NEW YORK, July 13 (UPI) -- U.S. folk-music icon Bob Dylan denies an electric guitar featured on PBS' "History Detectives" is a Fender Stratocaster he famously played in 1965.
The British daily The Guardian said Elyse Luray, a former Christie's auction-house appraiser who now works with the television program, insists her research suggests the guitar featured on Tuesday's edition of the show is the one Dylan used when he performed at the Newport Folk Festival in July 1965. If it is, in fact, the exact guitar, it could fetch as much as $1 million at auction.
"This is the Holy Grail," The Guardian quoted Luray as saying.
Dawn Peterson of New Jersey said she inherited the instrument from her father, a private pilot who worked for the musician's manager, after Dylan forgot it on a plane.
"After one flight, my father saw there were three guitars left on the plane," Peterson told Rolling Stone magazine. "He contacted the company a few times about picking the guitars up, but nobody ever got back to him."
However, Dylan's representatives say the music star still has the guitar.
"Bob has possession of the electric guitar he played at the Newport folk festival in 1965," Dylan's lawyers said in a statement. "He did own several other Stratocaster guitars that were stolen from him around that time, as were some handwritten lyrics. In addition, Bob recalls driving to the Newport Folk Festival, along with two of his friends, not flying."
The Hollywood Reporter said the program is standing by its reporting.
"Based on the evidence provided -- which included close-up color photographs of Mr. Dylan performing at Newport -- the guitar was authenticated by Andy Babiuk of Rochester, N.Y. Mr. Babiuk was able to match the wood grain shown in detail on the photographs with the wood grain of our contributor's guitar. Like a fingerprint, no two wood grains are identical. Mr. Babiuk has previously authenticated numerous guitars including a John Lennon Gretsch 6120 currently on display at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and a Bob Dylan Hummingbird used by Mr. Dylan at President Bill Clinton's inauguration. 'History Detectives' welcome the opportunity to examine the guitar which is currently in Mr. Dylan's possession."
The Guardian said Peterson wrote to Dylan's management in 2005, asking them to waive their claim to the instrument, however, Dylan refused to do so and requested the item be returned.
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