TinyEv wrote: ↑
Fri Apr 26, 2019 10:58 am
Just thought i’d post this as a Cobain related side note. On this awful Cliff Richard concert from 1980 one of the previous owners of Kurt’s Jaguar can be seen playing it. It’s clearly the same guitar with all the mods in place EXCEPT it has a B+B neck. Which means that not only is the neck on Kurt’s an addition later than 1980 but also that the jag itself probably isn’t even a ‘65! A good view of it can be seen at 28:52 https://youtu.be/R-3PXH8QUdc
The concert is just awful btw.
Well, I can tell you a bit about Martin Jenner, as I have been down that road too. Unfortunately, Mart is no longer alive to tell us anything about it.
Martin was a lefty session player and because he was a lefty, he had a difficult time acquiring guitars for his line of work. Most, if not all, of his guitars were either modified or custom made. He played a lot of fenders and fender like instruments. Through his friends and former co workers, I was able to track down some info on his jaguar which also includes the luthier who built his custom instruments in his career. While he provided me with the Jaguar neck specs, because of age and health I promised him that I wouldn't reveal them until he passed.
I do believe the body to be a 65/66. His former co workers remembered that the original neck had some sort of problem but couldn't remember what. It pretty much sat in a case until that tour, when he took it to said luthier for a new neck. Martin was known more for playing 60s Telecasters and he didn't want to bring a guitar he cared about with him on the road, so he modified the Jaguar and took it because it was a guitar he felt was expendable.
You are correct about the guitar changing necks more than once. According to the Luthier, he couldn't remember the year that it was made, but recalled it was the mid 80s. Apparently, after touring with that Jaguar, Martin bonded with it quite a bit and it went from trash to treasure.
Kurt ended up buying it from Mart in L.A. just before Nevermind. According to Mart's friends and family, Mart had been diagnosed with cancer around that time and was selling off gear because of it. Not too long after selling the Jaguar, Mart flew to Australia and to my understanding, he died there.
This research actually tied into my Jagstang research. We have all heard the same legends. The biggest one is that it was the 69 competition neck that was cloned for the Jagstang. Turns out, that isn't actually true at all. We know that Kurt sent his favorite neck out to be cloned. What we don't know is what that neck is. We do know that Dan Smith requested Fender Japan make the necks for the Jagstang because Scott Zimmerman built them, and we know that Scott built the necks to the specs of his In Utero Mustangs, which Scott also built. It wasn't until the production model that we see for the first time that it features a replica of Kurt's favorite neck. I believe that it was actually the Jaguar neck that was measured to be cloned, however I believe Fender Japan refused to make the neck because its specs are not what you would call traditional Fender, and Fender Japan defied orders and made 2 necks to Kurt's 69 RI Mustang specs.
This isn't the only time that Fender Japan defied Dan Smith either. Kurt originally wanted a few American made Mustangs for the In Utero tour. Dan Smith revealed that Fender USA wasn't able to fill that request, but that they could get him some slightly modified 69 RI Mustangs from Japan. When Dan Smith placed the order, Fender Japan refused and wouldn't make any less than 10 guitars. So Kurt, being the easy going guy he was, agreed and bought 10 Mustangs (5 sonic blue, 5 fiesta red). Kurt received 6 of them before his death. (4 sonic blue, 2 fiesta red). Fender USA at the time really wasn't in control. How often do you get to tell your boss no, especially on custom orders?
But I'm not just going to leave you all with speculation. There is some evidence to support this claim. The quickest way of showing this is by cracking open The Kurt Cobain Journals. There are segments where he is designing the Ferrington guitar and the Jagstang. Those guitars, at least in the sketches, start taking on the same shape. While the Ferrington guitar ended up being more of a custom mustang in the end, you can see his design elements in place.
On page 219, there is his Polaroid cutout for the Jagstang. It has a note that says "Very thin neck, small fretwire".
On page 220, there is a photo of his sketch for the Ferrington. Pictured is a 3x3 headstock with the note "or just a simple Jaguar neck and headstock".
On page 221, the Ferrington becomes more Jagstang like. Note the smaller fender style headstock.
On page 222, the Ferrington is being designed further. There are 3 designs on this page and the only one crossed out is the 3x3 headstock design. The other two have variations of the small 6 inline headstock.
Then there is also this photo. "Small headstock. Very thin neck."
These features are important because they are features of the Jaguar neck. Not his Mustangs.
I know this post is long winded, so I want to conclude this with a direct quote from Martin Jenner.
Google "Uncommon Sound: The Left Handed Guitar Players That Changed The World by John Engle". You will find a pdf.
Martin has this to say about his necks:
"Most of my instruments were custom made because I like the absolute skinniest of necks that can go on a guitar. These are V-necks with no cheeks to them whatsoever. They drop right away from the fingerboard. I'm not a grabber, I play very much over the neck."
Seems Kurt and Martin had the same style.
Kurt's Jaguar wasn't a V shape, but for the era we are talking about, it was a very thin c shape. His jaguar neck also had no cheeks and came right off the binding. You can see it pretty well in Hole's "Doll Parts" video. You can see the back of the neck at 2:23. Eric is also playing over the neck. The neck is in the palm of his hand and his fingers and thumbs are over the edges. Its thin.