Did you ever think of the early Dylan as the scruffy little guy who came into town with a cheap and beat-up old guitar over his shoulder? Forget it. Some of them may have been beat up, and most were old bob dylan guitar playing, but cheap? He has had guitars in the top league for as long as there are specific records of it. When he first came to New York, he was carrying a Martin, and his acoustic Bob Dylan Guitar have, with a few exceptions, been Gibsons and Martins all along the way.
Image His firstb bob dylan guitar playing In 1949 00-17. He acquired it in 1959, when he first moved to Minneapolis. He writes about this in Chronicles:
First thing I did was go trade in my electric guitar, which would have been useless for me, for a double-O Martin acoustic. The man at the store traded me even and I left carrying the guitar in its case. I would play this guitar for the next couple of years or
This ‘couple of years’ happens to be before his official recording days, but the guitar can be heard on the Minnesota tapes and some other early tapes, including ‘Wade in the Water’, from the Minnesota Hotel Tape, which was released on Live 1961–2000.
In 1961, Dylan gave the guitar to Kevin Krown, who was then working as his manager. When Krown died in 1992, the guitar was passed on to Peter MacKenzie, the son in the house of Mac and Eve MacKenzie, where Dylan used to play (and sleep) occasionally in his early NY days. The guitar later ended up in Paul Allen’s Experience Museum Project in Seattle, where it can be seen online.
The next regular dylan electric guitar guitar was an old Gibson, according to John Hammond Jr a J50 model (“… beat up but real neat … it was a great guitar,” interview in The Telegraph). It is the guitar Dylan is holding on the cover of “Bob Dylan” (photo negative reversed). dylan electric guitar was also used at the Freewheelin’ sessions, along with some Martins.