockup should look like(and it looks damn good), I'm having it built some day rather than buying a jagstang,I'd prefer to make/have made a "real" jagstang,one I think that is 99% to his 3TSB mockup and one he woulda been happy with. I wont post the photoshop (then actual picsobviously) of it until after I've built it. it looks 100% better than any jagstang I've ever seen.

The jagstang, as it is, could be bettered by at least 25% by adding contours to it and another 25% by adding a jazzmaster tremolo and tune-O-matic to it and another 10% by drawing and cutting a pickguard that actually fits it. That's one problem I rectified in my photoshop/templates,it takes stock mustang pickguards or humbucker modified mustang pickguards.

When I do get it made, I'll possibly get two made, one in sonic blue and one in 3 tone sunburst,both nitrocellulose. The two colors kurt wanted his jagstangs to be.(i dont think he could have cared less about finish type TBH but I like nitro on certain guitars)

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Well the fender jagstang is NOTHING like the 3 tone sunburst mockup he (kurt) came up with, its a totally different shape and has no contours. Kurt said"whatever bridge and tailpiece works best" fender should have known that the Jazzmaster tremolo and a tune-O-Matic work(and look) best on this guitar.

I've made a photoshop/templates of what Kurts mockup should look like(and it looks damn good), I'm having it built some day rather than buying a jagstang,I'd prefer to make/have made a "real" jagstang,one I think that is 99% to his 3TSB mockup and one he woulda been happy with. I wont post the photoshop (then actual picsobviously) of it until after I've built it. it looks 100% better than any jagstang I've ever seen.

The jagstang, as it is, could be bettered by at least 25% by adding contours to it and another 25% by adding a jazzmaster tremolo and tune-O-matic to it and another 10% by drawing and cutting a pickguard that actually fits it. That's one problem I rectified in my photoshop/templates,it takes stock mustang pickguards or humbucker modified mustang pickguards.

When I do get it made, I'll possibly get two made, one in sonic blue and one in 3 tone sunburst,both nitrocellulose. The two colors kurt wanted his jagstangs to be.(i dont think he could have cared less about finish type TBH but I like nitro on certain guitars)

Wow, can't wait to see that......... :-wow

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Well the fender jagstang is NOTHING like the 3 tone sunburst mockup he (kurt) came up with, its a totally different shape and has no contours. Kurt said"whatever bridge and tailpiece works best" fender should have known that the Jazzmaster tremolo and a tune-O-Matic work(and look) best on this guitar.

I've made a photoshop/templates of what Kurts mockup should look like(and it looks damn good), I'm having it built some day rather than buying a jagstang,I'd prefer to make/have made a "real" jagstang,one I think that is 99% to his 3TSB mockup and one he woulda been happy with. I wont post the photoshop (then actual picsobviously) of it until after I've built it. it looks 100% better than any jagstang I've ever seen.

The jagstang, as it is, could be bettered by at least 25% by adding contours to it and another 25% by adding a jazzmaster tremolo and tune-O-matic to it and another 10% by drawing and cutting a pickguard that actually fits it. That's one problem I rectified in my photoshop/templates,it takes stock mustang pickguards or humbucker modified mustang pickguards.

When I do get it made, I'll possibly get two made, one in sonic blue and one in 3 tone sunburst,both nitrocellulose. The two colors kurt wanted his jagstangs to be.(i dont think he could have cared less about finish type TBH but I like nitro on certain guitars)

That is the greatest thing ever

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I believe there is only one picture of him using it on tour.

If you look through http://www.nirvanaguide.com/1994.php, you will find a few shows w/ quite a large amount of photos of him playing it. Can't remember the exact dates off-hand. If you also check YouTube, look up the 2-25-94 videos. Even though the live guide site doesn't show any pics on the site, you will notice that he plays the JS practically through the entire show. As this was one of the very last Nirvana concerts and he switches to a Mustang for a song or two, he kept switching right back to the JS. To me, that tells me that he was getting used to it and it may have started to grow on him a bit... Of course, that's just my own speculation....

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I think its pretty obvious through general observation that Cobain preferred contours so I don't think the jagstang would've lasted in its current condition. (it doesn't even really resemble his drawings much)

He always played mustangs with contours even though he owned a 66? (i think 66) daphne blue mustang with no contours, he never played it except for the in bloom video. If he liked guitars with no contours that much he woulda been playing the daphne blue one a lot but he chose the competition blue with contours one when picking a vintage mustang to play live, which was rare because this was his favorite guitar for a while and about the only vintage guitar he played a lot was the Jaguar. He played MIJ mustangs (and his humbucker jaguar) live mostly both have contours. He played (sung to backing tracks) on a telecaster once (the 3TSB one painted blue)on a SLTS live gig on TV. And there's a pic of him doodling with a tele at his home but he never played them live either, they don't have contours.

Even strats (which he didn't really like much cause they were so cliche and popular) got more use than his non-contour mustang (even though mustangs were his favorite guitars) because strats have contours.

So its my opinion that he preferred offset contoured guitars, particularly the Mustang and the Jaguar. The Jagstang prototype (which is what all you jagstang owners have basically) wouldn't have lasted as it is. It woulda been reshaped and given contours and a straight humbucker and a properly fitted pickguard.

The main reason I think the pickguard doesn't fit right is because he died suddenly and Fender,although having only a rough prototype, wanted to cash in on his death and started making production model jagstangs as they were, ready to sell to all the fans. Fender couln't have gave a phuk about Cobain's wants, they saw big money and went for it, never bothering to correct the pickguard! (let alone the shape and pickups!)

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I agree w/ you 99%. I would just like to see where you get the notion that the humbucker would have been made straight as the angled HB was his own request.

