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Dylan's 1965 "electric" discovered - or is it?

Bob Dylan has become embroiled in a dispute about a guitar that changed rock history. The Fender Stratocaster was the instrument he played when he "went electric" at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival, to the consternation and hostility of traditionalist folkies.

Dawn Peterson claims that the guitar came into her possession after the death of her father Victor Quinto, a pilot. The guitar had allegedly been left on his plane. The guitar came with 13 pages of typed lyric sheets with handwritten amendments. Dylan expert Jeff Gold told the New York Times that he was convinced the lyrics were Dylan’s work.

Dylan experts working with the American PBS TV show History Detectives have authenticated the guitar and the lyrics. Estimates suggest that, if proven to be the real thing, the guitar could fetch up to $1 million at auction.

Dylan, never one to take kindly to those looking to appropriate a slice of his mythology, denies that the guitar is the one he used at Newport. "Bob has possession of the electric guitar he played at the Newport folk festival in 1965," his lawyer, Orin Snyder, insisted. "He did own several other Stratocaster guitars that were stolen from him around that time, as were some handwritten lyrics."

If Dylan continues to insist that the guitar is not the Newport original but actually stolen property, it places Peterson in a difficult position. Dyland has already asked for its return. "The guitar has been in my family since before I was born – over 47 years," Peterson said. "I have to discuss it more with my husband."

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