Guitar Bob Dylan Played on First Electric Tour Sold for $490,000 at Auction

NEWPORT, RI - JULY 25: Bob Dylan plays a Fender Stratocaster electric guitar for the first time on stage as he performs at the Newport Folk Festival with guitarist Mike Bloomfield on July 25, 1965 in Newport, Rhode Island. (Photo by Alice Ochs/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

In 1965, Bob Dylan “went electric,” performing nationwide on his first tour with an electric guitar. Since then, the tour (as well as the Newport Folk Festival performance that birthed it) has gone down in history as a pivotal moment both for Dylan’s career and the greater legacies of rock, folk, and the ever-complicated overlap between the two genres. Earlier this year, the 1965 Fender Telecaster that Dylan played on stage at that moment went for auction at Julien’s famous Music Icons sale. Now, the guitar has been sold for $490,000.

Sold by owner Robbie Robertson who let Dylan regularly use it throughout the ’60s and ’70s, the guitar has been featured on numerous Dylan recordings, including Blonde on Blonde and The Basement Tapes. Robertson played it on the Band‘s classic albums Music From Big Pink and The Band. The instrument has undergone a number of modifications, notably stripped of its original black finish to bare wood by Robertson in 1970.

The instrument fetched $490,000 at auction on Saturday, with a portion of the proceeds benefiting the American Indian College Fund. For more information about the sale, visit Julien’s Auctions here.

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