Bob Dylan’s ‘Like a Rolling Stone’ Lyrics Sell for More Than $2 Million
As we reported last month, the lyrics — scrawled on stationery from the Roger Smith Hotel in Washington, D.C. — were part of a collection of rock memorabilia, titled, ‘A Rock & Roll History: Presley to Punk,’ recently auctioned off by Sotheby’s. Early estimates suggested that the sheets would fetch between $1 and $2 million, which turned out to be pretty much on target; according to Rolling Stone, the winning bidder (who was still unidentified as of this writing) ponied up $2.045 million to take them home.
That’s an awful lot of money, even if — as a Sotheby’s rep earlier argued — they represent “the Holy Grail of rock lyrics” for a song that “irreversibly changed postwar music history” and, in one fell swoop, “elevated rock music from mere ‘pop’ to the medium though which youth culture expressed itself.” Still, for the well-off Dylan fan, it’s an enticing investment; as Rolling Stone’s report notes, the sheets include a number of lines that didn’t make it to the final version of the song, and offer a visual representation of Dylan’s working process, with a number of potential rhymes bounced off the song’s signature query of “How does it feel.”
While the ‘Like a Rolling Stone’ sale is getting most of the attention, the article says that the auction also included some Dylan memorabilia for the more budget-conscious: his handwritten lyrics for ‘A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall’ left the block for the low, low price of $485,000. Meanwhile, the lyrics for ‘Wiggle Wiggle’ remain safely locked away in the Bard’s private collection.