Also, just to throw this out there for all who don't already know, look at pics of his sonic JS, then look at pics of the red one. The production model reflects the fiesta red prototype, as the blue has a pickguard that matches the body and has a slightly different angle on the control plate...

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I Guess we agree to disagree on that ...

Ernie Bailey said that for In utero they''d have 5 guitars strung up, sometimes a bit more, depending on the way previous shows went

Kurt would generally stick to about 3 guitars per tour and rotate them, Even in the nevermind era the Jaguar he used would often get a break to be replaced by the Strat and Stang he'd use.

The Red Jag Stang was supposed to have the second round of mods Kurt requested and when you look at the REM Jagstang vs the Red Jagstang there are some differences

overall I think that the Jagstang was 95% there, Kurt would choose his go to guitar before a show, He was comfy enough to play a Jagstang on his last shows from the moment he received it, must say something on the guitar being a success !

I

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What you have to remember is that Cobain played a lot of cruddy guitars from the 80's on wards, single coils, HB's, shortscales, regular scales, fenders, fender knock offs, epiphone, gibson, univox and all there knock offs and pretty much any cheap thrift store guitar he could afford. So, having a guitar made for him by FENDER, of course he would have played it a lot, to check it out, to see what he likes about it and what he hates about it. It doesn't necessarily mean his total approval of said guitar.

Knowing Cobain's tastes in guitars, I cant see the jagstang staying as it was for very long if he had of lived. There would have been a few changes made.

BTW, it was never going to be a signature model, only a "designed by" model, most of you probably already know this anyways.

About the HB being straight rather than angled, I think he would have went back to a straight humbucker eventually as all his mustangs (and strats and his jaguar,which I'm aware already had the HB's in it when he bought it) had straight humbuckers. Its just as easy to route a mustang for a angled humbucker as it is for a straight one so that had nothing to do with it. Its just my opinion but having been a Nirvana fan since 1990 and being into similar guitars and things as Cobain, having similar tastes and whatnot and observing his guitar usage, I cant see the jagstang have staying as was.

Its not a bad guitar, its just not what he designed. The 3TSB mockup is closer to what he wanted than the blue mockup and the jagstang isn't even 100% to the blue mockup.

I also seem to remember, all those years ago, him saying he wanted the jagstang in sonic blue cause he liked that about his mustangs and in 3TSB cause he liked that about his jaguar.....

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I don't think it's totally possible to know for sure what Kurt would have wanted out of the Jag-Stang in the end, for all we know the Jag-Stang thing could have lasted a year and then he would have decided to make his Telecaster the next move guitar-wise.

I'll just quote Kurtsequiptment to explain why kurt did not like the Jag-Stang.....

The "Jag-stang" was seen starting in mid-to-late 1993 (18) although Kurt rarely played it. A reviewer for Guitar Shop saw a "cross between the Jaguar and Mustang, the Jag-stang features a sonic blue Jag body with white pickguard and Mustang bridge" (24). The Jag-stang was available to the public for a short time, but isn't wasn't as Kurt intended it to be (41). Kurt didn't even like the Jagstang that much when he received it (57). He forgot to have Fender do the contours for the arm and the stomach (41). It was as thick as a Telecaster and rather misbalanced. He wouldn't even play it for the (first?) month he had it. It was also tough to set up. Earnie immediately changed the pickups, putting a Duncan JB in the bridge (57)(59). As previously stated, he installed a Tune-O-Matic bridge on it (41). Kurt had trouble with the Mustang's slider switches, which oddly appeared on the Jag-stang, but not on the Ferrington. Earnie's also puzzled as to how the Jag-stang wound up with a Mustang tremolo and bridge (59). "Kurt was funny, with both the Jag-stang and the Ferrington, he was very excited when he received them, but soon he found things about both that he overlooked or wanted to change." He had also talked with Kurt about re-shaping the body for a more traditional Fender look. Earnie told Mark Wittenberg about these changes (also, the fitted bridge). Mark was interested in the changes, but he passed away, as well. So Fender released that Jag-Stang in the way Kurt had received it
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From all the info available and interviews I read back in the days when Cobain was alive, I just don't think it would have lasted as is, he didn't seem to be real happy with it IMO.

As for the bridge/tremolo, if Kurt had have been around it would have been changed to either the jazzmaster tremolo and tune-O-matic or a gibson style stop tail. I remember Kurt saying "I hate the jaguar tremolo...but I hate all tremolo's, so I block them off".* (He actually had a block of rubber inside his jaguar tremolo to stop it moving)

I also remember him saying "the mustang tremolo gave/gives me a lot of trouble"*

*or something to that effect, not necessarily word for word!.

IMO, the jazzmaster tremolo (I say jazzmaster trem because the jaguar doesn't have its own trem, it uses the Jazzmaster one which was designed in 1957 or earlier) is the most aesthetic whether you use it or not, I think Kurt liked that about it and the fact that it had a third bridge.

Also,IMO, the mustang vibrato is actually pretty decent, it works perfectly when you set it up right or it can work as a stop tail if you adjust it so the bar tilts back, this way it only goes down pitch and cant be knocked out of tune.

Whether or not Cobain would have modified or kept the Jagstang comes down to personal opinion. I try to base mine on facts but its still subjective as he can't speak for himself.

if you like the Jagstang, play it, if you don't but like the idea of it, build one closer to his drawings like I plan on doing!

I'll buy one of each color jagstangs (first issue) some day, purely for collector purposes and I'll hang them on my wall and post a plaque under it saying "the guitar Kurt Cobain tried to design but fender phucked him on it!" :-D

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