A Kurt Cobain 1977 Magnum Bass Guitar Sold For $43,750 At Auction

This crappy bass guitar owned by Kurt Cobain as a teenager sold for $43,750 at an auction in 2009.

Kurt Cobain Sears Bass Model 20180 Auction Nirvana

Cobain used the bass on two early demo recordings he made at his aunt Mari Earl’s house in Aberdeen, Washington during his pre-Nirvana days.  The demos, one recorded under the moniker “Organized Confusion” in 1982 and another in 1985 under the name “Fecal Matter“.

Kurt Cobain Sears Bass Guitar Auction Model 20180 Nirvana

One of the songs first recorded with this bass “Spank Thru” went on to become a staple of Nirvana’s live set and would become Nirvana’s first official song, according to Krist Novoselic.

Kurt Cobain 1977 Magnum Bass Guitar Auction 2009 Nirvana

The only details the auction gave about the bass was that it was serial #20180.  After some extensive research, I found the actual model of the bass guitar.  It is a 1977 Magnum Bass Guitar Short Scale Neck J Body Jazz Maple Fretboard Block Japanese Style.

Here’s a photo of another Magnum bass that recently sold for a much more reasonable $300.00.

Kurt Cobain Bass Guitar Auction 1977 Magnum Maple Fret Nirvana

Here’s another crappy catalog guitar made famous.

Jack White’s 1964 JB Hutto Montgomery Ward Airline Guitar


  1. The bass pictured in the Sears catalog ad is clearly not the same one pictured above. The bass that Kurt is playing and the one next to it are fairly nice Fender Jazz bass clones. The one in the catalog scan is a bottom of the line "Catalog" guitar/bass. 
    On a seprate note, my first electric guitar was the one labled number 9 in the catalog scan. Ieventyally destroyed it by chopping it up and doing homemade modifications to it. What a shame, it would probably be worth at least a few hundred dollars now. Oh well, I learned my lesson and I don't chop up guitars anymore.

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