When Dylan played the Fender Stratocaster at the previously all-acoustic folk festival, many viewed the move as the mercurial musician turning his nose up at the established music scene.
Christie’s announced that the guitar, which was expected to sell for $300,000 to $500,000, was sold to an unnamed, absentee buyer.
“An auction estimate is always just that: It’s an estimate. It’s not cut in stone,” said Tom Lecky of Christie’s. “Obviously the marketplace realized its importance and competed for it. It’s a great result for a legendary guitar.”
The infamous instrument had been in the possession of a New Jersey family who got the piece of music history after Dylan accidentally left it on a private plane. After some legal wrangling about ownership of the guitar with Dylan himself, the family opted to put it on the block. It’s unclear whether he will get a cut of the profits from the sale.
In addition to the guitar, a set of handwritten lyrics for a Dylan song called “I Wanna Be Your Lover” that were found in its case sold for $20,000.
In 2004, Eric Clapton’s Strat “Blackie” set the previous record for a guitar sold at auction when it was unloaded for $959,000.
Had Dylan never busted out the famous guitar at Newport, it’s possible that he never would have “opened up” President Obama’s world:
[New York Post]