Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 2 August 2015

Dylan song draft up for auction

Published 01/05/2014 | 10:47

Folk legend Bob Dylan drafted Like A Rolling Stone on hotel stationery
Folk legend Bob Dylan drafted Like A Rolling Stone on hotel stationery

A draft version of Bob Dylan's classic song Like A Rolling Stone is going to auction this summer.

Sotheby's in New York is offering a working draft of the finished song, in Dylan's own hand, for an estimated one million to two million dollars.

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

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

"How does it feel To be on your own" it says in Dylan's 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..."

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

The auction is on June 24 as part of Sotheby's rock and pop music sale.

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.

Sotheby's said it is "the only known surviving draft of the final lyrics for this transformative rock anthem."

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, the record for such a sale.

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