Bob Dylan Stratocaster sets auction record, sells for nearly $1 million

Dawn Peterson, center, appears with "History Dectives" Elyse Luray and Wes Cowan.  Peterson brought the guitar to the to PBS show "History Detectives" for authentication.

Story highlights

  • Dylan played the electric guitar at the Newport Folk Festival in 1965
  • The performance marked the first time Dylan was backed by an electric band
  • The guitar and lyrics subsequently were left behind on a private plane
A guitar once owned by music legend Bob Dylan sold for $965,000 Friday at Christie's, setting a new world auction record for any guitar, according to a statement from the auction house.
The 1964 Fender Stratocaster was purchased by an unidentified bidder, said a Christie's spokesperson.
Dylan, now 72, played the electric guitar in his famous performance at the Newport Folk Festival in 1965, during which he was backed by an electric band for the first time, according to the statement. He was 24 years, and on the road to establishing himself as a music icon, the statement said.
"A tremendous amount of international interest was generated at the time of the sale's announcement, and today's result justifies the mythic status of this guitar in the annals of music history," said Tom Lecky, Christie's specialist and the sale's auctioneer.
Along with the guitar and original Fender case, newly discovered song lyrics by Dylan were also auctioned, according to Christie's. The items were left behind on a private plane months after the 1965 performance. In 2011, the daughter of the plane's pilot submitted the items to the PBS show "History Detectives" for authentication, according to the statement from Christie's.