- 22 Jun 20
The 1959 Martin D-18E is set to be displayed in a worldwide tour of exhibitions, with all proceeds going to the performing arts.
Kurt Cobain's iconic 'MTV Unplugged' guitar from Nirvana's 1993 performance has sold for a record $6 million at an auction on Saturday.
The previous action record was set at $3.95 million for a Black Stratocaster owned by Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour.
The 1959 Martin D-18E was modified specially for the left-handed frontman, and reached $1 million before the auction had officially opened over the weekend.
According to the Julien's Auctions website, the guitar received seven bids in total and also came with its original hard-shell case - adorned with a flyer for the band Poison Idea's 1990 album Feel the Darkness.
A half-used pack of Martin guitar strings, three picks, and a “suede ‘stash’ bag” that’s decorated with a small silver spoon, fork, and knife is also included in the hard-shell case.
The buyer - Peter Freedman of Rode Microphones - emphasised that the guitar will be utilised for a good cause.
“When I heard that this iconic guitar was up for auction,” Freedman said via the auction house.
“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.”
“Nirvana’s 'Unplugged' is one of my favourite records of all time and easily one of the best live performances ever captured on film," Freedman added.
"They were a huge influence on me; the early-90s were Rode’s formative years, and Nirvana’s music was very much the soundtrack to that time in my life and that era of the company.”
Freedman plans to display the guitar in a worldwide tour of exhibitions, with all proceeds going to the performing arts.
“This important guitar has earned its rightful place in rock & 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,” Darren Julien, CEO of the auction house, said in a statement.
Curt Kirkwood’s handwritten lyric sheet to the Meat Puppets’ 'Oh, Me,' a typed setlist from the legendary gig, lyrics for David Bowie’s 'The Man Who Sold the World' and Meat Puppets’ 'Lake of Fire', and a letter to Cobain from Nirvana’s management company nine days before the performance outlining potential songs for the gig were included in the auction.
Late last year, Kurt Cobain’s green cardigan from the 'Unplugged' performance sold for $334,000.