JAG-STANG Prototype - Reverse Engineering

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Re: JAG-STANG Prototype - Reverse Engineering

Post by AcrylicSuperman » Mon Mar 30, 2020 11:10 am

I just got an email back from the SD factory. They basically confirmed that this pickup exists, but it's specs can not be revealed under non disclosure, nor can it be replicated unless requested be his estate.

Having said that, that doesn't mean I am willing to give up just yet. I have reached out to MJ and Seymour himself. In the even that neither budge, I can wait until september.

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Re: JAG-STANG Prototype - Reverse Engineering

Post by Acidhouse » Mon Mar 30, 2020 8:06 pm

Wow this has been such a great read. As a Cobain / Nirvana fan and an owner of a ‘95 Jag-Stang this thread, to me, is the friggin’ Tiger King of Offset right now. Keep up the good detective work. The game is afoot!

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Re: JAG-STANG Prototype - Reverse Engineering

Post by AcrylicSuperman » Mon Mar 30, 2020 8:33 pm

Acidhouse wrote:
Mon Mar 30, 2020 8:06 pm
Wow this has been such a great read. As a Cobain / Nirvana fan and an owner of a ‘95 Jag-Stang this thread, to me, is the friggin’ Tiger King of Offset right now. Keep up the good detective work. The game is afoot!
Thank you. We're going to get to the bottom of it. We're getting closer every day.

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Re: JAG-STANG Prototype - Reverse Engineering

Post by OSGTemp » Thu Apr 02, 2020 11:23 pm

I am unwilling to share this photo here because I never got his permission to share it. He initially didn't like the thought of sending me the photo to begin with.

Could you seek permission to post a cropped version of the photo with just the body without the person in the picture? I have actually been waiting to see a good clear picture of the original blue Jag-Stang since around 1997.

Image

Many of the things you have outlined in this thread I think we have all pondered over the last 25 years, I actually tried to get in contact with REM via their fan club in the pre social media days about this very issue, because it was obvious that the tuners and headstock had been modified pretty much as soon as REM received it. What brought me to the thread was seeing the Tallahassee show on YouTube and the more recent pictures of the Jag-Stang early December 1993 use. A lot of the curiosities you have outlined about the Fiesta Red Jag-Stang were illustrated in a Fender frontline magazine picture circa 1995.


On a slightly separate topic about Kurts "ten" MIJ Mustangs. Was there any clear reconciliation of the facts:
  • Kurt received the first Fiesta Red Mustang before the Roseland 1993 show, but it is ambiguous if he received his first Sonic Blue mustang (the famous Live and Loud one) at the same time, Scott Zimmerman says a red and blue were shipped at the same time in June 1993, but Earnie Bailey has implied since the early days of the internet that only the fiesta red one was received at that time, although his recollection about a white hotrail being installed in the Fiesta Red mustang was proved incorrect via photos a few years later
  • The famous Live and Loud Sonic Blue mustang was it present and available from the earliest In Utero shows? I don't recall the date of this picture but it was implied that it was there from the start of the In Utero tour (hanging on the Angel, as well as the 1969 Competition Mustang and Jaguar being present for the first leg of the In Utero US tour in this picture, although never documented to be used)
Certainly the first few shows in US the Fiesta Red Mustang is in use until a few shows in, then the famous Live and Loud Mustang becomes the #1 guitar for the rest of the tour.

Image

Image
  • The second Sonic Blue Mustang that appears with the black humbucker, one of the special two with the "contour body" logo on the headstock, this is the Sonic Blue one that was used in the Tunnel TV performance and later in the Fender Youtube video with Justin Norvell, it is implied that for the entire In Utero tour (US & Europe) Kurt only had two Sonic Blue mustangs, that the third blue one remaining stock and not touring, it now seems like Earnie Bailey modified both "Contour Body" sonic blue Mustangs at the same time (implied by Fender Youtube video and RRHOF pictures)
Image
Image
  • The third Sonic Blue Mustang (with "Contour Body") that Courtney later gave away and was sold to the RRHOF, Was it ever confirmed that this guitar actually toured? I've never been clear if it was ever actually used live. Back in the 90's when it was first reported and pictures of it with the Kid circulated, it was documented at the time that Kurt only had three Sonic Blue mustangs, and this was the third one that never toured. I always assumed that this 3rd Mustang was given away by Courtney because she knew it was never really used, or never that important
ImageImage
  • But it is not clear from the Multiple accounts that by March 1994, did Kurt have 3 Sonic Blue Mustangs and 3 Fiesta Red Mustangs, or 4 Sonic Blue Mustangs and 2 Fiesta red Mustangs. It seems that Kurt had 4 Sonic Blue Mustangs, 3 with Humbuckers and one stock, and two Fiesta Red Mustangs
  • The reason for this is during Feb 1994, what we can only assume is that the Fiesta Red mustang Kurt uses at NPA TV show is the same 1993 Fiesta Red Mustang from roseland. This guitar gets thrown on the Floor during Drain You, then is brought along for the entire In Utero In Europe tour without use, only to be used for a couple of songs on 24 Feb. Kurt pretty much only uses the Live and Loud mustang and Jag-Stang for the whole Europe tour. What isn't clear is was the Second Fiesta red Mustang kept stock and in the box and never used, or was it routed for a Humbucker in Feb 1994, but just never seen or documented or used.
The fiesta red mustang story is actually very interesting to me. Even as late as 1998, nobody really was discussing this, but it was super obvious back then and certainly during 1994 that the Fiesta Red mustang was a one off. That color was never available in any of the MIJ catalogs and, I don't think it was even possible to get a factory MIJ Fiesta Red Mustang well into the early 2000's

