When Bob Dylan swapped his acoustic guitar for an electric Fender Stratocaster at 1965’s Newport Folk Festival, his three-song set was met with extremely mixed reactions. While many fans booed at the new, electric Dylan, the set would ring in the beginning of a rock ‘n’ roll-dominated era. After changing hands and encountering legal disputes, Dylan’s iconic electric guitar is now on the auction block and ready to sell.
The guitar was lost shortly after the festival and eventually ended up in the hands of New Jersey resident Dawn Peterson, whose family has owned the guitar for several decades. The Fender only reappeared in the public eye when the PBS show History Detectives authenticated the guitar as Dylan’s original. Dylan claimed the guitar as his, but eventually settled with Peterson.
The sale will also include handwritten Dylan lyrics that were found in the guitar case, containing fragments that later appeared in “Just Like a Woman” and the Blonde on Blonde outtake “Medicine Sunday,” an early version of “Temporary Like Achilles.”
According to History Detectives, the lyrics alone are estimated to be worth $50,000, while the guitar could fetch around $500,000.
Peterson, in an interview with Rolling Stone, shared her bittersweet feelings about selling the instrument, but ultimately said it was the right decision.
“I would feel unsafe hanging it on a wall now, after all this went on,” she said. “I would have to pay to keep it locked up, and I want somebody else to enjoy it. I’m hoping it goes to a museum so it can be shared with everybody.”
Photo via History Detectives
(via Rolling Stone)