• Welcome to Thailand-Forum for Expats and Travellers - The Koratforum for Art, News & Culture. Please login or sign up.

Dylan guitar fetches nearly $1m

Started by thaiga, December 07, 2013, 04:52:37 PM

Previous topic - Next topic

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.


NEW YORK - Like the Beatles' arrival in America, or Woodstock, it was considered one of the milestone moments in rock history: Bob Dylan "going electric" at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival.

On Friday the Fender Stratocaster that Dylan plugged in at the festival sold for nearly $1 million - the highest price ever paid for a guitar at auction.

A buyer identified only as a private individual agreed to pay $965,000 at Christie's, including the auction house's fees, for the sunburst-finish electric guitar.

Dylan's legendary performance at the festival in Rhode Island 48 years ago marked his rupture with the folk movement's old guard and solidified his shift away from acoustic music, like Blowin' in the Wind, toward amplified rock, such as the anthemic Like a Rolling Stone.

Some in the crowd booed the raucous, three-song electric set, and folk purists saw Dylan as a traitor and a sellout.

But "his going electric changed the structure of folk music", said Newport Folk Festival founder George Wein, 88.

"The minute Dylan went electric, all these young people said, 'Bobby's going electric. We're going electric, too.' "

Christie's had expected the guitar, which was sold with its original black leather strap and Fender hard-shell case, to go for between $300,000 and $500,000.

The previous record for a guitar sold at auction was held by Eric Clapton's Fender Stratocaster, nicknamed "Blackie" which sold at Christie's for $959,500 in 2004.

Dylan's guitar had been in the possession of a New Jersey family for nearly 50 years after the singer left it on a private plane.

The pilot's daughter, Dawn Peterson, said her father asked Dylan's management what to do with the instrument, and nobody ever got back to him.

Last year, she took it to the PBS television show History Detectives to have it authenticated, and rock-memorabilia experts matched its wood grain to close-up colour photos of Dylan's instrument at the 1965 festival.

Dylan's attorney and his publicist didn't respond to requests for comment. Dylan and Peterson, who declined to be interviewed, recently settled a legal dispute over the items. The terms weren't disclosed.

In embracing electric guitar, Dylan was credited with infusing rock with the depth and complexity of literature.

In truth, Dylan had gone electric well before the 1965 Newport Folk Festival. Months earlier, he released the album Bringing It All Back Home, one side of which was electric. And the single Like a Rolling Stone came out just days before the festival.

But his performance at one of folk's biggest showcases - in front of some of the purest of folk purists - caused a sensation.

Exactly what happened at the festival on July 25, 1965, has become enshrouded in legend. Debate persists over whether those who booed were angry over Dylan's electric turn or were upset over the poor sound quality or the overly brief set.

Backed by a rock band that included Mike Bloomfield on guitar and Al Kooper on organ, Dylan played Maggie's Farm and Like a Rolling Stone. He returned for an acoustic encore with It's All Over Now, Baby Blue.

Legend has it that Pete Seeger, one of the elder statesmen of the folk movement, was so angry that he tried to pull the plug, literally, on the electric performance or threatened to cut the cable with an axs.

But years later, Seeger said he had nothing against Dylan going electric - he was just upset over the distortion-filled sound system. 


Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.


If you would like to get a feel for the crowds as Dylan and his band blasted forth at full electrical power I highly recommend http://www.amazon.com/The-Bootleg-Series-Vol-Concert/dp/B00000D9TO/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1386414959&sr=8-7&keywords=bob+dylan+bootleg

One cd is acoustic and the other has him plugged in, full of attitude and rocking. 

I am a Dylan fan from the mid 1960s onward and this is one of my favorites.


Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.



My father would get very upset when I played the 'Changing' LP. He couldn't accept that it was music. The point of Dylan's early stuff is that it represented the change in attitudes from the pre-war generations to the boomers. We seem to have failed to get the message across to the masters of war.

Masters Of War, live 1963

Bob Dylan- BBC Tonight Show- With God on Our Side (1964)


From the very first time I heard Masters of War on the Freewheelin' album back in 1960 something until today, I find that song and the amazing lyrics absolutely stunning.  According to Dylan, this was the first song that he had ever written where he actually was hoping someone would die.

I continue to be awestruck at Dylan's volume of work; most of his best (IMO of course) was written when he was in his 20s.  I remember reading some years back that during that time period song lyrics were coming out of his head so quickly, he could barely keep up by banging them out an an old typewriter.


Here are the Masters of War Lyrics. What a pity they don't listen even today:

Come you masters of war
You that build all the guns
You that build the death planes
You that build the big bombs
You that hide behind walls
You that hide behind desks
I just want you to know
I can see through your masks

You that never done nothin’
But build to destroy
You play with my world
Like it’s your little toy
You put a gun in my hand
And you hide from my eyes
And you turn and run farther
When the fast bullets fly

Like Judas of old
You lie and deceive
A world war can be won
You want me to believe
But I see through your eyes
And I see through your brain
Like I see through the water
That runs down my drain

You fasten the triggers
For the others to fire
Then you set back and watch
When the death count gets higher
You hide in your mansion
As young people’s blood
Flows out of their bodies
And is buried in the mud

You’ve thrown the worst fear
That can ever be hurled
Fear to bring children
Into the world
For threatening my baby
Unborn and unnamed
You ain’t worth the blood
That runs in your veins

How much do I know
To talk out of turn
You might say that I’m young
You might say I’m unlearned
But there’s one thing I know
Though I’m younger than you
Even Jesus would never
Forgive what you do

Let me ask you one question
Is your money that good
Will it buy you forgiveness
Do you think that it could
I think you will find
When your death takes its toll
All the money you made
Will never buy back your soul

And I hope that you die
And your death’ll come soon
I will follow your casket
In the pale afternoon
And I’ll watch while you’re lowered
Down to your deathbed
And I’ll stand o’er your grave
’Til I’m sure that you’re dead

Copyright © 1963 by Warner Bros. Inc.; renewed 1991 by Special Rider Music


Quick Reply

Warning: this topic has not been posted in for at least 365 days.
Unless you're sure you want to reply, please consider starting a new topic.

Note: this post will not display until it has been approved by a moderator.

Please leave this box empty:
Type the letters shown in the picture
Listen to the letters / Request another image

Type the letters shown in the picture:
What makes three plus two?:
How do people in Korat call the Thao Suranaree Monument in the center of town? (Mundo/Yamo/Supa/Mall):
Shortcuts: ALT+S post or ALT+P preview