Bob Dylan lyrics for 'Like a Rolling Stone' sell for $2 million

Tue Jun 24, 2014 5:44pm EDT
 
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By Patricia Reaney

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Bob Dylan's original, handwritten manuscript for "Like a Rolling Stone" sold for just over $2 million on Tuesday at Sotheby's rock and roll auction, which also included memorabilia from the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and Elvis Presley.

The price for the 1965 annotated lyrics for "Like a Rolling Stone," considered one of the most influential songs in postwar music, makes it the most expensive rock music manuscript sold at auction.

It shattered the previous record set in 2010 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.

"It is always pleasing to set the world record. It carried a strong estimate (up to $2 million) as well, and we felt the estimate was justified given the importance of the work," said Richard Austin, Sotheby's head of books and manuscripts.

"I'm a Dylan fan myself," he added, "and I thought it was one of the coolest things that I have ever handled."

The auction house described "Like a Rolling Stone," which was sold to an anonymous private buyer, as "one of rock's most rousing classics, its thick, layered sound and innovative organ riff instantly recognizable."

The manuscript for Dylan's "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall," which fetched $485,000, was the second highest selling lot, followed by the Vox guitar organ, a hybrid instrument given to the Beatles by the inventor in 1964, which sold for $305,000.

The sale, called A Rock & Roll History: Presley to Punk, was Sotheby's first dedicated music history auction in more than a decade. The total was slightly more than $4 million, with nearly 67 percent of the 150 lots sold. The other items did not meet their reserve price.   Continued...

 
Singer Bob Dylan performs during a segment on director Martin Scorsese, recipient of the Music + Film Award, at the 17th Annual Critics' Choice Movie Awards in Los Angeles January 12, 2012. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni