The 1965 Fender Telecaster that Bob Dylan played during his infamous first “electric tour” is heading to auction as part of Julien’s Auctions’ upcoming Music Icons sale, expecting to clean up to the tune of $400,000 to $500,000. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the American Indian College Fund.
While this isn’t the same guitar that Dylan played during his fabled Newport Folk Festival appearance in 1965, when a disgruntled fan compared Dylan to a certain duplicitous apostle and Pete Seeger allegedly took an axe to the mixing board, this instrument’s history is nothing to sniff at — it was played on Dylan’s legendary LPs Blonde on Blonde and The Basement Tapes, as well as during several outings from the Band, including their Rock of Ages tour.
The luminaries who have picked it up over the years include Levon Helm, Eric Clapton, George Harrison, and perhaps most consequentially Robbie Robertson — he stripped its original black finish to bare wood in 1970.
If you’d like to take a shot at taking home this legendary guitar in the hopes of having your own visions of Johanna, the Music Icons sale will be held May 19 live at the Hard Rock Cafe in New York and online. Prior to the sale, Julien’s is holding a free exhibition of various entertainment memorabilia at the same location May 14-18.