Saturday 20 December 2014

Dylan lyrics set world record price

Published 24/06/2014 | 07:47

A page from a working draft of Bob Dylan's Like a Rolling Stone which sold at auction in New York
A page from a working draft of Bob Dylan's Like a Rolling Stone which sold at auction in New York
Bob Dylan's handwritten lyrics for Like A Rolling Stone fetched a world record price at auction

One of the most popular songs of all time, Bob Dylan's Like a Rolling Stone, has been sold at auction for a world record price of more than two million dollars (£1.17m).

Sotheby's offered the working draft of the finished song in Dylan's own hand for auction. It says the selling price is a world record for a popular music manuscript. It includes a buyer's premium.

The draft is written in pencil on four sheets of hotel letterhead stationery with revisions, additions, notes and doodles, including a hat, a bird, an animal with antlers. The stationery comes from the Roger Smith hotel in Washington, DC.

Dylan was only 24 when he recorded the song in 1965.

The song is about a debutante who becomes a loner when she's cast from upper-class social circles.

The auction house says it is "the only known surviving draft of the final lyrics for this transformative rock anthem".

"How does it feel To be on your own" it says in his handwriting. "No direction home Like a complete unknown Like a rolling stone."

Scrawls seem to reflect the artist's experimentation with rhymes.

The name "Al Capone" is scrawled in the margin, with a line leading to the lyrics "Like a complete unknown".

Another note says: "...dry vermouth, you'll tell the truth..."

Sotheby's described the seller as a long-time fan from California "who met his hero in a non-rock context and bought directly from Dylan". He was not identified.

In 2010, John Lennon's handwritten lyrics for A Day In The Life, the final track on the Beatles' classic 1967 album Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, sold for 1.2 million dollars, (£705,000) the record for such a sale.

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