Kurt Cobain’s Ibanez Les Paul Copy

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Kurt owned an Ibanez copy of a Gibson Les Paul guitar, likely acquiring it sometime towards 1993. He was never seen with using it, but based on a couple of somewhat reliable sources, he did indeed own it.

First source is the old Kurt Cobain fan website on GeoCities (it’s the place where most of the info from kurtsequipment.com seems to have originated from). This website (now down), reads the following:

Ibanez Les Paul custom copy, cherry sunburst, Dimarzio X2N pickups, 2 coil tap mini switches (installed when bought), lefty, set neck, flame in top, black pickguard and pickup rings, pickguard may have been removed. Black or gold speed knobs. This was a great lefty guitar but Kurt wouldn’t play it live because he said it looked too much like Jimmy Page! Earnie may have sent this for the “In Utero” recording.

www.geocities.com/SunsetStrip/Palladium/4356/1kurteq.htm

The second source, while valid, is at this point a bit of a mystery. A visitor of ours, sent a photo via email that shows the said guitar, allegedly sitting in a secret vault that contains number of Kurt’s private possessions.

Most likely, this is the guitar that is described on the GeoCities website. We see the DiMarzio X2N pickup in the bridge, cherry sunburst finish, flame top, a custom switch. Only inconsistency is the white pickup rings and the single coil in the neck, but these could’ve easily been swapped at some point.

We also can see that this was most likely a late 1970s (or later) guitar. Up until mid 70s, Ibanez used the exact same headstock shape and inlay as did Gibson on their guitars. This resulted in a lawsuit, and both the shape and the inlays were changed on Ibanez guitars starting from late 1976. Kurt’s guitar sports this redesign.

Kurt’s Ibanez Les Paul (middle). Photo source: Unknown

The only problem with the photo above is that the source of it is unknown. If you by any chance happen to know anything about it, where it was taken, for what purpose, please leave a comment below.

In any case, the photo proves that Kurt did own the guitar, and that it’s still around. This is important to point out because there’s misinformation out there claiming that Kurt destroyed the guitar on September 22, 1990, at Motor Sports. He did in fact destroy a guitar that night, but it was the 1980s Aria Pro II CS-350.

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Rhoads Brady
Rhoads Brady
1 month ago

there is one known picture of him playing this, but incorrectly reporting that he smashed it.

lp.jpeg