What is remarkable about all of this, is that in the pictures and videos, the Live and Loud mustang is so iconic, but I actually saw it at the EMP in Seattle a few years ago. I looked at it and thought, lol in person it is just a MIJ Mustang, there wasn't actually anything remarkable about it.

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Re: JAG-STANG Prototype - Reverse Engineering

Post by AcrylicSuperman » Fri Apr 03, 2020 12:55 am

OSGTemp wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 11:23 pm
I am unwilling to share this photo here because I never got his permission to share it. He initially didn't like the thought of sending me the photo to begin with.

Could you seek permission to post a cropped version of the photo with just the body without the person in the picture? I have actually been waiting to see a good clear picture of the original blue Jag-Stang since around 1997.

Image

Many of the things you have outlined in this thread I think we have all pondered over the last 25 years, I actually tried to get in contact with REM via their fan club in the pre social media days about this very issue, because it was obvious that the tuners and headstock had been modified pretty much as soon as REM received it. What brought me to the thread was seeing the Tallahassee show on YouTube and the more recent pictures of the Jag-Stang early December 1993 use. A lot of the curiosities you have outlined about the Fiesta Red Jag-Stang were illustrated in a Fender frontline magazine picture circa 1995.


On a slightly separate topic about Kurts "ten" MIJ Mustangs. Was there any clear reconciliation of the facts:
  • Kurt received the first Fiesta Red Mustang before the Roseland 1993 show, but it is ambiguous if he received his first Sonic Blue mustang (the famous Live and Loud one) at the same time, Scott Zimmerman says a red and blue were shipped at the same time in June 1993, but Earnie Bailey has implied since the early days of the internet that only the fiesta red one was received at that time, although his recollection about a white hotrail being installed in the Fiesta Red mustang was proved incorrect via photos a few years later
  • The famous Live and Loud Sonic Blue mustang was it present and available from the earliest In Utero shows? I don't recall the date of this picture but it was implied that it was there from the start of the In Utero tour (hanging on the Angel, as well as the 1969 Competition Mustang and Jaguar being present for the first leg of the In Utero US tour in this picture, although never documented to be used)
Certainly the first few shows in US the Fiesta Red Mustang is in use until a few shows in, then the famous Live and Loud Mustang becomes the #1 guitar for the rest of the tour.

Image

Image
  • The second Sonic Blue Mustang that appears with the black humbucker, one of the special two with the "contour body" logo on the headstock, this is the Sonic Blue one that was used in the Tunnel TV performance and later in the Fender Youtube video with Justin Norvell, it is implied that for the entire In Utero tour (US & Europe) Kurt only had two Sonic Blue mustangs, that the third blue one remaining stock and not touring, it now seems like Earnie Bailey modified both "Contour Body" sonic blue Mustangs at the same time (implied by Fender Youtube video and RRHOF pictures)
Image
Image
  • The third Sonic Blue Mustang (with "Contour Body") that Courtney later gave away and was sold to the RRHOF, Was it ever confirmed that this guitar actually toured? I've never been clear if it was ever actually used live. Back in the 90's when it was first reported and pictures of it with the Kid circulated, it was documented at the time that Kurt only had three Sonic Blue mustangs, and this was the third one that never toured. I always assumed that this 3rd Mustang was given away by Courtney because she knew it was never really used, or never that important
ImageImage
  • But it is not clear from the Multiple accounts that by March 1994, did Kurt have 3 Sonic Blue Mustangs and 3 Fiesta Red Mustangs, or 4 Sonic Blue Mustangs and 2 Fiesta red Mustangs. It seems that Kurt had 4 Sonic Blue Mustangs, 3 with Humbuckers and one stock, and two Fiesta Red Mustangs
  • The reason for this is during Feb 1994, what we can only assume is that the Fiesta Red mustang Kurt uses at NPA TV show is the same 1993 Fiesta Red Mustang from roseland. This guitar gets thrown on the Floor during Drain You, then is brought along for the entire In Utero In Europe tour without use, only to be used for a couple of songs on 24 Feb. Kurt pretty much only uses the Live and Loud mustang and Jag-Stang for the whole Europe tour. What isn't clear is was the Second Fiesta red Mustang kept stock and in the box and never used, or was it routed for a Humbucker in Feb 1994, but just never seen or documented or used.
The fiesta red mustang story is actually very interesting to me. Even as late as 1998, nobody really was discussing this, but it was super obvious back then and certainly during 1994 that the Fiesta Red mustang was a one off. That color was never available in any of the MIJ catalogs and, I don't think it was even possible to get a factory MIJ Fiesta Red Mustang well into the early 2000's

