Fender has officially re-launched Kurt Cobain's legendary Jag-Stang guitar, and to celebrate they asked some of today's biggest rock artists to reflect on the late Nirvana frontman's impact both on the music industry, and in their own careers.
“After the 80s placed a focus on excess and technical guitar ability, Kurt blew through the barriers to entry to become a musician or start a band,” My Chemical Romance's Gerard Way said. “He embodied a collective frustration with the elitist obstacles to guitar players, and encouraged all of us to pick up an instrument and go for it — no matter what kind of training you had, no matter how many solos you were able to play. To me, that’s rock and roll. Kurt and Nirvana brought the underground into the public consciousness with heart, rebellion, and authenticity; the world needed these things on a mass scale.”
"Kurt's style felt like a reaction to the overindulgence of the '80s," Fall Out Boy guitarist Joe Trohman recalled. "Through his playing, I was exposed to this strange intersection where noise rock and pop music could meet and get along. So, Cobain was definitely a gateway player. And, similarly to how he felt about his Jag-Stang, my Tele is also a Frankenstein, of sorts–– cobbled together from my favorite guitar bits. It's important to have an instrument you're comfortable with that can do what you need it to do."
“After getting their first single and their Bleach album, I was a Nirvana fan before I even saw them live,” said J Mascis of Dinosaur Jr. “They didn’t disappoint — they were hard, heavy, and manic. We toured together in 1991 — after we played the Warfield in San Francisco, I was really sick lying on the couch backstage. Kurt came up and hugged me — he was psyched up on the show, especially on the song Sludgefeast that we played. I wasn’t much of a hugger at the time, but I needed one. Thanks Kurt.”
The guitar was originally designed by Cobain in 1993 and combined his favorite aspects of Fender's Jaguar and Mustang models. “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 said in a 1994 Fender Frontline interview. “The Jag-Stang® is the closest thing I know.”
When Fender looked to revive the iconic guitar in honor of Nirvana's Nevermind turning 30, they made sure its specs were the same as Cobain's original design. “When we took a look at the sketches Kurt Cobain had drawn up for his dream guitar, we were impressed by how intricate his design was," Justin Norvell, EVP of Fender Products, said in a statement. "We honored the original model - all the specs on the new Jag Stang® are as they were. Nothing new was done to it, we really wanted to keep it aligned with Kurt’s vision. Through our long-standing relationship with the Kurt Cobain Estate, we always knew we wanted to bring his vision to life. It’s been an immense honor to help bring his idea to fruition and revive this model."
Get more info about the Jag-Stang here and watch a video about its history above.