Bob Dylan’s 1965 Fender Telecaster, which he used during his first electric tour, is going up for auction. Julien’s Auctions, which specializes in entertainment memorabilia, will be managing the sale on May 19. The instrument is expected to sell for between $400,000 and $600,000, according to Rolling Stone. Some of the proceeds will benefit the American Indian College Fund.
Dylan played the Telecaster in 1966 with his backup band, the Hawks (later known as the Band). Dylan used the guitar throughout the ‘60s and ‘70s, but it was owned by the Band singer/guitarist Robbie Robertson.
The Telecaster has been modified several times. For example, in 1970 Robertson removed its original black finish to reveals bare wood underneath.
Dylan used the guitar on several recordings, such as Blonde on Blonde and The Basement Tapes. Robertson also used the Telecaster on the Band’s classic albums Music From Big Pink and The Band. In 1969, Robertson played the guitar at Woodstock. He also played it at Isle of Wight in 1970. The following year, Dylan and Robertson used it during the Band’s Rock of Ages tour.
Eric Clapton, George Harrison, and Levon Helm have also played the iconic Telecaster, which was present at many monumental music events.
“This guitar has been on the front lines of so many phenomenal events, I gaze at it with amazement,” said Robertson. “When I think about all the creativity this guitar has been a part of, I’m still blown away.”
The auction will take place live at the Hard Rock Café in New York City and online. A free exhibition will run at the cafe from May 14 to 18, featuring a variety of musical memorabilia.
A Stratocaster that Dylan used at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival sold in 2013 for $965,000.