Fender Kurt Cobain Jag-Stang Electric Guitar - Fiesta Red

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Sku: 885978793273
Brand: Fender
While Fender often designs instruments for artists and has done so for decades, seldom if ever does it work the other way around. There was one noteworthy instance, however, of a Fender instrument that wasn’t Fender’s idea.

The Jag-Stang was Kurt Cobain’s idea.

Arguably the greatest anti-hero in the history of electric guitar, Kurt Cobain (1967-1994) always liked Fender Jaguar and Mustang guitars, and it was his idea to fuse them into a single instrument, the Jag-Stang. He conveyed his ideas for the instrument to the Fender Custom Shop, which produced a couple prototype models in 1993, one of which the Nirvana singer/guitarist played on a few brief occasions late in his career. Fender carried on with plans for the instrument after Cobain’s death in April 1994, and Japanese-made production-model Jag-Stangs were introduced in early 1996.

Larry Brooks, a Custom Shop master builder in the early 1990s, worked directly with Cobain on the very first versions of the instrument. He noted that Cobain used a simple method of envisioning the half-Jaguar, half-Mustang guitar he had in mind, and that a tremendous amount of detailed back-and-forth quickly proved unnecessary.

“He took photographs of each, cut them in half, and put them together to see what they’d look like,” Brooks said in a 1994 Fender Frontline article. “It was his concept, and we detailed and contoured it to give him balance and feel. He was really easy to work with. I had a 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 around, we got it right.”

Cobain himself was unabashedly anti-corporate, but explained in the same article how much he liked the Jag-Stang and how he had no conflicts about having his name so closely associated with a guitar made by a big company.

“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,” he said. “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 to attach my name to the Jag-Stang, in that I’m the anti-guitar hero — I can barely play the things myself.”

The genesis of the guitar is well documented. Several of Cobain’s early drawings of the instrument, including specific design detail notes, appear in 2002 book, Kurt Cobain Journals. Cobain reportedly sent his favorite Mustang guitar neck to the Fender Custom Shop to be copied. Brooks built two left-handed prototypes, one in Sonic Blue and the other in Fiesta Red. Only the blue one was sent to Cobain; he received it and soon sent it back to Fender for more work before he took it on the European leg of Nirvana’s 1994 tour, during which it was played on only a very few occasions.

Cobain never saw the red one. As Brooks told Guitar World in March 1995, “We were (packing) the guitar to ship it to him when we got the news (of his death).”

Commemorating the 30th anniversary of Nirvana’s seminal record “Nevermind,” this Jag-Stang comes equipped with the same features that made it Kurt’s ideal instrument. The alder body delivers a punchy tone perfect for big power chords, the 24” short-scale reduces string tension for easier playing, and the 7.25” radius rosewood fingerboard with maple neck has a comfortable feel that won’t fatigue your hands when chording. The vintage-style single-coil and custom humbucking pickups are perfect for recreating Kurt’s classic tones, while the Mustang slider switches provide the flexibility to dial in four distinct settings for a variety of in or out-of-phase tones.


Series: Artist
Model: 0141030340
Body Material: Alder
Body Finish: Gloss Polyester
Color: Fiesta Red
Neck: Maple, Slim "C"
Neck Finish: Gloss Polyurethane
Fingerboard: Rosewood, 7.25" (184.1 mm)
Frets: 22, Vintage
Position Inlays: White Pearloid Dot
Nut (Material/Width): Synthetic Bone, 1.575" (40mm)
Tuning Machines: Vintage-Style
Scale Length: 24" (610 mm)
Bridge: 6-Saddle Vintage-Style Mustang Tremolo
Pickguard: 4-Ply Aged White Pearloid
Pickups: Jag-Stang Humbucking (Bridge), Jag-Stang Single-Coil (Neck)
Pickup Switching: 2 3-Position Pickup On/Off-In/Out Phase Slide Switches
Controls: Master Volume, Master Tone
Control Knobs: Vintage Style Black Plastic Jazz Bass
Hardware Finish: Nickel/Chrome
Strings: Fender USA 250R Nickel Plated Steel (.010-.046 Gauges), P/N 0730250406
Case/Gig Bag: Included: Deluxe Gig Bag