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Legal Issues Settled, Dylan's Guitar May Sell For $500,000

The Fender Stratocaster that's going on sale next month and may fetch $500,000 because experts say it was played by Bob Dylan when he "went electric" at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival. i i

The Fender Stratocaster that's going on sale next month and may fetch $500,000 because experts say it was played by Bob Dylan when he "went electric" at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival. Christie's/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Christie's/AP
The Fender Stratocaster that's going on sale next month and may fetch $500,000 because experts say it was played by Bob Dylan when he "went electric" at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival.

The Fender Stratocaster that's going on sale next month and may fetch $500,000 because experts say it was played by Bob Dylan when he "went electric" at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival.

Christie's/AP

Now that Bob Dylan's no longer talking about it not being the guitar he played when he famously went electric at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival, a sunburst Fender Stratocaster is to be auctioned by Christie's on Dec. 6.

The pre-sale hype has it going for as much as $500,000.

We wrote last July about how PBS-TV's History Detectives had what experts were saying sure looked to be one of the most famous guitars in rock 'n' roll history — the one Dylan played at that 1965 show. It had supposedly ended up with a New Jersey woman, Dawn Peterson, who said Dylan left the guitar behind on a plane her father was flying way back in '65.

But, as we wrote, Dylan was saying otherwise: "According to his lawyer ... the singer-songwriter says he still has the Fender Stratocaster he played on stage that day."

Since then, Peterson has "settled a legal dispute with the musician that will allow her to sell the guitar," as Rolling Stone has written.

"One term of the agreement that I obviously can disclose is that Mr. Dylan will participate in the sale to the extent that he will be signing off on any ownership interest after the sale," Peterson's attorney, Christopher DeFalco, told Rolling Stone.

This week, Rolling Stone adds that "other details from the settlement, including whether Dylan would receive any money from the auction, were kept confidential."

The Associated Press says "Dylan's attorney and his publicist did not respond to email and phone requests for comment."

Among the evidence that leads experts to conclude it is the Strat Dylan used at Newport: The wood grain matches that in photos of the guitar taken at the festival and inside its case were fragments of hand-written and typed lyrics from some of Dylan's songs.

Was It A Shock? Apparently Not

Legend has it that 'going electric' shocked the crowd at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival and that Bob Dylan was booed off the stage. In 2002, 'Morning Edition' debunked that story. (The audio player says Dec. 12, 2012, because that's when it was added to NPR.org. The story was broadcast, though, 10 years earlier.)

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