A dispute breaks out with a New Jersey girl claiming to be in possession of Bob Dylan's historic electric guitar while lawyers say it is still with Dylan
Bob Dylan and historians at PBS are in a dispute over the whereabouts of an electric guitar that the singer plugged in at the Newport Folk Festival in 1965, quite possibly the most historic single instrument in rock 'n' roll.
Dawn Peterson, the daughter of a New Jersey pilot who flew Dylan around for appearances in the 1960s claims she has the guitar and it has been lying in a family attic for 47 years now. However, a lawyer of Dylan claims that the singer is still in possession of the Fender Stratocaster with the sunburst design guitar that he used during one of the most memorable performances of his career.
The guitar is said to be the highlight of PBS's show "History Detectives" which will air next Tuesday and they are sure that the guitar Peterson claims to have is the authentic "Dylan goes Electric" guitar.
"This is not just kinda cool. This is way cool," said guitar expert Andy Babiuk. "We all love Bob Dylan, but this is really a pinnacle point not just in his career but for music in general. I don't think music in the 1960s would have been the same if Dylan had not gone electric."
According to Fox News, Peterson had no idea about its history until a friend of her husband's saw it and mentioned the possible Newport connection. After unsuccessfully trying to verify it on her own, she turned to "History Detectives" about a year ago for help.
"When I heard it, I was like, 'Yeah, right,"' said Elyse Luray, a former Christie's auction house appraiser and auctioneer who co-hosts the PBS show. "But there were intriguing clues. Peterson's father left behind an address book that included a phone number for "Bob Dylan, Woodstock." Luray showed the guitar case to a former Dylan roadie who recognized the name of a little-known company that Dylan had formed at the time stenciled on its side."
Dylan's lawyer, Orin Snyder, said late Wednesday that the singer had the guitar.
"He did own several other Stratocaster guitars that were stolen from him around that time, as were some handwritten lyrics," Snyder said. "In addition, Bob recalls driving to the Newport Folk Festival, along with two of his friends, not flying."
Peterson told The Associated Press in an email that she had no plans to sell or donate the guitar to anyone. "The guitar remains in a safe place," she wrote, "away from my home."
Experts claim that if the "authentic" guitar was ever available for purchase, it could fetch as much as half a million dollars.
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