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Kurt Cobain’s ‘Unplugged’ guitar fetches $6M world record price at auction

Recently, we reported that Kurt Cobain‘s Martin D-18E acoustic that he played at Nirvana‘s seminal MTV Unplugged performance was going up for auction. It was speculated that it would fetch as much as $1M USD—a price tag not to be sneezed at.

It turns out that the estimate was far too conservative. In fact, it went on to fetch $6M USD, a world record, clearing the previous mark, David Gilmour’s ‘Black Strat’ by more than $2M. What’s more, it’s coming to Australia, as it was purchased by RØDE Microphones founder, Peter Freedman. Cobain Unplugged guitar

Just a year after the world record was set by David Gilmour’s ‘Black Strat’, it’s been smashed. Kurt Cobain’s $6M ‘Unplugged’ guitar has a new owner: RØDE’s Peter Freedman.

Freedman fended off the frenzied competition for the iconic guitar, bidding in person in Beverly Hills. Far from being under lock-and-key however, Freedman plans to put the guitar to work.

This special Martin will be hitting the road—not on stage, but a worldwide exhibition tour, with the proceeds going to the performing arts.

As we all know, the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic have been particularly tough on people involved in the arts. He elaborated on the purpose of the acquisition in a RØDE blog post:

The global arts industry has been shattered by the impact of COVID-19, with musicians and artists being amongst the most affected. The last few months were the straw that broke the camel’s back, and for many in the arts have brought forth the harsh reality that they work in an industry for which there is little support in times of need.”

So keep your eyes peeled for this one-of-a-kind axe, as it could be coming to a town near you. Read the full post at RØDE.

RODE unplugged guitar