1993 Fender Telecaster Custom

1993 Fender Telecaster Custom

Kurt's last favorite guitar was sold to a private buyer by rockstarsguitars.com

Note that on the photographs of Kurt playing the guitar the pickups are different. This is because Earnie had modified the guitar. See quotes below.

"This is the guitar that Kurt wrote his music on and carried with him for months from bus to hotel room to airline toward the end of his career. This guitar was not exclusively used for live performance but more for writing and never left his side. It was used from late 1993 until his death in 1994. It is featured on the cover of the book "Nirvana" and on pages 116-123. There are distinguishable markings on the body that can be matched up perfectly with these photos. It also comes with original prints of Kurt playing this guitar and a notarized detailed letter from a crew member. The pickups, bridge, and tuners were changed at one point, as this was a common practice with Kurt's guitars. This was done by Earnie Bailey, Kurt's guitar tech. This comes with a letter from Earnie detailing the complete modifications done to this guitar. Earnie also supplied the original receipt for the bridge pickup and a letter from Gibson for the neck pickup that he installed, and has signed photos of this guitar ensuring the authenticity of the instrument. And it still has four of the original strings on the guitar."

"Sent to Kurt by Fender in early 1994 . Japanese made. "Fender sent this out for the In Utero tour to replace the blue one. Stock pickups were very shrill. After Kurt's coma in Rome, I thought modifying this guitar would make it a workhorse and get him away from the Mustang-Jaguar image. Hopefully get him perked up. I put on new tuners (Gotoh's - his favorite). A Tele bridge from Stew-Mac with a humbucker cut-out and individual saddles for each string. In the bridge, I put a Duncan JB - black, and in the neck, a new Gibson PAF, potted with a Chrome cover. He got this back 2 weeks before he died, and said it was his new favorite. He used it for the home recordings he was making with Pat and Eric Erlanderson in March 1994 in Kurt's basement. "


  1. Anonymous7:10 PM

    Did Kurt ever play this guitar live? The pickups are the same as the Jag when he got it so I don't see why he wouldnt of but I've never seen it used.

  2. Anonymous8:33 PM

    April 2006:

    Dear ----,

    Asking price for Kurt's Tele is $135,000 and we have a Marshall combo amp that Kurt used on his last recording that we will include with the guitar. This comes with a letter from the owner of the recording studio in Washington. This amp is also well documented.

    Please call anytime if you have any questions.


  3. Anonymous10:32 PM


    this guitar wasn't likely made in '94, the new neck was? (see post in courtney telecaster neck page) - highly unlikely fender japan could whip up a custom order lefty telecaster custom between the time he smashed the neck on it and when he was photographed playing it by gullick

    Sent to Kurt by Fender in early 1994 . Japanese made. - just the neck - the guitar is probably an '87 or '89 - you can also see details of the body here:
    the neck plate says FENDER:
    would need a shot of the back of the modded tele to confirm it also says fender on the neck plate (this is specific to this model from this time period) - this is the same guitar from the CAYA video with a new neck and modded - it must have been special.

  4. Anonymous8:20 PM

    just to clarify, the original tele neck was broken at the 1/3 to 1/2 way mark and kurt was still standing on the damn thing as it's in the marshall cab so the neck joint is holding up so-so. later that shot of courtney hauling off the body or even kurt tossing it at dave's drums shows the neck was removed and the body is still ok - the heart and the courtney wasn't scratched into the front, it was done while the paint was still wet - could have just been removed and a new neck put on...

  5. I think I read somthing related to this tele and it's kind of sad story.
    In Everett True's "Nirvana . the true story" Everett reports from an interview with Krist that when Novoselic brought cobain to seattle airport on last days of march 1994 to make him take the plane to the Marina del Rey rehab, Kurt left his house without suitcase and just this tele without case and coat. They had a fight at the airport with kurt punching krist and throwing the guitar at him and then running away and retuning home. Kurt yelled at krist that nirvana was over, and this was their last conversation.
    Maybe it was on March 25th, the day of the intervenion organzied to discuss his drug habit.
    It's really sad.
    Kurt actually took the plane after a couple of days arriving to the rehab on 30th march.
    I think in the book the story is confirmed by Earnie himself, who was really close to Krist. Krist told him he "was done with that guy[Kurt] and even received a call on 8th april from Novoselic basically saying "Guess what? Kurt's dead".

  6. Anonymous4:45 PM

    Kurt had two sunburst MIJ Telecasters, one painted blue and smashed in Brazil / January 1993. The other one was from 1994, sold by Alex McCloud via rock stars guitars.

  7. What are the exact details on this guitar. what type of neck was changed to this. What about all of the pickups. pictures - details??

  8. I've always love Fender Telecaster,I have a double cutaway one from 1984,it totally rocks,extremely versatile guitar,and I love the Tele twang when I play on clean and distorsion...it rules...it's by far the best electric guitar you can have <3

  9. This is probably way too dated for any of you to follow, but the episode where Kurt's supposed "Courtney" blue telecaster is called, "In a Lonely Place." It's on YOUTUBE

  10. Sent to Kurt by Fender in early 1994 . Japanese made. "Fender sent this out for the In Utero tour to replace the blue one. Stock pickups were very shrill. After Kurt's coma in Rome,