Dylan says he has the historic guitar in his possession. PBS disagrees.
By DiMarkco Chandler
Legendary musician Bob Dylan is embroiled in a controversial battle over which Fender Stratocaster electric guitar the singer plugged in at the Newport Folk Festival in 1965. Dylan disputes claims made my historians at PBS, who assert that Dawn Peterson, daughter of the pilot that flew Dylan to some of his scheduled concerts in the 1960s, has the right guitar.
The Stratocaster is the centerpiece of PBS’s premiere “History Detectives” scheduled to air on Tuesday July 17, and as of late today, the show’s producers are confident that Peterson’s guitar is the real McCoy.
Orin Snyder, Dylan’s attorney, recently stated in a rollingstone.com article that “Bob has possession of the electric guitar he played at the Newport Folk festival in 1965… He did own several other Stratocaster guitars that were stolen from him around that time, as were some handwritten lyrics.”
Rolling Stone also reports that “Vintage-instrument specialist Andy Babiuk was convinced” after comparing Peterson’s guitar to close-up color photos from Newport. “The more I looked, the more they matched,” Babiuk says.
If the Peterson’s guitar is real, it is believed to have an estimated worth of as much as $1 million.
Dylan has not personally commented on what he might do if Peterson were to attempt to auction the guitar. He has in fact been reticent since he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom last May.