NEW YORK — The sunburst Fender Stratocaster that a young Bob Dylan played at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival when he famously went electric, perhaps the most historic instrument in rock ‘n’ roll, is coming up for auction, where it could bring as much as half a million dollars.
Though now viewed as changing American music forever, Dylan’s three-song electric set at the Rhode Island festival that marked his move from acoustic folk to electric rock ‘n’ roll was met by boos from folk purists in the crowd who viewed him as a traitor. He returned for an acoustic encore with “It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue.”
Now the guitar is being offered for sale Dec. 6, Christie’s said. Five lots of hand- and typewritten lyric fragments found inside the guitar case – early versions of some of Dylan’s legendary songs – also are being sold. The lyrics have a pre-sale estimate ranging from $3,000 to $30,000.
With a classic sunburst finish and original flat-wound strings, the guitar has been in the possession of a New Jersey family for nearly 50 years. Dylan left it on a private plane piloted by the owner’s late father, Vic Quinto, who worked for Dylan’s manager.
His daughter, Dawn Peterson of Morris County, N.J., has said her father asked the management company what to do with the guitar but nobody ever got back to him. Last year, she took it to the PBS show “History Detectives” to try to have it authenticated. Andy Babiuk, a consultant to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and Jeff Gold, a Dylan memorabilia expert, unequivocally declared the artifacts belonged to Dylan.
– From news service reports