Bob Dylan's 'Like A Rolling Stone' Lyrics Set For Auction
Friday, May 2, 2014
Bob Dylan's 'Like A Rolling Stone' Lyrics Set For Auction
What’s being touted as the only surviving draft of Bob Dylan’s final lyric sheet for his 1965 classic, "Like A Rolling Stone" will be sold at action on June 24th, according to Rolling Stone. The four pages of lyric sheets, written in pencil on hotel stationary, is expected to sell for up to $2 million. The seller, a longtime fan who remains annonymous, is said to have purchased the lyrics directly from Dylan himself.
The New York Times posted a detailed description of the lyric sheet, which reads in part: "The full refrain as we know it – ‘How does it feel / to be on your own / no direction home / like a complete unknown / like a rolling stone’ -- does not turn up until the fourth page. Even there, rejected lines are interspersed. A rejected third line was, ‘like a dog without a bone,’ which gives way to ‘now you’re unknown’ and then ‘forever’ replacing ‘you’re.’ Earlier, he had considered working the name Al Capone into the rhyme scheme, and he was stuck for a while on whether to build a rhyme on ‘how does it feel,’ penciling in ‘it feels real,’ ‘does it feel real,’ ‘shut up and deal,’ ‘get down and kneel’ and ‘raw deal.’"
Among the other items being sold at Sotheby's upcoming "History Of Rock And Roll From Presley To Punk" auction are the lyrics to Dylan's 1963 Cold War classic, "A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall," and Joni Mitchell's 1970 standard, "Big Yellow Taxi."
Pete Townshend explained that it was Bob Dylan’s work during the first half of the 1960’s that changed all his preconceived notions of songwriting upon first listen: "I suddenly realized after listening to Bob Dylan, that the song that I had written, which was ‘I can’t explain,’ y’know, to the prettiest girl in the class -- ‘I love you, but I can’t explain, ‘cause I’m too shy’ -- that this song was actually about being inarticulate. It was a song about being unable to explain what you felt. And he was the guy that changed the way that we used the pop lyric. He was the guy that really said, ‘You can write a song about nuclear fallout -- and it can still be fun. Y’know, it’s a bizarre notion. That’s basically what happened."

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