First seen circa 1991

Kurt Cobain’s 1950s Kay Archtop 6868

This guitar was featured in the music video for the song ‘Come As You Are’, released in 1992. The guitar did belong to Kurt, which is based on the fact that it was seen at Kurt’s home – but it was never really used live, or in any other public setting. It was most likely just a guitar that Kurt found interesting and unique, and for the most part just kept at his house.

The guitar was seen in the 2011 documentary ‘Montage of Heck’. The footage was most likely from around late 1991 when Kurt lived with Courtney in LA.

The Model

Based on the video footage, the guitar seems to fit the specs of a 50s era Kay archtop. The slim (maple?) neck profile, pickguard position, the bridge setup, and the black stripe following the contour of the body are all present on the models made in this time period. One of these guitars, which seems nearly identical to the one Kurt used, recently appeared on Reverb.com [Kay Archtop 1950’s Blonde Tiger Stripe w/ Hardshell Case]

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