A handwritten draft of Bob Dylan’s “Like a Rolling Stone” sold for more than $2 million at a Sotheby’s auction on Tuesday. The hefty sum for the lyrics written on four pages of hotel stationary that includes scribbled edits and doodles set a new record for a popular music manuscript, according to the Associated Press.
The sale nearly doubled the previous record set in 2010, Reuters reports, “when John Lennon's handwritten lyrics for ‘A Day in the Life,’ the final track from the 1967 album ‘Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band’ sold for $1.2 million, according to Sotheby's.”
Dylan recorded the song, which was named by Rolling Stone as the greatest song of all time in 2004, in 1965 when he was only 24 years old.
Here’s more on Dylan’s rough draft via Rolling Stone:
… the sheets do feature some lyrics that didn't make the final cut, including the phrase, "…dry vermouth/You'll tell the truth" and an abandoned line about Al Capone. The lyrics also show Dylan's various attempts to build a rhyme off of the "How does it feel" line with phrases like, "it feels real," "does it feel real," "get down and kneel," "raw deal" and "shut up and deal."
And a few more of Dylan’s early versions of the song from NPR:
In the line that was recorded as: "You used to laugh about / Everybody that was hanging out," Dylan had originally written "Everybody that was down and out?" before crossing it out… After "Now you don't seem so proud," is written "Voice is down" and "Head's in the cloud… " After the plaintive and cynical refrain "How does it feel?" Dylan has written in mixed caps: "IS IT AINT Quite ReaL."
By Elliot Hannon
With thanks to Slate
Bob Dylan Is Eminently Worthy Of The Nobel Prize In Literature
WHEN Bob Dylan opened his Australian tour in Perth last week The Australian’s reviewer Polly Coufos made an astute observation about the 73-old-old master craftsman: “He will only do it his way or not at all.’’
That was as true 47 years ago for the songwriter as it is today. In 1967 Dylan was holed up in Woodstock in upstate New York, recovering from a motorcycle accident. He was also forging a new way, his way, by writing and recording ferociously in a variety of styles with his colleagues in The Band. Those recordings, more than 100 of them, became known as The Basement Tapes. Most of the tracks surfaced on bootlegs before an official album featuring 24 of them was released in 1975.
What no one knew at the time, or indeed until late last year, was that Dylan discarded many of the lyrics he penned during that period. His reasons for doing so aren’t known. What we do know is that 24 of the handwritten lyrics, which Dylan kept in a box folder marked “1967”, are about to see the light.
Last year Dylan gave the lost lyrics to American producer T Bone Burnett, in the hope that he might be able to do something with them. Burnett was able.
This week saw the worldwide release of Nothing To It, one of the 20 tracks featuring those Dylan lyrics that will feature on the album Lost On the River: The New Basement Tapes Vol. 1, in November. Five songwriters of Burnett’s choosing wrote music for Dylan’s words: Elvis Costello, Mumford and Sons’ Marcus Mumford, Jim James from the US band My Morning Jacket, Taylor Goldsmith from the group Dawes and singer and multi-instrumentalist Rhiannon Giddens from the Americana outfit Carolina Chocolate Drops. Under Burnett’s supervision, in the basement of Los Angeles’ Capital Studios, the five musos joined forces to record the songs, which have titles such as Spanish Mary, Lost On the River, Liberty Street and Kansas City.
In an exclusive interview in today’s Review section, Costello and Burnett explain how they got to grips with Dylan’s words, how the five musos each came up with different music for them and what it meant to be interpreting one of the greatest songwriters in history.
By Iain Shedden
New Dylan Basement Tapes six-album set for November release
From The Australian - August 27th. Also by Iain Shedden
EVERY recording made by Bob Dylan and the Band in 1967 for what became known as the Basement Tapes is to be released as a complete package of six albums in November.
The Basement Tapes: The Bootleg Series Vol 11 will feature 138 recordings from the sessions, which were recorded at Dylan’s house and at the Band’s Big Pink house in upstate New York.
The new collection will include the 24 tracks that were released as the official Basement Tapes album in 1975, plus many newly restored versions of the songs that appeared on bootlegs prior to the official release.
This follows the news that a new project, Lost on the River: The New Basement Tapes Vol 1, is also to be released in November.
This album features Elvis Costello, Marcus Mumford, Jim James from My Morning Jacket, Dawes’ Taylor Goldsmith and Rhiannon Giddens from Carolina Chocolate Drops, all of whom have written and perform new music written to accompany lyrics that Dylan discarded during that 1967 period.
Both collections will be released on November 7.
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