Skip to main content

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

  • Author:
  • Updated:

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.

Next Up


Motorcyclist killed on I-494 crash in Richfield

The Minnesota State Patrol has identified the victim as a 42-year-old Shakopee man.


Gallery: This Seward Neighborhood gem SOLD fast!

Classic 1903 home came with modern updates

Screen Shot 2022-06-30 at 3.19.42 PM

Evacuations underway after explosion, fire on U of M campus

Evacuations are in effect on campus after an underground explosion and fire Thursday afternoon.

hopkins high school

‘Terrible prank’ during tornado drill causes scare at Hopkins High School

The school principal said the incident brought armed police to the school and "understandably caused some scholars anxiety."

MNBCA - Balsimo 1

Woman admits to role in St. Paul man's gruesome murder

A 32-year-old Duluth woman has taken a plea deal in the case of a 34-year-old St. Paul man's murder.

Screen Shot 2022-06-30 at 11.18.35 AM

'Living nightmare’ alleged at Savage, Minn. rabbit sanctuary

"Peacebunny Cottage" is now the subject of an animal cruelty investigation.


Tractor tips on embankment, killing man in Kandiyohi County

The tractor reportedly tipped and fell on top of the man, pinning him underneath.

Sloane Martin

Sloane Martin teams with Mike Golic Jr. for college football broadcasts

Martin, 33, lives in Minnesota and continues to climb the sports broadcasting ladder.

Melvin Carter

St. Paul plans to extend $500 payments to low-income families

The expansion would give more than 300 families a monthly payment of $500.

16362 County Rd 81, Maple Grove, Minnesota - October 2021 (4)

Use of car seat in crash that killed child still under investigation

The mother of the child was treated for injuries not considered to be life-threatening.