Cobain 'MTV Unplugged' guitar sells for sky-high $6 million

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) — Grunge became gold Saturday as the guitar Kurt Cobain played on Nirvana's 1993 “MTV Unplugged” performance months before his death sold for an eye-popping $6 million at auction.

The 1959 Martin D-18E that Cobain played in the band's rare acoustic performance and subsequent live album was sold to Australian Peter Freedman, owner of Røde Microphones, at the Music Icons event run by Julien's Auctions in Beverly Hills, California.

The bids opened at $1 million for the sale that ended up breaking several world records.

Cobain used it to play tunes including “About a Girl” and “All Apologies” at the Nov. 18, 1993, show in New York that came less than five months before the singer and songwriter died at age 27.

A day earlier at the same auction event, a custom guitar played by Prince at the height of his stardom in the 1980s and 1990s sold for $563,500, a small sum compared with the Cobain guitar but well over the $100,000 to $200,000 it was expected to fetch.

Prince played the blindingly blue guitar with the artist's “love” symbol on its neck beginning on the 1984 Purple Rain Tour, as well as on the classic albums “Lovesexy” and “Sign O' The Times.” He used it into the early 1990s.

Archivists going through Prince's possessions at his Paisley Park home and musical headquarters in Minnesota recently found the guitar that was thought to be lost during the four years since his death from an overdose at age 57.

Also Friday, a macrame belt that Elvis Presley wore about 30 times on stage brought in nearly 10 times its expected price, with a final bid of $298,000, and an ivory gown worn by Madonna in her 1990 “Vogue” video sold for $179,200.

Cardinal Pell to publish prison diary musing on case, church

ROME (AP) — Cardinal George Pell, the former Vatican finance minister who was convicted and then acquitted of sexual abuse in his native Australia, is set to publish his prison diary musing on life in solitary confinement, the Catholic Church, politics and sports.

Catholic publisher Ignatius Press told The Associated Press on Saturday the first installment of the 1,000-page diary would likely be published in Spring 2021.

“I’ve read half so far, and it is wonderful reading,” Ignatius' editor, the Rev. Joseph Fessio, said.

Fessio sent a letter to Ignatius’ email list asking for donations, saying Ignatius wanted to give Pell “appropriate advances” for the diary to help offset his legal debts. The publisher envisages putting out three to four volumes and the diary becoming a “spiritual classic.”

Pell served 13 months in prison before Australia’s High Court in April acquitted him of molesting two choirboys in St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Melbourne while he was archbishop of Australia’s second-largest city during the 1990s.

In the diary, Pell muses on everything from his conversations with lawyers about his case to U.S. politics and sports and his reform efforts at the Vatican. He wasn’t allowed to celebrate Mass in prison but on Sundays reported watching an Anglican choir program and offers an appraisal “generally positive, but sometimes critical also” of two U.S. evangelical preachers, Fessio said in an email.

Pell had long insisted he was innocent of the molestation charges and he suggested his prosecution was linked to his fight against corruption in the Vatican, where he served as Pope Francis’ finance czar until he took a leave in 2017 to face trial.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

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