Watch: Jason Isbell Plays Bob Dylan’s Guitar from the 1965 Newport Folk Festival

August 6, 2015

Before his set at Newport Folk Festival in late July, Jason Isbell sat down to talk about his love for Bob Dylan on the 50th anniversary of the guitarist famously going electric at the Newport, RI festival. “Dylan certainly had a big influence on me, and still does,” Isbell said. What he didn’t know was that the festival was about to surprise him with the very guitar Dylan used on stage that night.

“I’m a nerd, it’s going to take me a minute,” he said as he examined every inch of the guitar. Isbell then got to plug in and take the guitar for a spin. When asked to play a song, he joked, “I’d hate to interrupt the guitar by singing.” 

The story behind how the guitar ended up in Newport is particularly interesting. Dylan left the guitar on the plane that he left the festival on, and the pilot held onto it for the last few decades. An amazed Isbell called the instrument “unreal” and commented on the excellent condition of the guitar. 

Watch it below.