I first picked up a guitar when I was 11, about a year after Kurt Cobain killed himself. All I wanted was the Fender guitar he designed. I never got it, but now there’s a new Cobain guitar for me to drool over.
The new Kurt Cobain Fender Mustang is based on the modded versions of the Fender guitar Cobain used throughout his career. (You can see him playing one in the “Smells Like Teen Spirit” video below.) The most important distinguishing feature is the Seymour Duncan JB humbucker, which will help you dial in some of Cobain’s snarling tone.
OK, it’s not a guitar revolution. I just really really want this guitar because when I was a kid, I lusted over the Cobain-designed Jag-Stang. After Cobain died, the Fender Custom Shop started production on a guitar prototype he’d designed. A weird hybrid of a guitar, it’s a mashup of the Jaguar and the Mustang — two classic Fender models Cobain loved.
As with the new Kurt Cobain Mustang, I didn’t want the Jag-Stang for any rational reason. I was just in love. It inspired me to practice guitar every night and scheme about ways to get it. But even after weeding gardens and shoveling driveways in my neighbourhood through an entire school year, I couldn’t assemble the necessary wad of cash to actually buy one so I settled for a cheaper, Mexican-made guitar that I played for almost a decade. It’s a good thing I never bought that Jag-Stang. The Fender Custom Shop never finished designing a guitar to Cobain’s liking while he was alive, and the guitar was a colossal failure. The company stopped making them after just a few years.
What’s exciting about the new Fender Cobain guitar — and the limited edition Kurt Cobain Fender Jaguar released in the Fall — is that unlike the Jag-Stang, the new guitars are probably well-built. That said, even if I manage to get one, I’ve still got to come up some songs worth playing. Not even a $US1550 Kurt Cobain guitar can buy me that. [Fender via Music Radar]