All Bob Dylan had to do to turn a few pages of complimentary hotel stationary into 2 million dollars was to write on it.
A 1965 handwritten draft of Dylan’s famous song “Like a Rolling Stone” has been auctioned off at an eye popping 2 million dollars by Multinational Art Broker Sotheby’s. The manuscript includes scribbled out alternate lyrics as well as a few semi-related doodles by Dylan. The final bid met the strong estimates of close to $2 million dollars, surpassing the record for most expensive manuscript previously held by John Lennon’s $1.2 million dollar draft of “A Day in the Life”.
“It is always pleasing to set the world record.” Said Sotheby’s head of manuscripts Richard Austin. “We felt the estimate was justified given the importance of the work. I’m a Dylan fan myself and I thought it was one of the coolest things that I have ever handled.”
The stationary (above) was provided by the Roger Smith Hotel in Washington DC. Dylan has been exhaustingly interviewed about the plethora of classic songs he wrote in this period, almost always the singer-songwriter has answered with the same response:”I don’t know how I got to write those songs,” Dylan told Ed Bradley in a 2004 edition of 60 Minutes. “Those early songs were like almost magically written.”
Other treasured work of Rock & Roll also fetched a high price from passionate bidders. Items included Dylan’s manuscript for “A Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall” which sold at $485,000, Ronnie Wood’s Zematis 1977 guitar for $75,000, and Johnny and June Carter Cash’s “Jackson” Grammy for $37,5000. The grand total of every item added up to over $4 million dollars.
Full, zoom-able photos of Dylan’s manuscript can be viewed at Sotheby’s website here. In addition, other manuscripts and items are also available to examine.