Chris Cornell’s “Superunknown” 1966 Fender Jazzmaster goes up for sale

Chris Cornell 1966 “Superunknown” Fender Jazzmaster
(Image credit: Gotta Have Rock and Roll)

Chris Cornell may not be synonymous with the Fender Jazzmaster, but the classic offset played a pivotal role in the creation of Soundgarden’s iconic Superunknown album – and now that very guitar is up for sale.

Listed by Gotta Have Rock and Roll auctions, the well-worn Candy Apple Red 1966 Jazzmaster not only appears on the album, but was also used for live performances during 1993 and 1994, where it was tuned to EEBBBB to perform My Wave and The Day I Tried to Live.

Chris Cornell 1966 “Superunknown” Fender Jazzmaster

(Image credit: Gotta Have Rock and Roll)

According to producer Michael Beinhorn, Cornell played just three guitars on Superunknown: a Gretsch Duo Jet, double-cutaway Gretsch Silver Jet and a Fender Jazzmaster, which he used on single Fell on Black Days.

“It was one of the best-sounding Jazzmasters I’ve ever used in my life,” Beinhorn told Music Tech (opens in new tab).

The guitar was lost in Cornell’s divorce to first wife Susan Silver, and subsequently ended up with his childhood friend, Chris Bond, who supplies a letter of provenance with the sale.

According to Gotta Have Rock and Roll, the Jazzmaster’s serial number 114706 matches the court documents from the couple’s divorce.

The guitar is listed with a starting bid of $125,000, and expected to sell for $175,000-$250,000.

For more information on the auction, which begins on November 25, head over to Gotta Have Rock and Roll (opens in new tab).

The same auction is also playing host to Eric Clapton’s 1954 non-tremolo Fender Stratocaster, which has been listed for a cool one million.

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Mike is Editor-in-Chief of GuitarWorld.com, in addition to being an offset fiend and recovering pedal addict. He has a master's degree in journalism, and has spent the past decade writing and editing for guitar publications including MusicRadar (opens in new tab), Total Guitar and Guitarist, as well as the best part of 20 years performing in bands of variable genre (and quality). In his free time, you'll find him making progressive instrumental rock under the nom de plume Maebe (opens in new tab).