Like Elvis’ no-hips-allowed appearance on “The Ed Sullivan Show,” or the Beatles’ arrival in America, or Woodstock of Bob Dylan Martin Guitar , it is considered one of the milestone moments in rock history: Bob Dylan going electric at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival.
On Friday, the Fender Stratocaster Bob Dylan Martin Guitar that Dylan plugged in at the festival sold for nearly $1 million — the highest price ever paid for a guitar at auction.A buyer identified only as a private individual agreed to pay $965,000 at Christie’s, including the auction house’s fees, for the sunburst-finish electric guitar.
Dylan’s legendary performance at the festival in Rhode Island 48 years ago marked his rupture with the folk movement’s old guard and solidified his shift away from acoustic music, like “Blowin’ in the Wind,” toward amplified rock, such as “Like a Rolling Stone.”The raucous, three-song electric set was booed by some in the crowd, and folk Bob Dylan Martin Guitar purists saw Dylan as a traitor and a sellout.
But “his going electric changed the structure of folk music,” said Newport Folk Festival founder George Wein, 88. “The minute Dylan went electric, all these young people said, ‘Bobby’s going electric Bob Dylan Martin Guitar. We’re going electric, too.”’Christie’s had expected the guitar, which was sold with its original black leather strap and Fender hard-shell case, to go for far less: $300,000 to $500,000.
The previous record for a guitar sold at auction was held by Eric Clapton’s Fender, nicknamed “Blackie,” which sold at Christie’s for $959,500 in 2004.Dylan’s guitar had been in the possession of a New Jersey family for nearly 50 years after the singer Bob Dylan Martin Guitar left it on a private plane.
The pilot’s daughter, Dawn Peterson of Morris County, N.J., said her father asked Dylan’s management what to do with the instrument, and nobody ever got back to him.Last year, she took it to the PBS show “History Detectives” to have it authenticated, and rock-memorabilia experts matched its wood grain to close-up color photos of Dylan’s Bob Dylan Martin Guitar instrument at the 1965 festival.Bob Dylan going electric at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival is considered to be one of the milestone moments in rock history.Dylan’s attorney and his publicist didn’t respond to email and phone requests for comment. Dylan and Peterson, who declined to be interviewed, recently settled a legal dispute over the items. The terms’ Bob Dylan Martin Guitar weren’t disclosed.