Kurt Cobain’s Univox Hi-Flier Phase 4 (Heart Shaped Box)

This is the guitar that Kurt most famously used during the ‘Heart-Shaped Box’ music video. It is presumably the only Phase 4 Univox that he owned (nearly all the previous ones were Phase 3s), and likely the last one that he ever acquired.

According to Anton Corbijn (Dutch photographer and video director), the video was shot sometime in September 1993 – so chronologically looking, that was the first time this guitar was ever seen. The only other time Kurt was seen with the guitar was on October 21, 1993, at Kansas City Memorial Hall.

It was in 1993. I think it was August for the photoshoot and September for the video. Before In Utero was released. Kurt heard from Courtney about videos I did for Echo and the Bunnymen because Courtney had lived in Liverpool for a while. Then Kurt asked me to send those videos to him, and I guess he liked them enough because he sent his ideas for this new video back to me.

How Nirvana Shot the ‘Heart-Shaped Box’ Video

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Zach Davis
Zach Davis
1 year ago

That Picture is of an eastwood replica not a real phase 4 univox

11 months ago

I think Anton Corbijn is mistaking when he said “He thinks” the Photo Shoot was in August And the Music Video was in September before the Release of In Utero ….

The Photo Shoot was actually in Mid July 1993, and the Music Video was in August 1993… As during the Video Shoot for Heart-Shaped Box Kurt and Courtney were Arguing all day and she kept picking on Kurt telling him how important of a video it is and how he has to look “Good” and he replied “I look how I Look, I’ll look like myself” and as the day progress so did the argument and as a “Fuck You” Kurt put his Cigarette out in the middle of his forehead and said “Do I fucking look good enough for you now?” And it turned into a bad scab and so for the video they had to add make up to cover up the Cigarette burn and have a piece of Kurt’s hair taped down or whatever they use to cover it (that’s why in the last verse of the song in the video Kurt lifts up his hair to show the burn but his hair falls right back in his face”) anyways, the reason I’m bringing this up is because on September 2, 1993 Nirvana was at the 1993 MTV Video Music Awards, and Kurt had the Scab on his Forehead so if he already had it by 09/02/93 there’s no way the video was shot in September 93′

And also besides the “Heart-Shaped Box” Music Video, the Only other time the White Univox Hi-Flier Phase 4 is seen is the October 21, 1993 Memorial Hall Kansas City KS (as you mentioned) but Kurt Also smashed this Univox at the end of the 10/21/93 Show.

Broke the headstock right off the Neck, and Spilt the neck in half….and broke the neck off the body, so it’s beyond repair.

9 months ago

The “Heart-Shaped Box” Music Video was filmed on August 31 & September 2, 1993. Kurt Originally wanted to use his 1969 Fender Lake Placid Blue Competition Mustang with Matching Headstock (same Mustang from the “Teen Spirit” Music Video), but they couldn’t find it, (it was either under Earnie Bailey’s Bed or Kurt’s bed) so Kurt used the White 1977 Univox Hi-Flier Phase 4. Besides the Heart-Shaped Box Music Video the only other time Kurt used this Univox Hi-Flier Phase 4 was at the 10/21/93 Memorial Hall Kansas City KS show during the In Utero Tour when it was smashed at the end of the show.

T Clark
T Clark
5 months ago

I have this same guitar. My parents bought it for me back in the 70’s to take lessons with and I still have it.