Kurt Cobain’s 1969 Lake Placid Blue Fender Competition Mustang. It was purchased around the same time as his Jaguar, just prior to recording Nevermind. This is the guitar from the “Smells Like Teen Spirit” music video. Fender produced the Mustang competition series from around 1968-1973 and they are easily identifiable by the three racing stripes on the body. Kurt’s Mustang was lake placid blue with matching headstock. It had two black, single coil sized pickups with a white mother-of-pearl pickguard; the bridge was replaced with a Stewart MacDonald Gotoh Tune-O-Matic (Kurt’s favorite). Despite the fact that he babied this guitar, he trashed it during the infamous Trees Club show in 1991. As a result, it had lower edge damage and a broken neck joint. One of the final appearances of Kurt playing this Mustang was at the Hollywood Rock festival in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 1993. This guitar remained in storage during the “In Utero” tour because Kurt really liked the guitar.
First recorded use: September 16, 1991, Beehive Music & Video, Seattle, WA
Last recorded use: April 9, 1993, Cow Palace, Daly City, CA
Where is the Mustang now?
After Kurt’s death Courtney gave the guitar to a close friend. That friend has lent the guitar indefinitely to Seattle’s EMP.