In an auction held today June 20, 2020 at Julien's Auctions a bidder bought Kurt Cobain's acoustic guitar used during the infamous MTV Unplugged performance. The purchase cost the lucky buyer a record-setting $6,010,000. The buyer, whose name was announced publicly as the auction concluded in a somewhat unusual occurrence, was Australian Peter Freedman, Founder and CEO of RODE Microphones. The Nirvana MTV Unplugged concert was recorded on November 18, 1993 in MTV's New York City studios and telecast on December 16. The recording went on to be a best seller for Nirvana.
The guitar itself is a 1959 Martin D-18E, one of Martin's first acoustic guitars outfitted with pickups. The instrument was expected to sell for a large amount but the end result surpassed most watcher's expectations. Also included was the original hard shell case which was decorated by Cobain with a sticker for Poison Idea’s 1990 album Feel the Darkness. A partially-used pack of Martin guitar strings, three picks, and suede "stash" bag were inside the case.
According to Julien's, Freedman commented: “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 further detailed his future plans for the guitar, saying that he intends to include it and other music memorabilia in a worldwide exhibition tour with proceeds going to the performing arts.
Previously the record setter was a Fender Stratocaster owned and played by David Gilmour of Pink Floyd. That guitar sold for $3.875 million. You can read about that here.
For more content like this, updates on our latest arrivals plus a discount code, subscribe to our MusicGoldmine bi-weekly newsletter here.