Bob Dylan guitar under New York hammer for $620,000

NEW YORK CITY - Bob Dylan's electric guitar, on which he performed a career-defining set at the Newport Folk Festival in 1965, is going under the hammer in New York for $500,000 (S$620,000).

Christie's will auction off the 1964 Fender Stratocaster guitar on December 6 with five newly discovered Dylan song lyrics dating back to 1965-66.

Christie's expects the guitar to fetch US$300,000 to US$500,000, and the lyrics US$3,000 to US$30,000.

The three-song electric set at the Newport Folk Festival in Rhode Island saw a 24-year-old Dylan evolve from folk-protest singer into an enigmatic rock legend.

Rolling Stone described it as one of the most notable events in music history, but his folk fans were furious.

"I did this very crazy thing," Dylan said at the time.

"I didn't know what was going to happen, but they certainly booed, I'll tell you that. You could hear it all over the place."

The guitar and lyrics are in the possession of a daughter of the pilot who flew the private jet used by Dylan and his band in the months after the performance.

In 2011, it was submitted to US television programme "History Detectives" and verified as genuine.

The guitar, which was also used during recording sessions for his album "Bringing It all Back Home", comes with its case and original black leather strap.

Born Robert Allen Zimmerman, in 1941 in Duluth, Minnesota, Dylan was the voice of a generation and a giant in the history of American music.

He taught himself music and changed his name, reportedly after the Welsh poet Dylan Thomas.