The Jag-Stang signature model Nirvana's Kurt Cobain designed with Fender is making its long-awaited return in October 2021, this time as a Mexican-made model.
The guitar's reissue also commemorates the 30th anniversary of Nirvana's seminal album Nevermind and follows Cobain's original 1993 specs to combine the favourite elements of both his Fender Jaguar and Mustang models.
These include an alder body, 24” short scale length, 7.25” radius rosewood fingerboard and vintage-style single-coil and custom humbucker pickups. The Mustang slider switches offer four settings for in- or out-of-phase pickup tones.
The guitar features a Mustang-style short scale neck on a body that shares traits with both that model and the Jaguar. The Mexican reissue features a "vintage-style" single-coil and "custom" humbucking pickup.
Cobain worked with Fender's Custom Shop on the Jag-Stag design before his passing and even took the prototype out on the road in 1994. "Kurt always played both guitars," said Fender's Larry Brooks of the musician's love for the Jaguar and Mustang models. "He took photographs of each, cut them in half, and put them together to see what they'd look like. It was his concept, and we detailed and contoured it to give him balance and feel.
"He was really easy to work with," added Brooks. "I had the chance to sit and talk with him, then we built him a prototype. He played it a while and then wrote some suggestions on the guitar and sent it back to us. The second, time we got it right.
The musician was evidently pleased with the guitar. "Ever since I started playing I've always liked certain things about certain guitars but could never find the perfect mix of everything I was looking for," Cobain told Chuck Crisafulli in his last guitar interview. "The Jag-Stang is the closest thing I know. And I like the idea of having a quality instrument on the market with no preconceived notions attached. In a way, it's perfect for me top attach my name to it., in that I'm the anti-guitar hero – I can barely play the things myself."
While we disagree with that last point – Cobain was a far more nuanced guitar player than his detractors will ever suggest – the Jag-Stang's unique proposition still holds true. And this reissue is offered in the same finishes as before; Sonic Blue and Fiesta Red.
The Fender Kurt Cobain Jag-Stang will be available in left and right-handed models at £1,249 / $1,249.99 / €1,399 EUR.