Dylan’s Newport Strat sells for $1m
The electric guitar played by Bob Dylan at the Newport Folk Festival in 1965 has sold at auction for nearly $1m.
Dylan caused a storm of controversy when he put down his traditional acoustic instrument and plugged in the Fender Stratocaster for three amplified songs in Rhode Island.
Festival founder George Wein tells the BBC: “He changed the structure of folk music. The minute he went electrics all these young people said, ‘Bobby’s going electric – we’re going electric too.’”
Dylan lost the guitar when he left it on a plane 48 years ago. The pilot, failing to receive instructions from the musician’s management, kept hold of it, and a legal battle over ownership was settled out of court recently.
The Strat was authenticated by matching its wood grain with photos of Dylan on stage at Newport. Auctioneers Christie’s had estimated it would sell for between $300,000 and $500,000, but an anonymous buyer paid $965,000 in New York last week.
The previous record for an auctioned guitar was $959,500 for a Fender called Blackie once owned by Eric Clapton, which was sold in 2004.
Dylan is currently being probed in France for making allegedly racist remarks in a 2012 magazine interview.
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