The guitar that Kurt Cobain played during the live recording of Nirvana‘s legendary MTV Unplugged album just sold during an auction for over $6 million dollars. That pile of cash is now the record to date for a guitar.
The auction was held by Julien’s Auctions’ and the guitar, a 1959 Martin D-18E, came with the original guitar case Cobain glued a flyer of the album Feel The Darkness, by the band Poison Idea and a couple of Alaska Airlines Stickers to. It also came with some picks and half-set of strings. All original items from the guitar and case, assumably belonging to the reluctant Grunge legend.
The guy that bought it is the co-founder of the microphone company Rode, Peter Freedman. I’m sure he’ll hang onto it for a decade or so and sell it for twice as much as he paid for it, like rich people like to do. Here he is in his pic just after he won the auction with the 6-string, which Kurt retro-fitted for his lefty playing-style.
But the real story is how the guitar made it to auction. See, the last I heard the ex of the Cobain Heiress had it. Apparently, or at least the story the he gave the judge handling the case, is she gave it to him as a grand show of love and affection. I don’t know his name or care to Google it, but Frances Bean Cobain took him to court to get the guitar back during their divorce, only to lose the legal battle for the guitar. Thats gotta burn, but she shouldnt feel too bad. The Cobain Estate due to her is said to be worth $450 Million dollars.
Heres the rub for me. Unlike Rich Guy Freedman in his white gloves, if I had Cobain’s Martin guitar, I think I’d have to play it! Sing it with me “I need an easy friend…. I do, with an ear to lend…” Yeah, I would devalue it. And Kurt would smile.