The iconic sunburst Fender Stratocaster played by Bob Dylan when he famously went electric at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival sold at Christie’s auction house in New York on Friday for nearly a million dollars.
The festival performance was a defining moment, marking Dylan’s move from acoustic folk to electric rock ‘n’ roll. The three-song electric set is now considered a legendary appearance, but at the time it was met with boos from the audiences as folk diehards labeled Dylan a traitor and sellout.
The guitar had been in the possession of a New Jersey family for more than 40 years after Dylan left the instrument on a private plane. The pilot’s daughter, Dawn Peterson, said that her father contacted Dylan’s management company about the Strat but never received a response. Peterson took it PBS show History Detectives in 2012 to have it authenticated. More details from the show can be found here, with a clip of the episode below.
The Dylan Strat fetched $965,000, topping Eric Clapton’s Blackie, which sold at auction for $959,500 in 2004.