The famous guitar used by Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain during the band’s legendary MTV Unplugged in New York concert is going to be sold auction and a starting estimate has been placed at $1million.
The 1959 Martin D-18E featured in the group’s performance in November 1993 just five months before Cobain’s tragic death at the age of 27.
Nirvana’s Unplugged performance is seen as the pinnacle of the band’s career, as well as being a sign of Cobain’s fragility where he put on an emotional showing, the pain audibly clear in his voice.
The guitar is the headline item for the ‘Music Icons’ event to be hosted by Julien’s Auctions in Beverly Hills which will take place live and online in Beverly Hills on 19 and 20 June.
Darren Julien, president of the auction house, said: “Julien’s Auctions is proud to offer this historic guitar from Kurt Cobain, who upended the music industry and pop culture at large with his mythic performance fronting Nirvana on MTV Unplugged in New York.
“This important guitar has earned its rightful place in rock‘n’roll history as the instrument played by one of rock’s most influential musicians and icons in one of the greatest and most memorable live performances of all time.”
Cobain’s guitar comes with the original case decorated by the singer-songwriter with a flyer from the punk rock band Poison Idea’s 1990 album Feel the Darkness.
Three baggage claim ticket stubs are attached to the handle, along with an Alaska Airlines sticker affixed to the case. The storage compartment contains Cobain’s half-used pack of guitar strings, picks and a suede “stash bag”.
The auction will feature other Nirvana items such as a Fender Strat used by Cobain during their In Utero tour and the silver lamé shirt he wore in the video for ‘Heart-Shaped Box’.