It Ain’t Free, Babe: Dylan Guitar Expected To Fetch $300K

By JAMIE STENGLE, Associated Press

DALLAS (AP) — A guitar played by Bob Dylan at notable concerts in 1970s is expected to sell for more than $300,000 when it goes up for auction next month.

Heritage Auctions said the 1963 Martin D-28 acoustic guitar that once belonged to the singer-songwriter will be offered up Nov. 11 in Dallas. Heritage says Dylan played the guitar through his set at George Harrison’s Concert for Bangladesh in New York City in 1971 and during his Rolling Thunder Revue tour from October 1975 to May 1976.

The guitar is being sold by Larry Cragg, who was Dylan’s guitar repairman when Cragg bought it from him in 1977. The original receipt from the purchase, which is included in the offering, notes that the guitar was bought for $500.

Though a musician himself, Cragg said he’s never played the guitar and it’s been kept in in a humidity- and temperature-controlled environment.

“It has the same bridge pins, everything is just like it was when he had it: same case and everything, just like it was 40 years ago,” said Cragg, who has a San Francisco Bay Area business renting vintage instruments and has had a long career as a guitar technician and repairman, working with the likes of Prince, Bruce Springsteen, Carlos Santana, Jefferson Airplane and Neil Young.

Cragg said 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.”

Mike Gutierrez, consignment director at Heritage, said it’s uncommon for such guitars to go up for sale.

“Most of these guitars are owned by the celebrities and they either don’t need to sell them or they don’t sell them,” Gutierrez said. “So they very, very rarely come on the market.”

The Fender Stratocaster that Dylan played at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival when he went electric sold for almost $1 million in 2013 at Christie’s in New York City. That guitar was sold by a New Jersey family who had kept it for nearly 50 years after Dylan left it on a private plane.

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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