Kurt Cobain’s broken DS-1 distortion pedal sells for $13k

Subscribe to Mixdown Magazine

Kurt Cobain’s broken DS-1 distortion pedal sells for $13k

A Boss DS-1 Distortion pedal, which has evidently been “used” by Kurt Cobain, sold at famous auction house Julien’s for a staggering USD $9,000 – or $13k in Aussie dollary-doos.


The busted Boss pedal was supposedly played onstage by Kurt Cobain in the early ’90s, with Julien’s claiming it was last used by the Nirvana guitarist at a show in Rhode Island on September 25, 1991 on a tour promoting Nevermind, which would be released the next day.


The distortion pedal features an abundance of red gaffa tape on the underside, which was used to secure the pedal onstage. According to a letter of authenticty from Jeff Toste, the pedal’s former owner, Cobain was experiencing technical problems during his set and took his frustrations out on the poor DS-1, obliterating the pedal onstage before tossing it into the audience.



Head to Julien’s Auctions to find out more about the pedal, and see where the DS-1 landed on our definitive list of the best Boss pedals of all time.