Guitar Bob Dylan Played on His First Electric Tour Is for Sale
The 1965 Telecaster that Bob Dylan used on his first electric tour — and a number of classic albums — is headed to the auction block.
As Rolling Stone reports, although the guitar has a significant bit of history with Dylan, it's always been owned by Robbie Robertson, who loaned it to him during the period when the Band served as Dylan's backing musicians, but continued using it himself. As a result, in addition to being used on that fateful 1966 tour, the guitar surfaced in sessions for Dylan's Blonde on Blonde and The Basement Tapes as well as the Band albums Music From Big Pink and The Band — and was also borrowed by an array of classic rockers that includes Eric Clapton, George Harrison and Robertson's Band partner Levon Helm.
"This guitar has been on the front lines of so many phenomenal events, I gaze at it with amazement," Robertson said in a press release. "When I think about all the creativity this guitar has been a part of, I’m still blown away."
Robertson is selling the guitar now in order to help raise funds for the American Indian College Fund, which is expected to receive "a portion of the proceeds" from the sale. Listed as part of the "Music Icons" sale scheduled to be hosted by Julien's Auctions on May 19, the instrument — which Robertson has tinkered with a number of times over the decades, including stripping it down to bare wood from its original black finish — is expected to sell for between $400,000 and $600,000.
While that's obviously out of range for most collectors, Dylan and Band fans can get a look at the guitar before it changes hands. Julien's is hosting a free exhibition of items from the Music Icons lot at the Hard Rock Cafe in New York between May 14-18.