Kurt Cobain Unplugged Guitar Sale Called Ripoff


Martin D-18E acoustic guitar of Nirvana legend Kurt Cobain was featured in Nirvana’s MTV Unplugged performance was sold in 2020 for an incredible $6,010,000. It is noted that the whopping price makes it the reigning champion on the list of most expensive guitars ever sold at an auction. Well, doubts have been raised about whether it’s worth the amount. In the past, Cobain’s another guitar scripted history. 

Jim Irsay doesn’t think Kurt Cobain guitar is worth that much

Famous guitar collector and Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay doesn’t think it is worth the huge amount. In an interview with Rolling Stone magazine, Irsay stated that the pricing was ridiculous. The guitar was purchased by Rode Microphones owner Peter Freedman, to whom Irsay presents a strong personal interest in the instrument.

Speaking about the price and Freedman’s purchase, Irsay said:

“That doesn’t make any sense. It was not worth that, but it was to him.”

It’s known that Freedman wanted to have the guitar since Nirvana’s music was a pillar of support when he was having a rough time in the ’90s. It is quite interesting that the second most expensive guitar on the list was bought by Irsay himself, and it’s also a Nirvana classic — the Fender Mustang from “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” This guitar cost the collector $4,550,000.

Comparing the two purchases, Irsay justifies his decision to buy the Fender Mustang by citing its cultural significance:

“That being Kurt’s main guitar, and the electric guitar that survived the stage and survived many a jump — versus a one-night show — I felt [the electric guitar] was worth more.”

Auction house Julien’s Auctions previously noted that emotional value can skyrocket the value of even the most battered instrument.

“There’s definitely a recognition that these pieces are as important to a certain collecting community as a Picasso is to other collectors – things that are extraordinary pieces of art,” says David Goodman, CEO of Julien’s Auctions, tells Rolling Stone.

“These are things you want to live with, talk about and love, because you’re so emotionally connected to them.”

Of course, certain people may have an even higher degree of emotional value invested in auctioned collectibles and memorabilia. The $6 million Cobain acoustic was once in the custody of Cobain’s daughter, Frances Bean Cobain. However, her ex-husband received it as part of her divorce settlement.