Kurt Cobain’s 1980s Aria Pro II CS-350

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Kurt started using this guitar around mid-1990 during the latter part of the Bleach club tour, and it was first photographed on May 6, 1990, at the Masquerade, Atlanta, GA (while to tour ended up on 17th). From then on, Nirvana went on a break until August, by which time Kurt seemed to have obtained a Mosrite guitar, which he used as his main, while the Aria popped in only occasionally, and was eventually destroyed on September 22, 1990, at Motor Sports International Garage, Seattle.

Based on the photos, Kurt’s Aria Pro II featured ash body with walnut finish, maple neck with rosewood fretboard, and two Protomatic V humbuckers. Kurt removed most of the control knobs – leaving only bridge pickup volume control, pickup selector, and one of the two-phase reversal switches.

The guitar, or more precisely – what’s left of it, was seen on a few Nirvana-themed exhibits organized by the EMP Musem (now Museum of Pop Culture). It is unknown how exactly the museum acquired the body.

The smashed-up body of Kurt’s Aria Pro II CS-350. Photo by: OnceAndFutureLaura/Flickr

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