The sunburst Fender Stratocaster that Bob Dylan famously plugged in at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival will finally be auctioned off in New York at Christie’s on December 6th.
The guitar on which Dylan went electric is expected to bring in as much as $500,000, the Associated Press reports, and will be auctioned alongside five sheets of handwritten and typed fragments of lyrics that would later appear in “In the Darkness of Your Room,” “Absolutely Sweet Marie” and other songs. The lyrics – which were found in the Strat’s case – are estimated between $3,000 and $5,000.
For about 50 years, the guitar has been owned by the New Jersey family of Vic Quinto, an airplane pilot who worked with Dylan’s manager. The musician accidentally left the guitar on a private plane Quinto was flying and, according to his daughter Dawn Peterson, Dylan’s management company never responded to his questions of what to do with the instrument.
While Dylan and his camp initially denied the authenticity of the guitar, Paterson had it examined and certified on the PBS show History Detectives last year. Just this past July, as Rolling Stone reported, she ended a legal dispute with Dylan that allowed her to finally sell the guitar and lyrics. Other details from the settlement, including whether Dylan would receive any money from the auction, were kept confidential.