A Fender Mustang built for Kurt Cobain during Nirvana’s ‘In Utero’ period, is up for auction. The guitar was originally gifted to a fan by Courtney Love. Now you could own it!
Kurt Cobain Fender Mustang
Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain was a lefty and ordered some custom Fender Mustang guitars for his use. As Fender’s Custom Shop couldn’t build them at the time, they got Fujigen in Japan to knock up these one off guitars for Mr Cobain. The guitar was built by Scott Zimmerman, who built prototypes and custom instruments for FujiGen. Zimmerman, who had in the past built the necks for Cobain’s first two Jagstang guitars, was contacted by Fender Guitar’s artist relations manager in 1993 to do the work. It’s all seems well documented.
Cobain’s Mustang is now being auctioned as part of Julien’s Icons and Idols: Rock ‘N’ Roll collection.
Icons and Idols: Rock ‘N’ Roll
The guitar has a huge amount of documentation proving its provenance, including a hand-written letter by Love on her own headed stationary, plus FedEx receipts. The guitar was also on show at the at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Whilst on display there a fan jumped over the barrier and stole two of the knobs off the guitar, which were replaced by the museum with identical knobs!
Skystang III – The Real Deal!
We also know that Cobain’s guitar tech had added a Gotoh tune-o-matic bridge and a black Seymour Duncan JB humbucker to the instrument whilst it was being used for the In Utero tour. This guitar was known as Skystang III as reflected by a label on the original guitar case.
This guitar is certainly part of Rock History and will probably fetch a few hundred thousand dollars. But this year we’ve already seen some spectacular sales of iconic guitars, like Gilmour’s Black Strat. So anything could happen!
If your budget won’t stretch to this, I’m sure you can find a Japanese built one on eBay for less…
UPDATE 27 Oct
The guitar sold in the end for $340,000
- Kurt Cobain Fender Mustang: Julien's Auctions
- Kurt Cobain Fender Mustang rear: Julien's Auctions
- The letter to the fan: Julien's Auctions
- Kurt Cobain with the Fender Mustang: Julien's Auctions