Kurt Cobain's MTV Unplugged guitar up for $1m auction

Kurt Cobain

Kurt Cobain"MTV Unplugged performance NY 1994

Cobain's guitar and his sweater (which has been auctioned in the past) remain the two hottest items from the classic MTV Unplugged performance.

The guitar comes with a battered case featuring an Alaska Airlines sticker, luggage tags, and a flyer from Poison Idea's 1990 album Feel the Darkness (left). It's the seventh of only 302 D-18Es built by Martin but as Nirvana tech Earnie Bailey told Total Guitar, it was then heavily modified for Nirvana's 1993 MTV Unplugged performance in NY. It was the seventh of only 302 D-18Es built by Martin and was customized by Cobain who added a Bartolini pickup to the soundhole.

The retro acoustic-electric 1959 Martin D-18E Cobain strummed for Nirvana's career-defining performance in NY - just five months before his shock death at age 27 - will be open to the highest bidder the weekend of June 19th in Beverly Hills and online via Julien's Auction's.

Julien's Chief Executive Darren Julien said the guitar "has earned its rightful place in 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".

Considering the starting estimate of $1 million for Cobain's guitar, it will likely go for more than double that of a guitar that played a key role in Bob Dylan's artistic evolution from folk to rock, which in 2018 fetched just under half a million.

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Other items of note being auctioned during the Julien's Music Icons auction event include Prince's custom-made 1984 blue cloud guitar, a rare page of Paul McCartney handwritten lyrics for "Maxwell's Silver Hammer, Jim Morrison's "Paris Journal", filled with his thoughts and poems, Michael Jackson's black loafers and an MTV Moonman trophy for "Leave Me Alone", a number of Johnny Cash items including his Yamaha baby grand piano and some Elvis Presley jewelry and belt buckles".

Additionally, the Music Icons event is selling other Cobain items, including the metallic silver lame long-sleeve button-down shirt he wore in the Heart-Shaped Box video ($10,000-$20,000), a copy of a Bleach CD signed "Kurdt" and inscribed with drawings by Cobain ($1,000-$2,000), the typed MTV Unplugged in NY set list used by Cobain featuring the songs About a Girl and Where Did You Sleep Last Night ($4,000-$6,000), and more.

The Nirvana frontman recorded the "Unplugged" session in November 1993. It can be viewed at the Hard Rock Cafe in London's Piccadilly Circus May 15-31 and then at Julien's Auctions Gallery in Beverly Hills from June 15-19.

All the items come from various people who worked with Cobain or were associated with his family, Julien's said.

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