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Kurt Cobain's 'MTV Unplugged' Guitar Sells For Record $6 Million At Auction

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The 1959 Martin D-18E guitar used by Kurt Cobain during Nirvana's "MTV Unplugged" performance in 1993 sold for a record $6 million at the Music Icons event conducted by Julien's Auctions in Beverly Hills, California, on Saturday.

The previous record was for a Black Stratocaster owned by Pink Floyd's David Gilmour, which fetched nearly $4 million at a charity sale in June 2019.

Cobain bought the guitar at Los Angeles' Voltage Guitars and subsequently modified it to suit his left-handed style. He played tunes including "About a Girl" and "All Apologies" at the unplugged show on November 18, 1993, a few months before he died, aged just 27.

Along with the guitar, its original hard-shell case featuring a flyer for the band Poison Idea's 1990 album Feel the Darkness, a half-used pack of Martin guitar strings, three picks, and a "suede 'stash' bag" that's decorated with a small silver spoon, fork, and knife, also went to Peter Freedman of Rode Microphones, the successful bidder.

"When I heard that this iconic guitar was up for auction," Freedman said through the auction house, "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."

"Nirvana's Unplugged is one of my favorite records of all time and easily one of the best live performances ever captured on film," he added. "They were a huge influence on me."

Freedman said he plans to display the guitar in a worldwide tour of exhibitions and mark all proceeds to the performing arts.

(Photo: Julien's Auctions)

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