US & Canada

Bob Dylan's Fender Stratocaster sells for nearly $1m

The electric guitar played by Bob Dylan at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival has been sold at auction in New York for a record $965,000 (£591,000).

The Fender Stratocaster had been in the possession of a New Jersey family for 48 years after he left it on a plane.

The pilot's daughter had it authenticated on a television programme on US broadcaster PBS.

The festival in Newport, Rhode Island, is often cited as the performance where Dylan "went electric".

Dylan's move "changed the structure of folk music", Newport Folk Festival founder George Wein, 88, told the Associated Press news agency.

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

But at the time, the three-song set drew boos from the crowd, who had come expecting Dylan's traditional acoustic folk performance.

Dawn Peterson said on the PBS programme History Detectives that her father, the private plane's pilot, asked Dylan's management firm what to do with the guitar but nobody ever got back to him.

Experts matched the wood grain on the instrument with a close-up colour photo taken during Dylan's set at the festival.

Recently, Dylan and Ms Peterson quietly settled a legal dispute over the instrument. Details of the settlement are not known.

Auction house Christie's had estimated the guitar would sell for $300,000-$500,000. The buyer has not been identified.

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

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