Kurt Cobain’s Fender Stratocaster (White, Seattle Coliseum)

Based on photos and videos available, this guitar was used only once, on September 11, 1992, at Seattle Center Coliseum, Seattle, WA. At the end of the gig, the guitar was apparently smashed, and years later ended it up on an exhibit organized by EMP/MoPoP museum in Seattle.

The guitar was most likely pieced together from various parts, as Kurt used at least one more white Stratocaster around this time – but this was the only one with a black colored Seymour Duncan Hot Rails pickup in the bridge position. Interestingly, Kurt destroyed a black Stratocaster just around a week earlier, on August 30, 1992 (Reading Festival) – which also had a black Seymour Duncan Hot Rails in it – meaning that the pickup could’ve originated from that guitar.

Kurt’s Fender Stratocaster at display at the EMP/MoPoP in Seattle. Photo by: OnceAndFutureLaura/Flickr


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2 years ago

Pretty sure this is the same white strat that he used and smashed in Europe in 1991, the dings and scuffs on it match up to this guitar. The only difference is that it was given a replacement neck and a different bridge pickup afterwards.

Ben Merriford
Ben Merriford
2 years ago

If we are being pedantic (!), Kurt DIDN’T smash a guitar at Reading ’92 – It was Dave Grohl who smashed the black Strat copy while Kurt played his sunburst Strat.

4 years ago

Kurt actually used 2 White Fender Stratocasters at the 09/11/92 Seattle Coliseum show… I noticed from watching footage that one white Strat had the white plate on the back covering the bridge springs… And this strat also had a White Seymour Duncan Hotrail in the bridge…

And the second White Stratocaster that was used (and later destroyed at the end) had no back plate on the back and had the black Seymour Duncan Hotrail.

As this Second one was destroyed at the end of the 09/11/92 Seattle Coliseum show…as for the first white strat the one with the white Hotrail that was destroyed at the end of the 10/30/92 Argentina show.

1 year ago
Reply to  Rych

Wasn’t that the one that he used in Sweden with the white hotrail in the bridge? Then used in Buenos Aires and was destroyed that night. And all the pickups and stuff were salvaged and Dave Grohl and some other dude drawn on it?