Kurt Cobain’s Teisco FB-29M/Ibanez Destroyer

This was Kurt’s second electric guitar- the one he bought after taking lessons with Warren Mason, his first guitar teacher, sometime in 1982. As the story goes, Warren saw Kurt’s first electric guitar, deemed it hard to play, and recommended that Kurt should buy an Ibanez instead.

The first thing Warren had to deal with was Kurt’s guitar—it was more suited for showing off at school than playing. Warren found Kurt an Ibanez, for $125.

Heavier Than Heaven: The Biography of Kurt Cobain
Kurt Cobain’s with his second electric guitar, 1982.


Most sources online seem to think that this guitar was a 1976 Ibanez Destroyer. This hypothesis aligns well with what Warren apparently said, but based on the guitar’s finish, it seems to be unlikely. The 1970s Ibanez Destroyer models were based on the Gibson Korina Explorer, and featured a natural, yellow finish, without the sunburst effect seen on Kurt’s guitar.

So it could be that Warren simply remember incorrectly, or that he was misquoted somehow.

The more likely candidate is the guitar is a Teisco FB-29M, which is another Gibson Explorer copy, similar to Ibanez Destroyer.

Teisco FB-29M (top) vs Ibanez Destroyer (bottom). Note the angle at which the pickguard line meets the part between the pickups, and how Teisco one is more consistent with what can be seen on Kurt’s guitar. Also, note the distance between the Tune-O-Matic and the stop-tail bridge on both guitars, and compare it to Kurt’s guitar.

However, since none of this can be confirmed just based on this one photo, both options are deemed possible at this point, Teisco being the more likely one.

Submitted by: Anthony


GroundGuitar counts on your criticism and feedback. In case you notice anything wrong with the information posted on this page, or you have knowledge of something that you would like to share, be sure to leave a comment below.

In case you want to talk to me directly and privately, please use the Contact Form and I will get back to you as soon as possible. (Dan)

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments