The iconic Martin D-18E used by Kurt Cobain on Nirvana's iconic MTV Unplugged performance has been sold at auction to Australian music-tech giant Peter Freedman, setting a new world record for the most expensive guitar purchase ever.
Freedman reportedly sealed the deal with a US$6m (A$8.8m) winning bid, blowing out estimates that the hallowed acoustic was expected to fetch around $1.5m. That figure also blows the previous record holder for the most valuable guitar out of the water - last year, David Gilmour's own Black Strat went under the hammer for US$3.3m.
Freedman, who founded RØDE Microphones in the early '90s, declared that he wishes to exhibit the guitar in showings around the world in order to raise awareness for fledgling artists in Australia, saying to the Sydney Morning Herald that "People I know are sleeping on the floor, unable to eat. It’s insane. No services, no support, no mental health issue support, nothing."
"I’d be pretty low if I didn’t recognise that and give some back. I’ve got a great life, I don’t need any more. The person who dies really rich dies in disgrace and I sure as shit don’t want to die with a lot of money."
Freedman expressed his plans to take the guitar to Sydney, Melbourne and Perth sometime this August to help raise funds to lobby the Morrison government to come up with a financial support scheme for Australian artists. I think we can all find solace in the fact that Cobain's acoustic went to somone who hopes to do well with it, and won't spend the rest of its life locked away in the hands of some forest logging billionaire.
Cobain's D-18E wasn't the only big auction that went down in the guitar world over the weekend. It's also been reported that Prince's own 'Blue Angel' Cloud 2 guitar, used on the Purple Rain, Sign O' the Times, Parade and Lovesexy tours, went under the hammer for US $563,000.
Dee Dee Ramone's original '75 P Bass is also heading to auction - check out the details.