Like Elvis’ no-hips-allowed appearance on “The Ed Sullivan Show,” or the Beatles’ arrival in America, or Woodstock, it is considered one of the milestone moments in rock history: Bob Dylan going electric at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival.
On Friday, the Fender Stratocaster that Dylan plugged in at the festival sold for nearly $1 million – the highest price ever paid for a guitar at auction.
A buyer identified only as a private individual agreed to pay $965,000 at Christie’s, including the auction house’s fees, for the sunburst-finish electric guitar.
Dylan’s legendary performance at the festival in Rhode Island 48 years ago marked his rupture with the folk movement’s old guard and solidified his shift away from acoustic music, like “Blowin’ in the Wind,” toward amplified rock, such as “Like a Rolling Stone.”
Christie’s had expected the guitar, which was sold with its original black leather strap and Fender hard-shell case, to go for far less, $300,000 to $500,000.
The previous record for a guitar sold at auction was held by Eric Clapton’s Fender, nicknamed “Blackie,” which sold at Christie’s for $959,500 in 2004.
King announces his Twitter debut
Stephen King has decided to give Twitter a try. But don’t expect to hear a lot from him.
The best-selling horror author can now be followed at the account @StephenKing.
An assistant to King, Marsha DeFilippo, confirmed that King’s account was authentic and said that his publisher, Scribner, had encouraged him to go on Twitter.
King has long been open to e-books and other digital innovations but had resisted Twitter. Fans were warned he prefers books and was unlikely to tweet often, but he still had more than 30,000 followers 90 minutes after the announcement.
Warhol portrait valued at $12 million
An appraiser says an Andy Warhol portrait of Farrah Fawcett currently held by actor Ryan O’Neal is worth an estimated $12 million.
New York art appraiser Lee Drexler told a jury being asked to consider who owns the artwork that the piece is an extraordinary piece of Warhol’s art.
O’Neal is being sued by the University of Texas at Austin, which wants the actor to turn over the painting because Fawcett left the school all her artwork upon her death in 2009. O’Neal contends the portrait was a gift to him from Warhol.
Drexler’s opinion could be used if a jury opts to award the university damages from O’Neal.
The birthday bunch
Linguist and political philosopher Noam Chomsky is 85. Actress Ellen Burstyn is 81. Baseball Hall of Famer Johnny Bench is 66. Actor-director-producer James Keach is 66. Basketball Hall of Famer Larry Bird is 57. Singer Aaron Carter is 26.