Kurt Cobain’s Fender Mustang ‘Sky-Stang II’ (Sonic Blue)

This was second of the three blue Fender Mustangs that Kurt acquired sometime prior to the ‘In Utero’ tour, and one of the four Mustangs in total he used around that time – the fourth one being a red one. All four guitars were modified in a similar way sometime between July and October 1993 – with their bodies being routed out in order to fit a full sized humbucker in the bridge position.

Mods

As noted, this guitar was fitted with a humbucker in the bridge position – most likely a Seymour Duncan SH-4 JB model, which Kurt used in many of his guitars. Aside from that, the only change seemed to have been replacing the stock bridge with a Gotoh Tune-o-Matic.

On Tour

Although Kurt mostly used his first blue Mustang – the ‘Sky-Stang I’, this guitar too was seen occasionally during the latter part of the ‘In Utero’ tour. […]

It is important to note at this point that what differentiates this guitar from Kurt’s first blue Mustang, the ‘Sky-Stang I’, is the black plastic cover on the humbucker (compared to the white one on the first).

The Guitar Today

This guitar is currently owned by the Kurt Cobain estate and is apparently kept at a secret vault somewhere in Seattle, alongside many of Kurt’s personal stuff. Charles R. Cross, who had a chance to visit the vault while working on the book ‘Heavier Than Heaven‘, reported some of his experiences while visiting the vault to the Rolling Stone magazine:

It’s at an “undisclosed location.” And it literally was at an underground bomb-proof bunker that Bill Gates stored his stuff in. When I first went to visit it, it was the first time in my life my retina was ever scanned. It was like James Bond. The week Kurt died, Courtney had the sense to tell someone “put all this stuff away,” and it had all been boxed up and never opened. I think I was the first person to open these boxes — and I cannot tell you how freaky that was, to open up a Rubbermaid container and inside were Kurt Cobain’s board games that had been put away. [Behind “Cobain Unseen”: Charles Cross on Kurt’s Private Archives]

Cross also hired a photographer, Geoff Moore, to take some photos of the stuff that was in the vault – among them, of course, this blue Mustang. These photos were later published in Cross’ next book ‘Cobain Unseen’.

Fender Kurt Cobain Signature Model

This guitar was also seen briefly during Fender’s promo video made just before they released the Fender Kurt Cobain Signature Mustang – which was largely based on this guitar (it would make more sense if they based it on the ‘Sky-Stang I’, but hey – there’s not much of a difference between the two anyway). Take note of the small yellow colored underneath the bridge pickup – it’s one of the ways to separate this guitar from its twin – the ‘Sky-Stang III’.

The model was discontinued just a few years after it was introduced and is nowadays only available through second-hand sellers. If you happen to be one of the few lucky ones who bought one, and wouldn’t mind sending some photos, be sure to shot me a message using the email address posted below.

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Statistics for Skystang II

1st used 12/30/93 Great Western Forum as 2nd guitar for 21 of 23 songs,
Kurt switched from Skystang I after the first song ‘Radio Friendly Unit Shifter’.

2nd use 12/31/93 Oakland County Coliseum Arena, Oakland, CA, US, as 2nd guitar for 3 of 24 songs
(About A Girl, Lithium, Pennyroyal Tea).

3rd use 02/23/94 RAI Tunnel, Roma, IT – The ONLY time Skystang II was used exclusivly
(Serve The Servants, Dumb).

Played on 3 of 68 In Utero shows ~ 4,4% total usage.

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