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Cobain 'Unplugged' guitar up for auction starting at $1 million

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"unplugged" is an extraordinary album, but in no way career defining. Kobain and Nirvana were already past their peak, but still with an extremely solid fan base. Besides, Kobain died a few months later.

That being said, this guitar played "The man who sold the world", a most hauntingly beautiful song. It's gonna go for far more than 1 million.

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@ebisen I'm curious. Why do you think they were past their peak? They'd only made 3 studio records and a handful of singles with their last record (not Unplugged) arguably being their most artistically interesting. Both at the time and in hindsight I'd say they were still on the incline. I would agree though that the MTV sessions were far from career defining.

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Good old 90's...

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J-DakeToday 09:14 am JST

@ebisen I'm curious. Why do you think they were past their peak? They'd only made 3 studio records and a handful of singles with their last record (not Unplugged) arguably being their most artistically interesting. Both at the time and in hindsight I'd say they were still on the incline. I would agree though that the MTV sessions were far from career defining.

Not a great fan but In Utero's their best, for sure. It's still a source of great sadness that we never had the chance to see what Cobain and Nirvana would do with the remainder of their careers.

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ebisen I'm curious. Why do you think they were past their peak?

Me too. They released 3 studio albums. The first is good, the second was huge and many Nirvana fans think the third is their best ( I don’t ), although it didn’t have the wide appeal of the second.

Hard to say they were past their peak based on this.

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@ebisen I'm curious. Why do you think they were past their peak? They'd only made 3 studio records and a handful of singles with their last record (not Unplugged) arguably being their most artistically interesting. Both at the time and in hindsight I'd say they were still on the incline. I would agree though that the MTV sessions were far from career defining.

The grunge scene as good as it was hit a steep plateau mid 1994 as House was gaining more popularity in the UK, Techno in Germany and musicians finding their roots again in rock and Indie in the US especially. Cobain was a legend for his time and although short lived, his music definitely made an impact that expanded beyond grunge. Also around this time MTV was going through its own changes, they were once the absolute king of music for videos, interviews etc until the reality shows took hold and forever changed that network. Back in the day, unplugged was the ultimate because it showed the musicians in their natural and naked environment and that’s where you would see the real talent of the artist. Then again, Mili Vanilli would have never made it on “Unplugged.”

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Why would anyone drill holes in a classic instrument when there are better options that would preserve its integrity. The only value is holds is because it was owned by a rich dead guy.

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"Why would anyone drill holes...?"

I don't think Kurt Cobain drilled any holes in his Martin. According to Reverb.com; "The D-18E was an early attempt by Martin to produce an acoustic-electric guitar by installing two DeArmond pickups and three control knobs into a D-18 dreadnought."

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And a paper plate Cobain had eaten pizza off of went for $22,400

Any lint from his pocket or used tissue paper?

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That being said, this guitar played "The man who sold the world"

A song which Nirvana didn't even write!

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I'm a Nirvana fan, I saw them live in 1989, but I didn't particularly like the Unplugged performance. In fact, I didn't particularly like any Unplugged performances or the concept, which was acoustic music for people who don't listen to acoustic music. It's not hard to be impressed by a familiar song on an acoustic guitar if you never listen to Dylan, Nick Drake, Van the Man, country, old blues etc. Songs don't become better by slowing em down and putting the same tired schmaltzy string arrangements on them. I don't know if Nirvana were past their peak at Unplugged but MTV certainly was.

For a "good version" of unplugged, check out the tiny desk concerts by NPR on YouTube. 100% schmaltz free and way broader in genres, Wu Tang and DJ Premier instead just the same old procession of Hard Rock Cafe types who did Unplugged.

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Anyone recall the Leadbelly guitar reference by Cobain during this performance?

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Agree completely kohakuebisu and well stated. The Unplugged series has aged horribly. It wasn’t even truly “unplugged” for the most part. Most bands didn’t even bother to rearrange their songs so what you effectively got was deadended versions of once electric songs and they mostly didn’t work because the arrangements were never meant for acoustic.

As to Bass4funk’s comment, “grunge” was a fashion movement; not a musical one anyway. The whole pacific NW post-punk scene was kind of actually dead by 1994. Whatever the media was matching onto wasn’t even really there by then. The mainstream was humping a ghost. Most bands had moved beyond whatever sound the media had identified as “grunge”. All you need to do is listen to the most popular bands’ records In 1994. None of them really fit that formula besides maybe Mudhoney

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I actually just bought this album a couple months ago because I'd never owned it and I didn't want to go through the trouble of illegal downloading like many people do these days. I just wanted to put the cd in and press play like the good old days. Pennyroyal Tea, Plateau are my favs.

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As to Bass4funk’s comment, “grunge” was a fashion movement; not a musical one anyway. The whole pacific NW post-punk scene was kind of actually dead by 1994. Whatever the media was matching onto wasn’t even really there by then. The mainstream was humping a ghost. Most bands had moved beyond whatever sound the media had identified as “grunge”. All you need to do is listen to the most popular bands’ records In 1994. None of them really fit that formula besides maybe Mudhoney.

That is essentially true, the “fashion” essentially became the music, the NW music scene evolved of a growing rebellion of upcoming musicians that wanted to get back to the raw music basics and away from keyboard synth-pop that dominated the 80’s so heavily, it was a game changer for the American music scene and early 90’s post punk.

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@bass

I almost always agree with your comments on music. Kudos. Too bad we live in opposite political universes!

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The Unplugged series has aged horribly.

Except for Nirvana and Clapton I wasn't aware of any others, but the Internet tells me there were actually loads of them. Bizarrely, there's been a revival, with Liam Gallagher recording one in Hull last year. Crikey.

For a "good version" of unplugged, check out the tiny desk concerts by NPR on YouTube.

Oh boy, that's a wormhole and a half, you can easily lose a whole day down there. Roy Ayers, Chick Corea and Gary Burton, Mac Miller, Anderson Paak, Big Daddy Kane and loads more. Crazy quality!

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