Julien's Auctions: Kurt Cobain’s MTV Unplugged Guitar and Other Rare Rock Relics

On June 19 and 20, Beverly Hills bidding boutique Julien’s Auctions will hold its “Music Icons” sale at which a number of music history gems will be on offer.

Music Connection was given a pre-auction peak at the various rock treasures by Martin J. Nolan, executive director of Julien’s.

Notable among the pieces up for bid will be the 1959 Martin D-18E guitar used by Kurt Cobain on the night Nirvana taped its “MTV Unplugged” concert in November of 1993. The record went on to win a Grammy for Best Alternative Music Album. The starting bid will be $250,000 and it’s estimated to sell at between one and two million dollars… which hardly seems unreasonable, given that the original case will be included.

Cobain bought the guitar in the early nineties from Lloyd Chiate at LA’s legendary Voltage Guitar for around $5,000. He had it electrified to his own specs and used it on tour in addition to the “Unplugged” show. Chiate also helped to invert it so that the southpaw could play the right-handed guitar in the manner to which he was accustomed.

Also up for auction will be Prince’s custom-built Cloud 2 “Blue Angel” guitar, which was Prince’s main live instrument from 1984-1993 and had been missing for twenty-plus years. Other standouts include Jim Morrison’s Paris journal and Paul McCartney’s handwritten lyrics to the Abbey Road ditty “Maxwell’s Silver Hammer.”

Julien’s will hold two music auctions this year: “Music Icons” in June and “Icons and Idols” in November. They’ve also handled estate sales for luminaries such as Les Paul and Doris Day.

A number of bidders will attend the auction in person but of course online action will also be brisk. For more information visit juliensauctions.com.