What is remarkable about all of this, is that in the pictures and videos, the Live and Loud mustang is so iconic, but I actually saw it at the EMP in Seattle a few years ago. I looked at it and thought, lol in person it is just a MIJ Mustang, there wasn't actually anything remarkable about it.
Yeah, I am in the process of trying to gain some permissions on the posting of the pic. It will be difficult to crop as it is held at angle, so the picture of it will probably be an ugly duckling. But keep posted here, it will likely show up. I'm definitely not planning to hoard it if I can prevent it.

Edit: figured I would say screw it and post it. It is an ugly duckling edit, as I did it on my phone, but this is Larry holding it at the Fender Custom Shop. Note the thin clear coat on the headstock. Also, if you zoom in, you can see an illegible Seymour Duncan logo on the pickup.

Image

Apart from Scott's claims on the Jagstang necks, everything Scott provided on the Mustangs were spot on. He actually revealed details about what the necks have stamped on the heels and even provided the shipping dates for the 6 Mustangs Kurt received. The other 4 were sold in music stores in Tokyo as lefty MG69's. He also provided that the red on Kurt's mustang was a custom color mix.

According to Scott, the first shipment was 1 Fiesta Red and 1 Sonic Blue on 6/28/93. As far as I can tell, these two guitars were shipped together. I speculate that these guitars were shipped to fender, inspected and then sent to Kurt. If that is the case, then it is possible that the blue one got held up for some reason briefly, but not likely. But they did leave FujiGen at the same time. Just like your photo indicates, they did exist in the same time frame, so I find it more likely that they were always a pair. The fiesta red was the first to be worked on as far as I can tell. Skystang 1 was certainly the twin and it should have been there the same time as the fiesta red.

10/22/1993 is the second shipping date. Scott made note that these two guitars, as you pointed out, have the contour decals. They are the only 2 if the 10 that do. Earnie definitely modified both of these around the same time. These became skystang 2 and 3 respectively. Skystang 3 absolutely toured. And between those two blue models, he used the third the most. It definitely had wear by the time Bobby received it. A friend of his actually dug up some pictures of it. I have them somewhere, I'll gladly post them here in the near future. But yeah, Skystang 3 was basically the back up to Skystang 1, and Skystang 2 pretty much lounged around.

The last shipment was 2/4/94 and both of these mustangs were fiesta red. However, neither of these guitars toured. I was unable to confirm if these two were routed, but the mustang you see in 94 is the original red mustang from the first shipment.

Hope that helps. If you have any other questions, feel free to ask. If I dont know the answer, I'm definitely willing to try to find out. Lol

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Re: JAG-STANG Prototype - Reverse Engineering

Post by OSGTemp » Fri Apr 03, 2020 1:33 am

Thanks, much appreciated. This is awesome! I wish they posted that in the 90's!

The Sonic Blue Mustang used on the Tunnel 94 performance is the once swapped during the "In Bloom" performance on New Years eve show 1993



Image

Image

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Re: JAG-STANG Prototype - Reverse Engineering

Post by OSGTemp » Fri Apr 03, 2020 1:37 am

AcrylicSuperman wrote:
Fri Apr 03, 2020 12:55 am
Image

Image
Amazing! Daphne Blue & Dakota Red. So now we know.

