Dylan's iconic electric guitar from Newport Folk Festival sells for $965K

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The Fender Stratocaster Minnesota music legend Bob Dylan used to go electric at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival – shaking up the music industry forever – sold for $965,000 at Christie's Auction House in New York Friday, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Christie's originally estimated the guitar would fetch $500,000. A spokesman for the auction house Friday said the final sum the instrument brought in, which included fees and premiums, was a record amount for the auction of a guitar.

The buyer's identity was kept private.

The Associated Press said the previous auction record was held by the sale of Eric Clapton's Fender, nicknamed "Blackie." The instrument sold at a Christie's auction in 2004 for $959,500.

Rolling Stone said Dylan's three-song electric guitar set at the festival in Newport, Rhode Island, on July 25, 1965, "was one of the most important moments in his entire career."

"Rock historians have spent the last five decades debating whether or not the crowd erupted into boos; the set was certainly divisive, though a very necessary step in Dylan's artistic evolution," Rolling Stone said.

The classic, sunburst-colored guitar with original flat strings has been in the possession of the Vic Quinto family in New Jersey for the past 50 years, the magazine said. Dylan reportedly left it in a private plane owned by Quinto, who was a friend of the musician’s manager.

After Quinto died in 1977, the guitar was passed on to his daughter, Dawn Peterson, who unsuccessfully tried to return the instrument to Dylan's management. She maintained possession of the guitar, and received legal clearance to put the guitar up for sale last summer, Rolling Stone said.

Peterson sought the help of the PBS reality show “History Detectives” to help verify the authenticity of the instrument.

The Journal said that the handwritten lyrics to the Dylan song, "I Wanna Be Your Lover," which were found in the guitar case, sold for $20,000 at the auction.

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