This time last week no one really gave too much thought to the DigiTech Bad Monkey, an out-of-production overdrive pedal that was launched in 2004, did okay, but whenever anyone discussed a little green drive it was never going to be the first thing that came to mind.
It wasn’t even the only green drive pedal to find its way onto the Gary Moore ‘board; various Tube Screamers, the T-Rex Moller and MXR GT-OD all fit similar descriptions, all were pressed into service at one point or another. But the Bad Monkey is having a moment.
After JHS Pedals shot a video segment comparing and contrasting (emphasis on the former) between the legendary Klon Centaur and the Bad Monkey, the price of these pedals has gone through the roof on the vintage pedal market. When you factor in the premium that comes with the Moore factor, then that explains the price.
It doesn’t take much to get the vintage guitar effects pedal market going. Right now, you’d pay a maximum of £150 for a Boss BC-2 Combo Drive in mint condition with a box, and that would be a square deal. But should someone even suggest that a Combo Drive had been spotted on one of John Mayer’s three touring pedalboards (it hasn't yet, not least to our knowledge), the discontinued Vox-in-a-box drive pedal would shoot up in value.
When Fulltone closed its doors, the price of the OCD spiked. The price of a Custom Shop OCD-GE Germanium – a very fine drive pedal – sky-rocketed. This is not just a market distortion (no pun intended) that affects those who might want to have purchased one, but those who own one and love it, and yet wonder if they are getting enough utility from it to justify not cashing in and getting something else. There’s one, new, never been used in its box listed for £1,250. Others are listed for well north of £300.
JHS Pedals’ Josh Scott posted what could be considered an appeal for calm on Instagram, noting that no one cared before they made the video, and maybe, for a change, we should try and find the joy in the gear we have, that sometimes the secret to great electric guitar tone has been right under our noses this whole time.
“To the people complaining that I raised the price on this pedal and ‘now you can’t buy one,’ I would like to remind you you had 19 years, but you never cared,” wrote Scott. “This pedal has existed four years longer than JHS as a company, and most guitarists have hated on it since day one. No one kept you from trying it in 2004. Learn to listen with your ears and not trends, and you will be a much happier guitarist.”
Scott said that people listing pedals at silly money was a different story to people actually buying one. There’s some truth in that. How many of the super-inflated pedal listings sell; how long as that box-fresh Fulltone OCD-GE been up there? The price will find a new equilibrium, all in good time.
“Sit back, relax, and enjoy guitar with what you have,” continued Scott. |”The point of the episode was to help you see that what you have is enough.”
But if Gary Moore is your favourite guitar player and you’ve seen the light as to the Bad Monkey’s tone, then by all means, you know where to find just the thing; it’s up for sale on Reverb. And Chris King Robinson, the head of Pedal Pawn, the British pedal company who is selling it, sure makes it sound pretty good in the demo video. If you’ve got the money, it’s still got the blues.
If you ain't got the money, well you can get a Bad Monkey T-shirt from JHS Pedals for $25.