Guwahati: Grunge rock icon Kurt Cobain’s guitar — the one he played during his legendary 1993 MTV Unplugged performance — was sold on Saturday for a record $6 million, as stated by the auction house, Julien’s Auctions.
After fees and commission, the guitar which was sold at $6.01 million was the most expensive ever sold at an auction. Cobain played the retro acoustic-electric 1959 Martin D-18E for Nirvana’s career-defining performance in New York. This was just five months before his suicide at the age of 27.
The bidding for the famous guitar started at $1 million which quickly escalated to $6,010,000 which came from Australian businessman Peter Freedman. He is the owner of Rode Microphones who bid in person in Beverly Hills. Freedman plans to display the guitar in a worldwide tour and the proceeds are going to benefit performing arts.
“When I heard that this iconic guitar was up for auction I immediately knew it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to secure it and use it as a vehicle to spotlight the struggles that those in the performing arts are facing and have always faced,” Freedman was quoted as saying by the auction house.
The guitar was customized by Cobain where he added a Bartolini pickup to the soundhole according to the statements by the auction house. He even decorated the hard-shell case which is included in the lot along with a flyer from Poison Idea’s 1990 album Feel the Darkness.
Nirvana’s acoustic execution during the taping for the well-known MTV Unplugged series on November 18, 1993, became what is viewed as one of history’s most noteworthy live albums.
It included versions of Nirvana’s hits Come As You Are and About A Girl alongside covers including David Bowie’s The Man Who Sold the World.
The most expensive guitar until now was Fender Stratocaster, dubbed “Black Strat,” which was used by Pink Floyd’s guitarist David Gilmour which was sold by the musician for nearly $4 million in a charity sale of June 2019.