Kurt Cobain’s DOD Grunge Pedal seen on History Channel’s ‘Pawn Stars’

Author: GroundGuitar Dan

You would be surprised how often a piece of gear pops up for sale with the seller claiming it used to belong to one of the huge rock stars of the past century. The bigger the star, the bigger the potential cash in pocket.

One of hottest rock stars in this regard is certainly late Kurt Cobain. Belonging to a more recent history, by many considered to be the final breath of rock and roll, Kurt was the symbol of the 90s and the voice of the Generation Y.

We recently wrote about a Teisco Audition guitar, or more precisely – a body of a Tiesco Audition guitar, which was sold on the Discovery Channels show ‘Final Offer’. That guitar was in a relatively grey area, meaning that we haven’t been able to connect it directly to Kurt via any sort of photographic evidence, even though the owner himself was pretty sure of its history.

A close look at the DOD FX69 Grunge pedal allegedly owned by Kurt Cobain. Photo credit: History Channel.

Similar to that story, in a video posted on History’s YouTube channel on December 8, 2015, the pawn shop owner is presented with a guitar pedal allegedly used by Kurt Cobain in 1993. The bloke that’s selling it also slides out a letter he got from Earnie Bailey, Kurt’s guitar tech, who himself seems somewhat reluctant (understandably) to confirm its authenticity, but as far as these things go – this all looks pretty good so far.

The side of the pedal has a white sticker on it, reading “12.29 – 9.44”. According to the letter from Earnie, the former is a date, while the latter being the volts. According to the LiveNirvana website, which we also used on our write-up on Kurt’s equipment, on December 29th Nirvana played at San Diego Sports Arena, San Diego, CA.

Fortunately, a video of the whole concert is available on YouTube, and at around the 29-minute mark, Kurt mentions the pedal by name and based on the audience reaction (the camera wasn’t on him) he throws it off the stage.

After finishing the song ‘Dumb’, Kurt steps on a pedal and as it switches on, it produces a highly irritating sound. “Excuse me, that was my Grunge pedal”. He then plugs it out of his chain, and as the camera, unfortunately, pans away, the pedal is allegedly being thrown into the audience.

To summarize the story – the seller ends up asking $5,000 for the pedal, but after consulting Jesse-the-tat-guy, the pawn star dude himself thinks $500 ought to be enough. To everyone’s surprise, seller denies the offer ten times below the asking price and walks out of the shop with the pedal still in his pocket (good job seller guy).

Even though Kurt never really endorsed the pedal, and used it mostly as a joke, even today the Grunge pedal is still being sold. Originally styling a DOD logo, the Grunge distortion is now available under the DigiTech name.

All the TV show nonsense aside though, it’s always fun and interesting to see how a piece of gear from more than 30 years ago is still being taken care off, just because it used to belong to some as significant to the world of music as Kurt. If you happen to come across more stories like this online, or even better – you happen to own something similar yourself, be sure to tell us. We’d love to take a look at it.