date_range 1990

Kurt Cobain’s Unknown Mustang (Blue)

This guitar was likely put together by Kurt sometime in early 1990 to serve as a disposable guitar / something he could destroy at the end of a show. The Mustang was first used sometime in February 1990, likely on the night of 12th, at the Cattle Club, Sacramento (if you watch the video below, he starts the gig off with the Mustang, but switches to an Epiphone before the first song is even played – potentially meaning that the Mustang wasn’t properly set-up yet at that point).

The Mustang was subsequentially used on various concert dates in February and April 1990, closing with April 30, 1990, when it was last seen. The next few gigs, played between 1st and the 5th of May all lack any photographic material, so it is unknown whether this guitar was trashed at one of these shows. Based on what happened to nearly all of Kurt’s old guitars, this is very likely.

Based on the photos, the guitar is somewhat of a hybrid, featuring a Mustang body, Stratocaster-style neck with painted headstock, a Shaller non-tremolo bridge, and a what appears to be a Maxon pickup in the bridge position – likely taking origin from one of Kurt’s old Univoxes. However, the bobbins on the pickup are black, which doesn’t seem to fit the description of any of his older guitars, so it is more likely that the parts were acquired separately, or that Kurt used a different pickup, and somehow added the metal shielding on top of it (if this is even possible to do).

Most famously, the guitar was featured on the alternative version of the In Bloom music video [Nirvana – In Bloom; YouTube]

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