Nirvana – Kurt Cobain – Smashed Guitar Neck With Extensive Authentication
The smashed neck from Kurt Cobain’s blue hand-painted ‘Heart Courtney’ telecaster guitar, which he demolished on January 16, 1993 at the ‘Hollywood Rock Festival’ in Sao Paulo, Brazil. We obtained the neck from Louie Mathieu, the Red Hot Chili Peppers road manager. As Mathieu writes in his letter of authenticity, ‘I worked with the Red Hot Chili Peppers from 1986-2004 in various capacities, eventually serving as their Road Manger. In January, 1993 the Chili Peppers and Nirvana co-headlined the ‘Hollywood Rock Festival’ which played dates in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. At the end of Nirvana’s set in Sao Paulo, Kurt shoved his blue Telecaster—to which this neck was attached—into his amp, then stood on the guitar’s body, finally breaking the neck by slamming a large amp into it. After breaking the neck off the guitar, Kurt tossed the pieces toward the audience—but it was a large stage, and the guitar pieces landed in the no man’s land between the television cameras and the audience. I jumped off the stage to retrieve it and as I got back on the stage Courtney Love was walking by and I said ‘Hey, you forgot this’ so as not to appear like an over eager souvenir scavenger. She reached out for it and went ‘ugh, thanks.’ Cut to years later and I’m at a show and I run into Jennifer from L7, who were also on the bill at that show. We were reminiscing about that time and I mentioned how much I regretted not having held onto that neck. She turns to me and says ‘I have it.’ I say ‘What, are you kidding me !?! She says, ‘Not at all ! Courtney left it in a corner of the dressing room and after taking it to Kurt’s tech (Earnie Bailey) and determining it was beyond repair, I took it home. She then said I could have it back, seeing as if it hadn’t been for me it would have never been rescued. Anthony Kiedis of the Chili Peppers writes about the guitar smashing (and my coming away with the neck) in his book ‘Scar Tissue.’ There’s even a video on YouTube of Kurt standing on this guitar, trying to break the neck. I have passed this piece of history on to Recordmecca, in the hope that they’ll find a good home for it.’ Also included is Louie’s personal backstage pass from the ‘Hollywood Rock Festival.’ Kurt can be seen smashing the guitar at 4:04 into this Youtube clip (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xORhX9o9XPY ). Earnie Bailey, Cobain’s longtime guitar tech, confirmed that Jennifer Finch of L7 brought the neck to him in Sao Paolo, and it was beyond repair. Bailey, who documented all of Kurt’s guitars before and after smashing, photographed the broken neck laying loose on top of the guitar body, before he returning it to Jennifer Finch. He graciously provided us with two of those photos, and a number of scans of the Brazilian newspapers detailing Nirvana’s trip to South America, with reviews of the shows in Portuguese. The discovery of this neck was reported in the highly respected website ‘Kurt Cobain’s Guitars Now,’ which is dedicated to the definitive documenting of all of Kurt Cobain’s guitars (http://kurtsguitarsnow.blogspot.com/2010/02/courtney-3-telecaster-neck.html ) and 12 close up photos of the neck on the same site, here–double click to enlarge them: (http://s687.photobucket.com/albums/vv234/jonduciel/teleneck/?start=all ). This is one of the best documented Kurt Cobain guitar parts in existence. The neck would display beautifully in a frame, with some of the included images in the background, particularly Earnie’s photographs of the neck and body together. A PDF with more images and details will be provided on request. With Recordmecca’s written lifetime guarantee of authenticity.
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