I wanted to really get down to the bottom of the DiMarzio H8 that was allegedly in the blue Jagstang prototype because even after explaining Blue, Amon showing off a picture of Blue's non DiMarzio humbucker, and confirming with Seymour Duncan that a custom pickup was made for them, the H8 was still brought up.
By no means am I crapping on the person that asked about it. But since there is photographic evidence from the builder himself that the Jagstang did NOT have a DiMarzio but rather a Seymour Duncan pickup, and we know that despite the fact that Earnie is mistaken about the DiMarzio H8, we know that he has one that was Nirvana related somehow, but if it didn't come from the Jagstang (and it didn't), then where did it come from?
Well, Earnie claims that he was working on the Jagstang backstage at the MTV Unplugged show on November 18th and this is supposed to be where the H8 is swapped for a Seymour Duncan JB. Interestingly enough, Nirvana's crew was small that night and Earnie's name was not on the crew list. Despite that, I'm not saying he wasn't there, but the two techs listed for that show are Jim Vincent and John Duncan.
Now, I spoke with John about the Jagstang and he did get to handle it early on before primarily becoming a tech for Pat. He remembered that when he dealt with it, the tuneomatic was installed and they (he and Kurt) discussed the possibility of putting a Gibson stop bar on it instead of the the cigar tube. The pickup was never discussed.
According to Jim Vincent, he remembers the guitar having to be routed for a JB, which implies that it had to have had a single coil route and we know that it didn't. The only routing done at that time for Kurt was the Mustangs.
So interesting enough, with 3 guitar techs, the stories don't line up with each other. Maybe it's lapse of memory after 27 years. Maybe it's because being a guitar tech is busy work, especially when you are teching for Nirvana. But there is a piece of Nirvana that we are neglecting.
With Kurt recieving an endorsement deal through Fender, guitars were incoming. As a matter of fact, all of Pat's Stratocasters in the Nirvana era were given to him by Kurt from that deal. While there are reports of almost all of his strats being MIM, Kurt did receive a MIA model that he gave to Pat. This strat was nicknamed by Pat as "Glossy".
Glossy is unique simply because all anyone ever really discussed about it was that it was a US model with a Floyd Rose that was locked down and had a DiMarzio humbucker in it. As you can clearly see, the humbucker has been replaced in it. With what? I don't know. Maybe another DiMarzio. Maybe something else. What I do know, however, is that Glossy is significant because the guitar is one of two models and can only truly be one of them.
The first possibility would be that it is a Richie Sambora model. This isn't likely at all, but it does match a lot of specs, so for speculation sake and investigation, we'll cover it. The Sambora Strats were US made, did feature a Floyd Rose and also featured the DiMarzio H8 which Fender called a PAF Pro, which is what the H8 is based off of. The H8 was initially meant to be exclusive to the Sambora model. The reason that it can't be this model is because upon release in 1993, the fretboards were maple amd featured star inlays. Also, this guitar never came in a black finish until 1995. The fretboard also switched to rosewood with dots. Unless Fender built a custom one for Kurt, it can't be the Sambora model.
However, there is another guitar that Fender produced that also received the H8 model: the Floyd Rose Classic HSS. This Stratocaster model did come in black and was available in the early 90's. It features a Floyd Rose, rosewood fretboard with dot inlays, was US made and featured...
... a DiMarzio H8 humbucker!
Earnie stopped teching for Nirvana at some point in Novemeber of 1993. Glossy can be seen at Live and Loud, which was December 13, 1993. I haven't looked to see if there are any earlier appearances of this strat. Regardless, a tech is going to spend some time on the instrument before it is placed in the artists hands. It is absolutely feasible that this guitar was worked on while Earnie was still a Nirvana tech. It is also difficult to determine what their queue was like. We figured that Kurt would have recieved the Jagstang in October that year and it never saw public eye until December 1st. It's not unlikely that they had this strat in the back waiting to be worked on. What I do know for sure is that the DiMarzio H8 that was in Glossy was replaced with a different pickup. If I had to take an educated guess, I'd say it was replaced with a JB because that's the box Earnie put it in.