NAMM 2012: Fender introduces Kurt Cobain Mustang guitar

NAMM 2012 is already shaping up to be a very good show for fans of Fender's offset electrics. With the 50th Anniversary Jaguar and Johnny Marr Signature Jaguar already turning heads, the company has announced another Kurt Cobain instrument following on from 2011's Jaguar replica.

The Kurt Cobain Mustang pays tribute to a model that the Nirvana star favoured throughout his career, from the Smells Like Teen Spirit promo video through to the band's In Utero tour dates and associated television appearances, including the clip above.

Click here to see all three colour options in our gallery. Here's the official press release:

"When Kurt Cobain hit the stage, it was very often with a Mustang guitar - an enigmatic anti-hero figure with an esoteric anti-hero instrument. It's with great pride then that Fender introduces the Kurt Cobain Mustang, which evokes the man, the band, the sound and the times, and gives an authentically crafted nod to one of the most unlikely guitars to ever find itself at the centre of a musical maelstrom.

"Cobain liked Mustangs a lot. For one, he preferred offbeat guitars that didn't cost zillions of dollars, and the Mustang certainly fit those two criteria. Also, being somewhat physically diminutive himself, he liked to perform live with slightly more diminutive guitars, like Fender Mustang and Jaguar guitars, which better fit his hands and his reach.

"See for yourself - go back and watch the famous 1991 video for Smells Like Teen Spirit, and there he is and there it is slung over his shoulder. Or think back to when you saw them on the 1993-94 In Utero tour, when he seldom went onstage with anything but a Mustang. Quite often and especially later on, Mustang guitars were a big part of what Kurt Cobain was all about, musically.

"Inspired by his arsenal of modded guitars, the new Fender Kurt Cobain Mustang takes you back there, with highly distinctive features including an angled single-coil Mustang neck pickup and ferocious Seymour DuncanJB humbucking bridge pickup mounted directly to the body, dual on-off/phase in-out switches for each pickup, a polyester-finished alder body and an Adjusto-Matic bridge with dynamic vibrato tailpiece.

"Other features include the classic 24-inch Mustang scale length, C-shaped maple neck with urethane finish, 7.25-inch radius rosewood fingerboard with 22 vintage-style frets and vintage-style ivory dot inlays, four-ply pickguard (Aged White Pearl on Fiesta Red and Dark Lake Placid Blue with stripe models; Tortoiseshell on Sonic Blue model), master volume and tone controls, vintage-style tuners, and chrome hardware.

"Finish options include Fiesta Red, Sonic Blue and Dark Lake Placid Blue with stripe. Available in right- and left-handed models."

The Kurt Cobain Mustang has a UK RRP of £1,006.80. Visit Fender for more.

Chris Vinnicombe worked with us here on the MusicRadar team from the site's initial launch way back in 2007, and also contributed to Guitarist magazine as Features Editor until 2014, as well as Total Guitar magazine, amongst others. These days he can be found at Gibson Guitars, where he is editor-in-chief.