Kurt Cobain’s Fender Mustang ‘Oranj-Stang’ (Red)
This guitar was first seen on July 23, 1993, at Roseland Ballroom, NYC. At that point, the guitar was completely stock, and it featured a fiesta red finish and had a red Pearloid pickguard with two white single coil pickups installed in it.
Allegedly, this was one of the four Fender Mustangs that Kurt acquired prior to the ‘In Utero’ tour, with three of them being finished in blue. All of them allegedly had nicknames, with this one being called ‘Oranj-Stang’, while the other three were all ‘Sky-Stangs’. It is unknown at this time whether these names were given by Kurt himself, or by his guitar tech.
Sometime between July and October – when the Mustang was next seen, the guitar was extensively modified (as is the case with the other three Mustangs, more on this here – Kurt Cobain’s Fender Mustang ‘Sky-Stang I’ (Sonic Blue)). The body was routed out to fit a full sized humbucker in the bridge position, and the choice fell on the Seymour Duncan JB – which Kurt was already familiar with from his Univox Custom.
The other modifications included the pickguard which was replaced with a white Pearloid one, and the white neck pickup was replaced with a black one (could’ve been just the plastic cover that was changed), and the stock bridge piece was replaced with a Gotoh Tune-O-Matic.
Kurt used this guitar occasionally throughout the ‘In Utero’ tour in 1993 and 1994, although far less than his second (and possibly, the third) Fender Mustang finished in blue (seemed like Kurt simply preferred the light-blue color). By 1994 he also started using his Jag-Stang, and the red Mustang was used even less from that point on, and eventually had its last appearance on February 24, 1994, in Milan, Italy (there’s a live recording of this gig on YouTube).
It’s unknown what exactly happened to this guitar after Kurt died, but it seems to be accounted for since Fender used it as a blueprint to build their own Kurt Cobain Signature Mustang line (see video above). If you happen to come across any information regarding where this guitar might be today, be sure to leave a comment.
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