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Kurt Cobain’s iconic guitar sells for $6 million

The acoustic guitar strummed by the late Kurt Cobain during Nirvana’s iconic MTV Unplugged performance in 1993 has been sold for $6 million at a California auction.

Australian Peter Freedman paid the record sum in California, a clear sign that, 26 years after Cobain’s death, love for his music and his band endures.

“When I heard that this iconic guitar was up for auction, I immediately knew it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to secure it and use it as a vehicle to spotlight the struggles that those in the performing arts are facing and have always faced,” said Freedman.

The previous record was $3.95 million for a Black Stratocaster owned by Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour.

Martin Nolan, executive director of the auction house Julien’s Auctions, which made the sale, said the 1959 Martin D-18E guitar was typical of the kind of instrument Cobain wanted.

“Kurt, he didn’t look for ostentatious guitars or glamorous guitars.”

“He wanted a guitar because he was a left-handed guitar player, he needed one that was easily conformed from a right-handed to a left-handed, which Martin guitars are, so that was important to him.”

Nirvana’s MTV Unplugged appearance was one of the last televised performances by Cobain before he died.

Kurt Cobain's 'Unplugged' Guitar Sells for $6 Million at Auction ...

MADONNA, PRINCE AND ELVIS MEMORABILIA ALSO SNAPPED UP
But his guitar is not the first piece of memorabilia from that set to go under the hammer.

“During that performance, Kurt wore a green cardigan sweater that he probably bought in a thrift shop for a few dollars, with cigarette stains and smells and everything else, and we sold that back in October of last year for $334,000 (€299,000),” Nolan said.

Nirvana’s grunge rock struck a chord with young people in the early 90s, and left a legacy that still resonates today.

The California auction house also sold a custom guitar played by Prince at the height of his stardom for $563,500 — paltry compared to the Cobain guitar, but more than twice what it was expected to fetch.

Other items included a macrame belt that Elvis Presley wore about 30 times on stage went for $298,000, and an ivory gown worn by Madonna in the video of her 1990 hit Vogue for $179,200.