Kurt Cobain: Mustangs and DS-1s

Cool article dredged up by Guitar World in honor of the release of the 20th anniversary edition of Nirvana’s ‘In Utero’–The Definitive Kurt Cobain Gear Guide. I started playing guitar (again) a year or so before Bleach came out, and really, that’s what you bought back then if you were a punk rocker kid–cause they were cheap and crunchy sounding–a Mustang, a DS-1 and a crappy solid state amp. Well, that’s what I bought anyway.


My New Setup

I’d always wanted a Telecaster. Back in the 80s they were too expensive, which is why I ended up with the Mustang. So when I started playing guitar again, I decided I needed a Telecaster. But since I didn’t know if I’d stick with it, I got a cheap one. I got this Austin knockoff at Leading Tone in Seattle for $150, which included a full setup.

Fender had just come out with this amp when I was looking. I really have no idea how you could find a better amp, or a better anything, for $100. When I went to get one at American Music, they told me that they couldn’t keep them in stock.

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My Old Setup

Here’s my old setup. Well, most of it. My old Fender 4×12 is still in my parents’ shed, along with the 100 watt Yamaha head.

The Mustang was my first guitar. Actually, it was my second guitar. I owned one of those aluminum neck Kramers for like a week or something. Sold it for $100. What are they worth now?

I never liked the neck on the Mustang–it is too narrow. I liked the sound, though, and loved the color. I think I got it at Starving Musician in San Jose for around $200 in 1987. It’s not for sale. I already promised it to my kid.

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