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Re: JAG-STANG Prototype - Reverse Engineering

Post by AcrylicSuperman » Fri Apr 03, 2020 1:51 am

OSGTemp wrote:
Fri Apr 03, 2020 1:37 am
AcrylicSuperman wrote:
Fri Apr 03, 2020 12:55 am
Image

Image
Amazing! Daphne Blue & Dakota Red. So now we know.
Honestly, this has been a fun puzzle to try to reconstruct. Every time we think we've found the answers, something new pops up. Larry actually granting an interview was the best possible thing that could have happened to us.

By the way, you mentioned visiting the EMP. Do you happen to live in WA or OR? We could use a local to visit the cobain childhood home when the museum opens. The jagstang spec sheet and the sheet of the custom pickup should be there.

Also, good eye on the swap to skystang 2.

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Re: JAG-STANG Prototype - Reverse Engineering

Post by OSGTemp » Fri Apr 03, 2020 2:11 am

Thanks, it was just a one off overseas trip to Seattle unfortunately. It was definitely worth it to visit the EMP at that time, I think it has since been renamed to something else.

I really thought it would be more powerful to see the stuff in person, after watching In Utero tour bootlegs for so long. It was good to see the Angels, and the original 1969 Competition Mustang. Unfortunately actually seeing the stuff in person, the musical gear was just that - MIJ production run Mustangs and even the Competition Mustang - they are just the same stuff that we as mere unfamous mortals can buy - why I think it is so appealing is that pretty much during its heyday, Kurt, Dave, Krist and Pat were all using gear that was off the shelf stuff available at retail during the early 90s.

The thing I was disappointed about was Dave Grohls Tama kit display at the EMP. I really wanted to see that Black Artstar II kit, turns out the kit on display is the Black Rockstar kit from his Tama endorsement magazine photo, apparently Grohl still has the Black Artstar II kit confirmed in TINTL session photos and a more recent youtube video in his attic where he mentions its there, but jokes no one can touch it.

A side note, was the Hendrix woodstock strat was there too, bit of a let down, it was just a 68 strat, with a loose cut neck pocket.

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Re: JAG-STANG Prototype - Reverse Engineering

Post by AcrylicSuperman » Fri Apr 03, 2020 2:20 am

I know exactly how you feel. I visited the museum about 13 years ago when I still lived in that area. I loved the history aspect of it all, but I felt pretty much the same way. It's cool seeing the real deal up close, but at the end of the day, it's still just an instrument.

I was also bummed about the drum set. Lol

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Re: JAG-STANG Prototype - Reverse Engineering

Post by OSGTemp » Fri Apr 03, 2020 2:22 am

The only other lead would be talking to Big John Duncan, I believe Goodbye Mr. Mackenzie played a few shows in the last few years, so he would be accessible via social media.

Image
(1969 Competition Mustang headstock visible in this pic, 6 inline white tuners)

Image

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Re: JAG-STANG Prototype - Reverse Engineering

Post by AcrylicSuperman » Fri Apr 03, 2020 2:25 am

OSGTemp wrote:
Fri Apr 03, 2020 2:22 am
The only other lead would be talking to Big John Duncan, I believe Goodbye Mr. Mackenzie played a few shows in the last few years, so he would be accessible via social media.

Image
(1969 Competition Mustang headstock visible in this pic, 6 inline white tuners)

Image
I did talk to him actually! He was very easy to talk to and he did reveal a couple things, but he didnt get to handle the jagstang much. He did mention that there was talks of adding a gibson style stop bar to it at one point, but they just locked the trem instead.

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Re: JAG-STANG Prototype - Reverse Engineering

Post by OSGTemp » Fri Apr 03, 2020 3:41 am

I would have assumed the switches were all cut just after they finished In Utero in US in early Jan, the earliest shows in Europe its evident the change has been made, although not for this one:

Either in late December 93 or in January 94, Kurt had the switch tips of his Mustangs and his Jagstang cut off.
Image

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Re: JAG-STANG Prototype - Reverse Engineering

Post by AcrylicSuperman » Fri Apr 03, 2020 7:19 am

OSGTemp wrote:
Fri Apr 03, 2020 3:41 am
I would have assumed the switches were all cut just after they finished In Utero in US in early Jan, the earliest shows in Europe its evident the change has been made, although not for this one:

Either in late December 93 or in January 94, Kurt had the switch tips of his Mustangs and his Jagstang cut off.
Image
Yeah, Skystang 3 is the oddball there. I think the reasoning behind this was that essentially the Jagstang took it's place after it's kinks were worked out with the bridge. Those switches were left untouched even when Bobby had it.

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Re: JAG-STANG Prototype - Reverse Engineering

Post by Rgand » Fri Apr 03, 2020 7:38 am

Were the switches actually cut down or simply lowered with washers or spacers. Is there any confirmation that they were cut?

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