Come as you are — leave with a multimillion-dollar ax. A guitar that Kurt Cobain played during Nirvana’s 1993 MTV Unplugged concert sold for a cool $6.01 million at auction Saturday. The price was more than 50% higher than any other guitar ever sold at an auction.
The late singer-songwriter’s 1959 Martin D-18E, along with its case and some personal items inside, had been expected to fetch $1 million-$2 million. Instead, it dwarfed the previous record high for a guitar — the $3.95 million paid for a Stratocaster owned by David Gilmour of Pink Floyd, Julien’s Auctions said.
Nirvana was at the top of its game when MTV recorded the Seattle band’s acoustic concert in November 1993. The aired a month later and was released as MTV Unplugged in New York nearly a year later. That album was certified eight times platinum a few months ago, and the longform video has sold more than 700,000 units.
Backed by Nirvana bandmates Krist Novoselic and Dave Grohl, along with frequent collaborator Pat Smear, Cobain played a memorable set at Sony Music Studios that mixed with radio hits and more obscure band tracks and covers.
Several other Nirvana-related items also sold at Saturday’s auction including a set list from the Unplugged gig and typed lyrics to David Bowie’s “The Man Who Sold the World,” which Nirvana famously played that night. Cobain died by suicide less than five months after the concert.
Watch Cobain play “All Apologies” on the auctioned guitar from the MTV Unplugged show here: