“The Day Dylan Went Electric” — July 25, 1965 — is a date that lives in infamy for many acoustic music fans. Though conflicting stories are told about the event, there’s not denying that Bob Dylan appeared playing a short 3-song set using a Fender Stratocaster at the Newport Folk Festival, which precipitated a major uproar. (Musicians in his band for the momentous event included Mike Bloomfield on lead guitar, Al Kooper on organ, and members of the Paul Butterfield Blues Band.)
Now the guitar he used that day has been sold at auction for nearly $1 million. An unidentified individual paid $965,000 for the instrument, surpassing the previous record of $959,500 paid for Eric Clapton’s legendary “Blackie” Strat in 2004
A New Jersey family had Dylan’s guitar for almost 50 years; they obtained it after it was left on a private plane. Though they contacted Dylan’s management, nothing was ever done to retrieve the guitar. (A dispute over items left on the plane was recently settled with Dylan.) The guitar was authenticated, and went to auction at Christie’s on December 6, with the result being a record price paid for an electric guitar.