Australian microphone king buys Kurt Cobain’s iconic ‘MTV Unplugged’ guitar for $8.79MILLION at auction
- Peter Freedman bought Kurt Cobain’s iconic ‘MTV Unplugged’ guitar at auction
- The guitar sold for $8.79million, the most expensive guitar ever sold at auction
- He plans to show the guitar on a world tour with all proceeds going to the arts
- Cobain played the guitar during Nirvana’s celebrated live album in New York
Grunge rock icon Kurt Cobain’s ‘MTV Unplugged’ guitar has been bought by an Australian audio magnate at auction for $8.79million AUD ($6.01million USD).
The retro acoustic-electric 1959 Martin D-18E was sold by Julien’s Auctions on Saturday to RODE Microphones founder Peter Freedman, becoming the most expensive guitar ever sold at auction.
‘When I heard that this iconic guitar was up for auction 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,’ Freedman said.
RODE Microphones founder Peter Freedman has bought Kurt Cobain’s iconic ‘MTV Unplugged’ guitar at auction
Cobain played the guitar during his legendary 1993 MTV Unplugged performance in New York just five months before his tragic suicide at age 27.
The starting reserve for the guitar was $1.46million, which was sold off as part of Julien’s Auction’s ‘music icons’ sale.
The guitar was sold with its case, which Cobain had decorated with a flyer from punk rock band Poison Idea’s 1990 album ‘Feel the Darkness’.
Until now, the most expensive guitar in history was a Fender Stratocaster, dubbed ‘Black Strat’, used by Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour.
It had been sold by the musician for nearly $4 million during a charity sale in June 2019.
Mr Freedman plans to display Cobain’s guitar in a worldwide tour, with proceeds going to benefit performing arts.
The retro acoustic-electric 1959 Martin D-18E guitar sold for $8.79million, becoming the most expensive guitar ever sold at auction
‘The global arts industry has been shattered by the impact of COVID-19, with musicians and artists being amongst the most affected,’ he said in a blog post.
‘While many industries are gradually returning to normal, it’s going to take a long time before this industry can begin functioning as it was.
‘I saw buying this guitar as an opportunity to not only share it with music fans, but to do so in a way that raises awareness for the struggles that musicians and artists face every day, and lobby governments for change.’
Nirvana’s ‘MTV Unplugged in New York’ album debuted at No.1 on the U.S. Billboard charts on release in 1994 and and has sold more than 8-million copies worldwide.
The record is widely considered as one the greatest live albums in history.
In October 2019 Cobain’s cigarette-singed cardigan worn during the ‘Unplugged’ performance sold for $334,000.
Cobain played the guitar during Nirvana’s MTV Unplugged session in New York, which debuted at No.1 on the U.S. Billboard charts on release in 1994