Kurt Cobain's MTV Unplugged guitar sells for $6m at auction

Kurt Cobain's guitar sold at auctionImage copyright

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Bidding for the iconic instrument started at $1m

A guitar played by Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain in a rare acoustic concert has sold for a record $6m (£4.9m).

Cobain played the retro acoustic-electric 1959 Martin D-18E during a legendary MTV Unplugged performance in 1993, just five months before he died.

At $6.01m after fees, the guitar is the most expensive ever sold at auction, Julien’s Auctions said.

Bidding in Los Angeles opened at $1m and was won by Rode Microphones founder Peter Freedman.

Nirvana’s acoustic performance for the MTV Unplugged series on 18 November 1993 is now considered one of history’s greatest live performances.

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Cobain died just five months after the performance

Mr Freedman said he planned to take the guitar on a worldwide tour, with proceeds to go to supporting the performing arts.

He described buying the guitar as “a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity”, according to the auction house.

The guitar came with its case, which Cobain had decorated with a poster from the band Poison Idea’s 1990 album Feel the Darkness.

Before this, the most expensive guitar sold in history was a Fender Stratocaster used by Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour. It fetched almost $4m at a charity sale in June 2019.


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