News / Arts & Entertainment

Bob Dylan Lyrics for 'Like a Rolling Stone' Sell for $2M

A Sotheby's employee shows the handwritten lyrics for Bob Dylan's 'Like a Rolling Stone' song that is part part of a collection from; 'A Rock and Roll History: Presley to Punk' at Sotheby's auction house in New York, June 20, 2014.
A Sotheby's employee shows the handwritten lyrics for Bob Dylan's 'Like a Rolling Stone' song that is part part of a collection from; 'A Rock and Roll History: Presley to Punk' at Sotheby's auction house in New York, June 20, 2014.
Reuters
Bob Dylan's 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 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" 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" fetched $485,000.
 
Outfits belonging to musicians Michael Jackson, Elvis Presley, Sly Stone and Jimmy Page are displayed as part of a collection from; 'A Rock and Roll History: Presley to Punk' at Sotheby's auction house in New York, June 20, 2014.Outfits belonging to musicians Michael Jackson, Elvis Presley, Sly Stone and Jimmy Page are displayed as part of a collection from; 'A Rock and Roll History: Presley to Punk' at Sotheby's auction house in New York, June 20, 2014.
x
Outfits belonging to musicians Michael Jackson, Elvis Presley, Sly Stone and Jimmy Page are displayed as part of a collection from; 'A Rock and Roll History: Presley to Punk' at Sotheby's auction house in New York, June 20, 2014.
Outfits belonging to musicians Michael Jackson, Elvis Presley, Sly Stone and Jimmy Page are displayed as part of a collection from; 'A Rock and Roll History: Presley to Punk' at Sotheby's auction house in New York, June 20, 2014.

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 for all the sold lots was slightly more than $4 million.

"We're very pleased with the sale overall," said Austin. "It's an interesting market and we look forward to seeing where it goes."

Other items in the auction included Ronnie Wood's Zemaitis 1977 acoustic guitar that sold for $75,000, Bruce Springsteen's autographed manuscript lyrics for "Thunder Road," which fetched $37,500 and Presley's flamboyant peacock jumpsuit from his days performing in Las Vegas, which went to the highest bidder for $245,000.

A Grammy Award for "Jackson" presented to Johnny Cash and June Carter sold for $37,500 and the Vox guitar organ, a hybrid instrument given to the Beatles by the inventor in 1964, brought in $305,000.

The 150 lots in the auction, which ranged in price from an estimated $200-$300 up to $2 million for the Dylan lyrics, came from collectors and people who worked in the music industry.

Sotheby's said it decided to hold the sale to test the market and to see what collectors are interested in buying.

Earlier this month, original manuscripts and drawings by former Beatle John Lennon sold for $2.9 million, more than double the estimated price.

You May Like

DRC Tries Mega-Farms to Feed Population

Park at Boukanga Lonzo currently has 5,000 hectares under cultivation, crops stretching as far as eye can see, and is start of ambitious large-scale agriculture plan More

Video Survivor Video Testimonies Recount Horrors of Guatemalan Genocide

During a conflict that spanned more than three decades, tens of thousands of indigenous Mayans were killed More

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Areas are spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, source of livelihood for fishermen and herders who have called the marshes home for generations More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs

New in Music Alley

Border Crossings: Nnekai
|| 0:00:00
...  
🔇
X
August 26, 2015 2:42 PM
Nigerian singer, songwriter Nneka sits down with Border Crossings host Larry London to perform songs from her latest CD, "My Fairy Tales" and to talk about her inspirations and influences.

Nigerian singer, songwriter Nneka sits down with Border Crossings host Larry London to perform songs from her latest CD, "My Fairy Tales" and to talk about her inspirations and influences.