Historic Dylan guitar valued at $500,000

July 17, 2012

The guitar that shocked Bob Dylan fans at the Newport Folk Festival in 1965 has been found and valued at $500,000.

And the case holding the Fender Stratocaster also contained some unpublished lyrics written by the iconic musician.

Investigators on TV show History Detectives have verified it’s the genuine article after the person who currently keeps it told how Dylan left it on a plane after the controversial concert.

His brief set provoked a massive backlash from the folk music fraternity, with one leading light calling Dylan’s transition to electric music “tenth-rate pop-pap drivel.” Recordings include booing from the crowd, although it’s said the negative reaction was simply because he was only given time to perform three songs.

Dawn Peterson, whose father was one of the star’s pilots, inherited the instrument after he died, and contacted the show to discover whether it was the real thing.

Expert Andy Babiuk of Fab Gear in Fairport, New York, tells YNN: “I get a lot of phone calls and emails and I’ve got to authenticate these things. Nine times out of ten it’s fake – just some chucklehead trying to make some money.

“Some people called and said, ‘We have this guitar that’s supposed to be Dylan’s.’ It was something that really changed not only music and musical culture, but pop culture also. Here’s one of the first times he’s playing Like a Rolling Stone, and he got booed off the stage.

“We literally took the whole guitar apart. Without a doubt that’s Dylan’s guitar.”

A spokesman for the musician says he still has the Newport instrument in his possession, but he had a number of sunburst Strats very similar to it, many of which have been “stolen by thieves” over the years.

But Babiuk is convinced he’s right after comparing Peterson’s item to photos from Newport, examining the wood’s grain, the serial number and its date of manufacture.

Whether or not Peterson legally owns it is a grey area Babiuk prefers to avoid. But he believes it could be worth up to $1,000,000 and adds: “It should be in something like the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame, or the Smithsonian Museum. It’s that important – it’s part of American heritage.”

-Classic Rock Magazine

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