The 1965 Fender Telecaster Bob Dylan used during his first electric tour will be put on the block as part of Julien's Auctions' upcoming Music Icons sale, set to take place May 19th. The instrument is expected to fetch between $400,000 and $600,000, with a portion of the proceeds benefiting the American Indian College Fund.
Dylan used the Telecaster during his first electric tour in 1966 with his backing band, the Hawks (later renamed the Band). The musician played the Telecaster throughout the Sixties and Seventies, though the Band singer-guitarist Robbie Robertson remained its owner. The instrument has undergone several modifications over the years, with Robertson most notably stripping its original black finish to bare wood in 1970. (The guitar is different from the Stratocaster Dylan played at his infamous 1965 set at Newpork Folk Festival, which sold at auction in 2013 for $965,000.)
The guitar was used on a handful of Dylan recordings, including Blonde on Blonde and The Basement Tapes, while Robertson played it on the Band's classic albums Music From Big Pink and The Band. Robertson also used the Telecaster during the Band's sets at Woodstock and Isle of Wight, while Robertson and Dylan both used it during the Band's famed Rock of Ages shows in 1971. Other artists to play the guitar include Eric Clapton, George Harrison and Levon Helm.
"This guitar has been on the front lines of so many phenomenal events, I gaze at it with amazement," said Robertson. "When I think about all the creativity this guitar has been a part of, I’m still blown away."
Julien's Auctions will host its Music Icons sale live at the Hard Rock Cafe in New York and online. Prior to the sale, Julien's will host a free exhibition featuring various items at the Hard Rock Cafe, May 14th through 18th.