Kurt Cobain’s Fender Stratocaster (White, “K” Sticker)

This was Kurt’s first left-handed Fender Stratocaster. It was allegedly Japanese-made (source needed), and Kurt likely picked it up in October 1990 in the US, shortly before the band flew to the UK. The first time he was ever seen playing it was on October 25th, 1990, at Leeds Polytechnic, Leeds, United Kingdom (video below).

The guitar was finished in white and featured a rosewood neck. It had two single-coil pickups (likely original), and an angled humbucker in the bridge position – presumably installed by Kurt himself. The model and the brand of this third pickup is at this point unknown.

One unique thing to this guitar was a “K” sticker placed just behind the bridge – as a reference to an independent record label in Olympia, Washington. Kurt had the same design tattooed on his left arm.

The guitar made it into 1991, but it is unclear what exactly happened to it. The last time it was seen seems to be around March 1991, and given the history of the rest of Kurt’s guitars, this one probably ended up being destroyed somewhere around that time.


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1 year ago

Was it a sticker or was it painted on

11 months ago
Reply to  caunnor


9 months ago

Looks like a Seymour Duncan, Im assuming jb based on kurts preference in sd pickups

fouie lerris
fouie lerris
9 months ago

sorry you go the tattoo part wrong!
kurt had the k in a shield tattoo on his left arm, in the middle of his arm. he did the tattoo him self with a needle and tattoo ink, this is called a stick and poke. this is the only tattoo he had he also had no piercings. the only body modifications he did was this tattoo and dying his hair blonde, red, and blue.
Fun fact: kurt used koolaid to dye his hair red.

8 months ago

This Strat was actually seemingly last used on April 17, 1991 at the OK Hotel show. It’s more easily seen with the source found in the With The Lights Out boxset, where the cameraman is beside Kurt, during Pennyroyal Tea and Territorial Pissings, and from there, you can make out the humbucker and the sticker (especially during the end of Territorial, where the body of the Strat is covered in shadow). It just vanishes since. O.o