by Jef | Approximate reading time: 2 Minutes

Lot 42 - Thurston Moore's Sonic Youth Sovtek Big Muff  ·  Source: Cafe OTO


Cafe OTO, one of London’s leading small music venues, has been badly hit by the Covid-19 outbreak. Although it’s one of London’s premiere venues for up-and-coming artists, it’s now fighting for survival. In a scramble to secure funding to see it through the weeks and months ahead, its management is running a music gear auction. Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth fame is contributing one of his personal guitar effects pedals, a Russian made Sovtek Big Muff pedal inscribed by Mr Moore and described as a possibly non-functioning “objet d’art”.


Cafe OTO

Cafe OTO is a cafe, record store and live venue in Dalston, London. It’s a great place and if you’ve never been I’d urge you to go and visit them next time you can.

Cafe OTO

Cafe OTO

Sonic Youth

In the time before Coronavirus (remember that?) Cafe OTO planned an auction to help it upgrade its equipment. Then came the Covid-19 outbreak and like many small music venues around the globe Cafe OTO is now fighting for its life. The auction has been re-purposed to help COfe OTO survive these turbulent times. Thurston has donated one of his pedals, a battered Russian-made Sovtek Big Muff he has personally inscribed with a marker pen. It was used during many Sonic Youth live shows and possibly recordings as well.

Lot 42 - Thurston Moore's Sovtek Big Muff

Lot 42 – Thurston Moore’s Sovtek Big Muff

Lot 42

The bidding starts at £1500 and it’s for a good cause. I can imagine this pedal could be worth a lot more, just because of its provenance as part of Mr Moore’s Sonic Youth-era rig. Many collectors and fans would love to own this; I know I would. I saw the band on their Daydream Nation tour and have been a big fan of their output ever since.

You can hear Thurston talking about the pedal in the video below, where he describes it as a possibly non-functioning ‘objet d’art’ and talks about its use with Sonic Youth.

Auction Starting Price – GBP 1500

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Image Sources:
  • Cafe OTO: Cafe OTO
  • Lot 42 - Thurston Moore's Sovtek Big Muff: Cafe OTO

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