RØDE Founder Peter Freedman Secures Kurt Cobain's 'MTV Unplugged' Guitar at Auction, To Be Exhibited Worldwide With All Proceeds Going To Performing Arts
"About a Girl" was the first song I learned on the guitar and Nirvana's MTV Unplugged album was the reference album my teacher told me to use. Good old Father Time...
Mr. Freedman's purpose and plan for the guitar is as follows:
Mr. Freedman plans to display the guitar in a worldwide tour of exhibitions to be held in distinguished galleries and art spaces, with all proceeds (including the guitar) going to the performing arts.
“When I heard that this iconic guitar was up for auction,” Mr. Freedman says, “I immediately knew it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to secure it and use it as a vehicle to spotlight the struggles that those in the performing arts are facing and have always faced.”He continues: “The global arts industry has been shattered by the impact of COVID-19, with musicians and artists being amongst the most affected. The last few months were the straw that broke the camel’s back, and for many in the arts have brought forth the harsh reality that they work in an industry for which there is little support in times of need.”
He is the first person I have heard address the fact the performing arts are not in a great spot. He did not need to do it, in fact, it cost him over $6 million to do so, but he did, and I really appreciate it. I realize he is Australian so most of what he said does not apply to musicians outside of Australia if he does not want it to, it is really up to him. The countries within the E.U. fund the performing arts, some more aggressively than others. The U.S. has generous patrons which are actually more effective than government support, but music in America is the "Wild West." The economic term is an "oligopoly" which is not a good economic system in most cases. When you introduce Mr. COVID into the mix, somehow you get to where we are today which I do not think anyone was expecting.
"Money talks" so I'm glad someone said something. COVID-19 assistance funds for musicians are/were available but there are too many different "funds" and individually they are not able to provide enough assistance. It is not that musicians are suffering more than anyone else, it is more like we are suffering because we work in the "Wild West" where it is difficult to create functional organizations that easily cooperate with other functional organizations. One that can change might be a $6 million Martin acoustic guitar somehow raising money. Who knows?
The guitar also happens to be the highest price paid at auction for a guitar which is interesting.