‘Concert for Bangladesh’ guitar goes for nearly $400K at auction

Entertainment Desk Published: 13 November 2017, 10:05 AM
‘Concert for Bangladesh’ guitar goes for nearly $400K at auction

Nearly $400,000 was the price paid by an auction bidder for a guitar that Bob Dylan played at two famed music events in the 1970s.

An anonymous buyer landed the instrument for $396,500 during the Dallas-based Heritage Auctions offering on Saturday, much higher than the $300,000 anticipated by the auction house.

The Minnesota folk and rock legend played the 1963 Martin D-28 acoustic guitar at George Harrison’s Concert for Bangladesh in 1971 and during Dylan’s star-studded Rolling Thunder Revue tour in 1975-76, according to the auction house.

The guitar and its case were sold by Larry Cragg, who was Dylan’s guitar repairman. The original 1977 purchase receipt came with the guitar and shows that Cragg paid Dylan $500 for the instrument.

“It has not been played since it was wielded by Bob Dylan in 1977,” read Heritage’s description posted online.

Cragg told the Associate Press that Dylan’s guitar is so famous that “it’s kind of past being a guitar now. It’s the kind of thing that you’d think that people would put in a glass case or in a museum somewhere.”

A far richer price was paid in 2013, nearly $1 million, by Indianapolis Colts owner and CEO Jim Irsay for the Fender Stratocaster that Dylan played at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival.

That performance, when he strode on stage in a leather jacket and launched into “Maggie’s Farm,” signaled Dylan “going electric,” much to the dismay of many of his folkie following.

A guitar played in public by another Minnesota music icon, Prince, sold at auction earlier this month for $700,000. That amount is the highest ever paid for a Prince guitar, according to the auction house, and it went for many times more than the anticipated $60,000 to $80,000. As is common in such high-figure auctions, the buyer was not identified.