Skip to main content

Kurt Cobain’s battered Boss DS-1 distortion pedal sells for $9,000

(Image credit: Julien's Auctions)

Kurt Cobain’s 1959 Martin D-18E acoustic guitar may have sold at Julien’s Auctions for an astonishing $6,010,000, but it’s not the only piece of gear from the Nirvana front man to hit the block recently.

Julien’s has just confirmed the sale of Cobain’s Boss DS-1 distortion pedal for a cool $9,000.

According to the auction house, the pedal was used by Cobain onstage with Nirvana at Club Babyhead in Providence, Rhode Island, on September 25, 1991 – during a stop on the band’s Nevermind tour, and one day after the album was released to the public.

The DS-1 has red tape on the bottom, used to secure it to the stage, and is accompanied by a signed letter of authenticity from Jeff Toste, an audience member, who states that Cobain was having technical problems during the show and smashed the pedal onstage, then threw it into the crowd. Toste was the recipient of the discarded pedal.

You can check out more info on the pedal at Julien's Auctions, and for more on Cobain’s gear, head over to Guitar World’s definitive Kurt Cobain gear guide.

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month*

Join now for unlimited access

US pricing $3.99 per month or $39.00 per year

UK pricing £2.99 per month or £29.00 per year 

Europe pricing €3.49 per month or €34.00 per year

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Prices from £2.99/$3.99/€3.49

Rich is the co-author of the best-selling Nöthin' But a Good Time: The Uncensored History of the '80s Hard Rock Explosion. He is also a recording and performing musician, and a former editor of Guitar World magazine and executive editor of Guitar Aficionado magazine. He has authored several additional books, among them Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, the companion to the documentary of the same name.