After Bob Dylan’s infamous performance at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival--where the singer-songwriter shocked the folk world by playing a short electric set--Dylan decided he dug his new sound so much that he embarked on a tour in 1966 that featured a complete electric set with his backing band The Hawks, who would later become The Band. Naturally, if you’re going electric you’re going to need an electric guitar. A 1965 black Fender Telecaster to be exact.
For his iconic 66' tour, that guitar was provided by The Band’s lead guitarist Robbie Robertson. Dylan played that guitar when someone called him Judas (check out the video above) in Manchester, England while he was delivering one of the greatest rock & roll performances of his career, of all time. Dylan played that guitar on perhaps the greatest album of his career, Blonde on Blonde, before relinquishing the Tele back to its owner.
Robertson would play that guitar on some of The Band’s greatest albums, Music From Big Pink and The Band, and would travel with Robertson to Woodstock and The Isle of Wight Music Festival. After a brief touch up--Robertson would restore the axe to its natural bare wood color--the guitar found Dylan again at The Band’s famed Rock of Ages shows in 1971. Oh, and that guitar was also played by Eric Clapton, George Harrison and Levon Helm.
That guitar is now headed to auction, Rolling Stone reports (check out their video below). The famous six-string is part of Julien's Auctions’ Music Icons sale. The Telecaster will fetch between $400,000 to $600,000, with a portion of the proceeds going to the American Indian College Fund. The auction takes place on May 19th at Hard Rock Cafe New York and online. Click here for more info on the Music Icons auction.