Your email is not valid
Recipient's email is not valid
Submit Close

Your email has been sent.

Click here to send another

thescroll_header

Dylan Goes Electric

Plus a new dispute about an old guitar

Print Email

Today in 1965, Bob Dylan famously went “electric” at the Newport Folk Festival, much to the chagrin of some of the audience who booed him as he played the song “Maggie’s Farm.” While long a seminal moment in the history of American music, in recent weeks, a new dispute has arisen about who actually owns the guitar that Dylan used on stage that day. On one side is PBS and on the other side, Bobby Zimmerman himself:

The New Jersey daughter of a pilot who flew Dylan to appearances in the 1960s says she has the guitar, which has spent much of the past 47 years in a family attic. But a lawyer for Dylan claims the singer still has the Fender Stratocaster with the sunburst design that he used during one of the most memorable performances of his career.

If the authentic ‘‘Dylan goes electric’’ guitar ever went on the open marketplace, experts say it could fetch as much as a half million dollars.

The guitar is the centerpiece of Tuesday’s season premiere of PBS’s ‘‘History Detectives,’’ and the show said late Wednesday it stood by its conclusion that Dawn Peterson, the pilot’s daughter who works as a customer relations manager for an energy company, has the right instrument.

Regardless of who actually has the guitar–I’ll take it if it’s just gonna gather dust in someone’s attic–it seems worth noting the event. Here’s Jac Holzman, founder of Elektra Records, talking about the moment, what it meant, and how it was misunderstood:

Ownership of Bob Dylan’s historic guitar in dispute [Boston Globe]

Print Email

COMMENTING CHARGES
Daily rate: $2
Monthly rate: $18
Yearly rate: $180

WAIT, WHY DO I HAVE TO PAY TO COMMENT?
Tablet is committed to bringing you the best, smartest, most enlightening and entertaining reporting and writing on Jewish life, all free of charge. We take pride in our community of readers, and are thrilled that you choose to engage with us in a way that is both thoughtful and thought-provoking. But the Internet, for all of its wonders, poses challenges to civilized and constructive discussion, allowing vocal—and, often, anonymous—minorities to drag it down with invective (and worse). Starting today, then, we are asking people who'd like to post comments on the site to pay a nominal fee—less a paywall than a gesture of your own commitment to the cause of great conversation. All proceeds go to helping us bring you the ambitious journalism that brought you here in the first place.

I NEED TO BE HEARD! BUT I DONT WANT TO PAY.
Readers can still interact with us free of charge via Facebook, Twitter, and our other social media channels, or write to us at letters@tabletmag.com. Each week, we’ll select the best letters and publish them in a new letters to the editor feature on the Scroll.

We hope this new largely symbolic measure will help us create a more pleasant and cultivated environment for all of our readers, and, as always, we thank you deeply for your support.

Great clip, but Mr Holzman gets one thing wrong: “And then cut to just months later and he writes ‘Like a Rolling Stone’ in one day.” Umm, Dylan sang ‘Like a Rolling Stone’ during this same performance.

Mr Holzer gets an other thing wrong. Most people thing that the booing was because of Dylan going electric. This is not the case. People booed because the amplification was wrong and caused a feedback and distortion and couldn t hear properly. As for Dylan s Fender, which one is the real one. Both are. Because Mr Dylan had two Fenders on this occassion. One guitar string broke after a song and he changed to the other back-up Fender he brought along. So both are the real Fenders . Mr Dylan owns one of the two.

2000

Your comment may be no longer than 2,000 characters, approximately 400 words. HTML tags are not permitted, nor are more than two URLs per comment. We reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments.

Thank You!

Thank you for subscribing to the Tablet Magazine Daily Digest.
Please tell us about you.

Dylan Goes Electric

Plus a new dispute about an old guitar

More on Tablet:

Rediscovering the First Woman Rabbi

By Laura Geller — Ordained in 1935, Regina Jonas died at Auschwitz. Now, she’s being honored.