Kurt Cobain’s Stratocaster guitar from Nirvana’s In Utero tour is up for auction for £34,000. Below is the auction description:
This is what I can say about the guitar Kurt Cobain gave me at the end of the 16th February 1994 show at Palais Omnisport, Rennes, France : I’ve been doing a lot of research about this guitar : according to James « Jim » Vincent, Kurt’s guitar tech from Dec 93 onwards, Kurt had 5 of these lefty black and white Strats, shipped by Fender specifically for the end of set jamming and destruction, as they were cheap and they were scared he would otherwise smash his new Mustangs. The funny bit of trivia I discovered while researching the origins of this guitar is that Fender misled everybody into thinking they were MIM Stratocasters (Made In Mexico). I wasn’t sold on this as there were many little details, both on the outside and inside of the guitar that pointed towards an Asian (Japan or Korea) built. Then I found out in the Fender Blue Book that left- handed MIM Strats had been in fact Made In Japan from 1991 to 96 ! I contacted Fender USA over this and they confirmed it. So officially they’re branded MIM strats, but technically they’re MIJ ones ! To my knowledge, everything is stock on this guitar, except from the neck, neck plate and strings of course, which are the first things to break on a guitar, which would later be pieced and glued back together by Jim Vincent with some odd parts. The tuning keys are Gotoh though, Kurt’s prefered brand. To my knowledge these Strats were not used in 1994, the last recorded use I was able to track down is the 31st Dec 93 show. So they may have been only used during the American leg of the In Utero tour, from early October to the end of year show 1993. Of these 5 guitars, at least two were destroyed beyond repair (one of which was sold earlier by Mr Vincent) as can be found on youtube, which leaves 3. Still according to Mr Vincent, one was left unused. The one up for grabs here is therefore one of the two that were played and smashed but repaired and still fully playable. The other one is being owned by Mr Vincent as of now. These four guitars were all visually identical (which could explain the #2 tag taped on the back body), so you can’t tell for sure when exactly which was played. I was able to narrow it down to about 30 shows in the US when they might have been played, so itis fair to assume that each of them was played and smashed numerous times, always for the songs Blew or for Endless Nameless, whichever one they ended the show with that night. The best quality footage of such jamming/destruction is to be found on the legendary MTV Live and Loud concert in Seattle. CooperOwen App can be purchased from App Store and will be in affiliation to iTunes. To register and consign please email auctions@cooperowen or buy the App.