Kurt Cobain’s MTV ‘Unplugged’ guitar auctioned for US$6M

The guitar Kurt Cobain played at Nirvana’s historic MTV “Unplugged” concert sold for a record US$6 million at an auction in Beverly Hills.

The 1959 Martin D-18E acoustic-electric guitar — played during the band’s Grammy-award winning performance in 1993 — was sold to RODE Microphones LLC founder Peter Freedman on Saturday, according to a statement by Julien’s Auctions. The original estimate for the sale was US$1 million, the statement said.

Freedman plans to display the guitar in a worldwide exhibition tour held in galleries and art spaces, with all proceeds going to the performing arts.

Cobain died by suicide at age 27 about six months after taping “Unplugged.” The performance was played hundreds of times on the network in the months following his death, and the album version released in November 1994 sold more than 5 million copies.