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Concerts Rock

Legendary Bob Dylan Guitar Finally Heads to Auction

July 08, 2013 by Alyssa

Music History

It’s not always cheap to own an important piece of music history, so fans dead-set on staking a claim to one of the most significant icons of American folk music should start saving pennies now.

On July 1, Rolling Stone reported the original electric guitar played by Bob Dylan at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival will soon be available for auction. His performance at the summer music festival was controversial at the time, as it was the traditional folk singer’s first foray into live electric performances. The concert followed the release of his landmark fifth studio album, “Bringing It All Back Home,” a record that offered fans both an electric and acoustic side. The auction will also include handwritten lyrics from the monumental singer-songwriter from the same year.


Last year, the 1964 Sunburst Fender Stratocaster was featured on an episode of “History Detectives,” wherein several experts proved the authenticity of both the guitar and lyrics. According to these specialists, the combined estimated worth of both the guitar and lyrics sheets lies around $550,000. No official announcement has been released yet for when or where the guitar will be up for sale. If you don’t have time to save up for this landmark guitar, you can still see this trailblazing musician live in concert. Dylan is currently in the middle of his Americanarama tour through August, accompanied by Wilco and My Morning Jacket.

Memorabilia from rock musicians has a long history of fetching massive sums on the auction block. Just recently, a lock of Rolling Stones vocalist Mick Jagger’s hair sold for nearly $6,000 in London on July 3, while in May, a guitar played by two of The Beatles (John Lennon and George Harrison) in their “Magical Mystery Tour” film sold for over $400,000 at a “Music Icons” auction.

One of the most expensive guitars ever auctioned off belonged to the late Jimi Hendrix. A 1968 Olympic White Fender Stratocaster that he played at the legendary 1969 Woodstock festival sold in a private sale to Microsoft co-founder, Paul Allen. The official amount Allen paid has never been officially disclosed, but it is estimated anywhere between $1-3 million. The Woodstock relic currently resides at Seattle’s EMP Museum. Another of Hendrix’s guitars—one he set on fire in London in 1967—sold at auction for an impressive $497,000 in 2008.


Even modern-day musicians have had their fair share of bizarre items on the auction block. In 2004, a piece of gum that had been chewed by Britney Spears sold for about $14,000. A lock of Justin Bieber’s hair sold for upwards of $40,000 in 2011, and One Direction member Niall Horan’s half-eaten piece of toast was purchased for more than $100,000.

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