Guitar Used by Kurt Cobain Expected to Fetch Over $1M at Auction

Kurt Cobain performing with Nirvana during a taping MTV "Unplugged" in 1993.
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The acoustic guitar used by Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain during their acclaimed 1994 MTV “Unplugged” performance is expected to sell for over $1 million at auction next month.

The guitar, a 1959 Martin D-18 model, will be part of the “Music Icons” auction of Julien’s Beverly Hills location, and online, from Monday June 15 to June 19 2020.

The guitar comes with an original case, partially used package of extra strings, and three picks.

“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,” Julien’s CEO Darren Julien said in a statement.

The rare guitar has a starting estimate of $1 million but is expected to go higher.

The instrument was previously owned by Kurt’s daughter, Frances Bean Cobain, who reportedly let it go during an acrimonious divorce from her former husband, musician Isaiah Silva.

In November 1993, Nirvana taped what would be their final television concert together, playing MTV’s coveted and well-respected series “Unplugged.” The concert was hailed by critics as one of the best television performances of all time.

But their relentless touring and recording schedule took its toll on Cobain. In July 1993 Cobain overdosed on heroin in New York City. Months later, in March 1994, Cobain would overdose again in Rome after mixing champagne and the powerful sedative Rohyphnol.

When he and Love returned to Seattle days after his overdose, his wife told police that her husband was suicidal. Authorities later confiscated his guns and medication.

On April 8, 1994, Cobain’s body was discovered by an electrician who had an appointment to install a security system in the singer’s home. He was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Cobain left a note behind and toxicology reports said that he had high levels of heroin and traces of the anti-anxiety medication diazepam in his body.

He was just 27 years old. His body was cremated and spread in the Wishkah River, under which he had once lived.

When “Nirvana: MTV Unplugged in New York" reached No.1 soon after its release in November 1994, nearly a year after it was initially recorded.

The news of the Cobain auction comes just days after his former bandmate and Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl praised Post Malone's recent online concert of Nirvana covers.

Grohl, who has fronted Foo Fighters since Cobain's passing, told radio station ALT 98.7 "I was honored" by the gesture which raised  money for the United Nations Foundation’s COVID-19 Solidarity Relief Fund.

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