Kurt Cobain’s Custom Mustang (Green, Jesus pickguard)

This Mustang was used by Kurt on February 14th, 1990, at Kennel Club, San Francisco, CA. The guitar was destroyed at the end of the gig, leaving the neck cleanly broken from the body.

Based on the appearance, this was one of a number of homemade guitars that Kurt and the band put together using various parts. This guitar, in particular, seemed to have a Mustang-style body finished in surf green, and a brand new neck with the headstock painted black. It also had a custom-made pickguard, with a photo of Jesus on the front.

(Kurt:) We even built a bunch of Mustangs at one time. We bought some necks, and took pieces of wood and cut out the bodies and put necks on – and they were completely out of tune. But we did a pretty good job.

(Krist:) We had this little assembly line in the garage, where we -incomprehensible- painted them.

(Kurt:) Those were all destroyed in one tour. That was about like four years ago, probably. At least.

Kurt Cobain – Nirvana Interview Seattle, August 10, 1993, by Edgar Klüsener
Kurt with the “Jesus” Mustang. Photo credit unknown.

The Neck

The neck of this guitar ended up being picked up by a member of the audience. He was kind enough to share the story and some photos.

I originally grabbed it and their roadie took it from me and said ‘we’ll make other guitars from that’ and gave me the neck instead.

The neck plate is from a Fernandez. The remnants of the body and paint are obviously VERY crudely made. All these years I just assumed it was a cheap, off-the-rack, bottom-of-the-line Fernandez. Most likely it’s just a random neck plate used on a home made guitar and has the initials KC scratched into the chrome. The neck was probably a brand new no-name replacement neck. It has unpolished jumbo frets with no signs of wear. Position marker dots are on both edges of fretboard, typical of a cheap replacement neck- regardless of headstock orientation.

Jeff – GroundGuitar Comments, Email
Kurt Cobain
Kurt Cobain “Jesus” Mustang Neck. Photo credit: Jeff
Kurt Cobain
Kurt Cobain “Jesus” Mustang Neck Plate showing Kurt’s initials. Photo credit: Jeff

Given how the neck snapped together with a part of the body, the body definitely didn’t get re-used. As Jeff said, roadie took it, so it’s possible that it is still out there somewhere.

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Blag
Blag
16 days ago

This is Blag from the Dwarves. I have the Jesus pick guard from the smashed guitar. It flew right into my hands at that show at the Kennel Club SF with my bass player standing right next to me. Then we went backstage and talked to the band as we were both on Sub/Pop then.

Blag
Blag
12 days ago
Reply to  Dan Kopilovic

done

Enrique Maldonado
Enrique Maldonado
4 days ago
Reply to  Blag

Hey Blag, I have two original lenticular of this. I think it’s what Kurt used. I was wondering if you’d email me and we could share some pics back and forth to compare them?

Blag
Blag
4 days ago
Conner
Conner
6 months ago

Did it have any pickups or bridges or anything on it?

Maxi
Maxi
6 months ago
Reply to  Conner

yes it has from my eyes a metalor humbucker and a squier bullet mustang bridge.

Rick
Rick
2 years ago

some more pics…

1989-04-07_003.jpg
1989-04-07_002.jpg
M8_507
M8_507
11 months ago
Reply to  Rick

That’s this Mustang

07F617D7-FBD9-45D7-9CF5-72B57912233F.jpeg
Maxi
Maxi
6 months ago
Reply to  Rick

thats the univox-stang not custom

Rick
Rick
2 years ago

I found a some pics of a Nirvana concert from 1989, kurt is using a mustang, with an white pickguard. The pickguard is loaded with an single coil pickup, as far as i can look, and a humbucker. Can anybody tell me, what guitar he’s using? I’m sending the pics in this coment…

1989-04-07_004.jpg
1989-04-07_001.jpg
Rick
Rick
2 years ago
Reply to  Dan Kopilovic

Thanks!

Maxi
Maxi
6 months ago
Reply to  Rick

its the univox-stang(greco) i think he just replaced the vinyl pickguard with an real mustang pickguard

Daniel
Daniel
3 months ago
Reply to  Maxi

It was 100% a Fender body Greco never made a Mustang let alone a left handed one it was 100% a Fender body or husk somebody was throwing out or he got for cheap

Rick
Rick
2 years ago

I found the body of that Mustang, with the same pickguard as from the pic.
and the neck was cracked out. you could see that.

Rick
Rick
2 years ago
Reply to  Rick

i found it at an junkstore

Rick
Rick
2 years ago
Reply to  Dan Kopilovic

I’m Sorry, i thought that i had the body but it’s not with an jesus photograph on it, but i have i normal sonic blue mustang body….

Rory
Rory
2 years ago

It was also used at rough trade records the same day.

Rick
Rick
2 years ago
Reply to  Rory

yes, you’re right i found that concert on youtube

Cole
Cole
2 years ago

I thought it was the greco mustang he used to make this. Or the other light green one he built

Last edited 2 years ago by Cole
Rory
Rory
2 years ago
Reply to  Cole

It was most likely a different one since the parts were totally different and he had a lot like that at the time.