The TV show “History Detectives” is co-produced in Portland and is making headlines after finding what they say is the guitar Bob Dylan played in 1965 at the Newport Music Festival. It's a big deal to music buffs because it marked the point when Dylan--and then much of the nation’s musicians--went electric.
Portland-area cardiologist John Rudoff was just a kid with a camera back then, when he took a photo of Dylan at the festival The audience booed Dylan after he plugged in an electric guitar.
“This completely stunned the crowd and everyone else there, because up until then he had been entirely acoustic,” Rudoff said.
That performance clearly ushered in a whole new era of rock music. But what happened to the instrument he played isn’t quite as clear.
“History Detectives” tracked down a woman who said she's had it for decades.
“My dad was a private pilot for Bob Dylan,” Dawn Peterson said. “The guitar was left on his plane and he took it home.”
And that’s where the controversy starts. Representatives say Dylan still has the guitar. The TV show analyzed evidence, including Rudoff’s photo and handwritten lyrics enclosed with the guitar.
Bob Dylan’s lawyer told the Associated Press the guitar on the PBS show is likely the same model, and could be one of several stolen at the time. Viewers can decide for themselves when the entire story premieres Tuesday night on OPB.