The 1964 Fender Stratocaster that Bob Dylan played at The Newport Folk Festival in July of 1965 sold today at Christie’s Auction in New York for $800,000, plus buyers’ premium of $165,000, reaching a new record for the price of a guitar sold at auction.
It was at Newport where Dylan played a short three-song electric set, accompanied by Mike Bloomfield, that caused folk purists to deride Dyland during the performance. Nonetheless, he returned for an encore – with an acoustic.
After the festival, Dylan left the guitar on a private plane, the pilot of which notified Dylan’s management, which never replied to his efforts to return it to the singer. The pilot’s family held onto the guitar and only recently resolved ownership issues. The sale prices exceeded the previous record established when Eric Clapton’s “Blackie” Strat sold in 2004 for $959,500 after fees.