American singer Kurt Cobain’s MTV Unplugged guitar(The most expensive) has sold for US$6million at auction, a rough equivalent of £4.85million. The 1959 Martin D-18E guitar featured in Nirvana’s famed New York show, 5 months earlier than Cobain’s death by suicide at the age of 27 in 1994.
It was originally expected to sell for someplace between $1 and 2 million as a part of the ‘Music Icons’ sale at Julien’s Auctions on June 19 and 20. Bidding for the guitar started at $1 million, but quickly escalated, with the instrument selling for $6,010,000 — a figure Julien’s Auctions said set “a new world record for a guitar.”
Kurt Cobain’s MTV Unplugged Guitar Sells US$6million At Auction
The winning bid came from Australian businessman Peter Freedman, owner of Rode Microphones, who bid in person in Beverly Hills, PA Media news agency reported.”It’s a big deal. I didn’t even buy it for me. I paid for it but I’m going to use it to highlight the plight of artists worldwide by touring it around and then I’m going to sell it and use the dough for that as well, later,” he told PA.
“The musicians and artists have supported my family since the 60s. We’ve been in that game forever so I’ve been very lucky with Rode and I’ve been able to give away lots of money, quite a few mills,” he added. Freedman said he had no limit on what he would have paid for the instrument, adding “I was going to get it (the guitar).”
When the auction was first introduced in May, the auction house CEO Darren Julien mentioned, “This important guitar has earned its rightful place in rock & roll historical past because the instrument performed by one in all rock’s most influential musicians and icons in one of many biggest and most memorable live performances of all time.” The earlier record for most costly guitar ever bought was a black Stratocaster owned by Pink Floyd‘s David Gilmour, which bought at public sale for $3.95 million in 2019.
Nirvana’s popularity soared with their second album “Nevermind.” Released in September 1991, the record had sold over 1 million copies in the US by the end of that year. In 1992, it reached the No.1 slot on the Billboard 200 — and has spent 472 weeks on the chart.”MTV Unplugged in New York” also reached No.1 soon after its release in 1994.